Hurricane Maria Human Impact


My favorite source was ‘Quick Facts: Hurricane Maria’s Effect on Puerto Rico’. The article starts by providing background information on Puerto Rico and the storm. Neatly formatted chronological sections describe what happened when Maria made landfall; Maria’s effects; and present living conditions. I think the information is reliable. I Googled claims made in the article to verify the authenticity and was able to using well known websites as secondary sources.

Unit 6 Week 3 Blog Post

Hurricane Katrina was one of the most disastrous storms to impact the United States. One reason this hurricane proved to be so disastrous was because of the many failures from the local, state and federal government, making research into the human impacts very easy. Below are a list of resources describing human impacts.

  1. Bankston III, C. L., Barnshaw, J., Bevc, C., Capowich, G. E., Clarke, L., Das, S. K., … & Esmail, (2010). The sociology of Katrina: Perspectives on a modern catastrophe. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.

2. Sharkey, P. (2007). Survival and death in New Orleans: An empirical look at the human impact of Katrina. Journal of Black Studies, 37(4), 482-501.

3. Jonkman, S. N., Maaskant, B., Boyd, E., & Levitan, M. L. (2009). Loss of life caused by the flooding of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina: analysis of the relationship between flood characteristics and mortality. Risk analysis, 29(5), 676-698.

4. Rhodes, J., Chan, C., Paxson, C., Rouse, C. E., Waters, M., & Fussell, E. (2010). The impact of hurricane katrina on the mental and physical health of low‐income parents in New Orleans. American journal of orthopsychiatry, 80(2), 237-247.

5. United States. Congress. House. Select Bipartisan Committee to Investigate the Preparation for, & Response to Hurricane Katrina. (2006). A failure of initiative: Final report of the select bipartisan committee to investigate the preparation for and response to Hurricane Katrina (Vol. 109). United States Government Printing.

My favorite resource to study and learn about the impacts and failures of hurricane Katrina is the last resource posted. This committee investigated the preparation for and response to hurricane Katrina while showing failures at all levels which negatively impacted life and property. This source is very accurate. This committees findings helped improve our preparation and response to natural disasters by evaluating the lessons learned.

Hurricane Maria Monitoring

Tropical cyclones are initially observed using a combination of the following methods: ships; satellites; aircraft; radar; buoys; and land-based platforms measuring pressure and wind (The University of Rhode Island, n.d.). During Hurricane Maria one tracking and forecasting tool was a C-130 aircraft belonging to the U.S Air Force Reserve’s “Hurricane Hunters” (Brown; Blake, 2017).

Two pallets used solely for weather reconnaissance are loaded into the plane’s cargo section (Hurricane Hunter Association). A computer system responsible for processing all the airplane sensors data, and communication equipment is part of the Aerial Reconnaissance Weather Officer (ARWO) pallet. Pallet number two features one or more ‘GPS Sonde’, a lightweight instrument dropped from the aircraft between 5,000 and 38,000 feet. While descending at 2,500 feet per minute, the GPS Sonde records information twice per second before transmitting its findings back to the aircraft. Information includes current pressure, wind speed, temperature, direction, humidity, and GPS position (Hurricane Hunter Association).

I believe the tools used to track Hurricane Maria were sufficient. Before Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico, their public safety commissioner Hector Pesquera told residents “You have to evacuate. Otherwise, you’re going to die. I don’t know how to make this any clearer ( Reuters and Fortune Editors, 2017).”


Reuters and Fortune Editors. (2017, September 20). Hurricane Maria Hits Puerto Rico as Residents Told to Evacuate or ‘You’re Going to Die’. Retrieved from Fortune:

Brown; Blake. (2017, September 18). Hurricane MARIA. Retrieved from National Hurricane Center National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration:

Chappell, B. (2017, September 18). Hurricane Maria Heads Toward Puerto Rico As A Major Storm. Retrieved from NPR:

Hurricane Hunter Association. (n.d.). The Aircraft of the Hurricane Hunters. Retrieved from Hurricane Hunters Association:

The University of Rhode Island. (n.d.). National Hurricane Center Forecast Process. Retrieved from Hurricanes: Science and Society:


Case Study 2 Week 2 Disaster Game Blog

Much like the volcano disaster game, I thoroughly enjoyed learning and playing the hurricane disaster game. My first run through I started off on the hardest level and thought I did a great job preparing my little village. Well my little village was much larger than I thought it was (I didn’t know I could view different areas by moving with the arrows on my keyboard) and I missed about half the population. I helped me realize how important structures are along with a number of mitigation efforts. I used a number of sand dunes and tried to protect my weaker buildings with other concrete buildings. The most frustrating thing to this game was the amount of time I had to tie down all the boats, build different buildings etc. because it was far too limited. All in all, I enjoyed this disaster game and found it to be useful while learning about how to prepare for hurricanes.

Case Study 2 Assignment 3: blog post

The category I am choosing to right about for this blog post is mitigation. Mitigation efforts are crucial for protecting life and property. For my case study, I am evaluating the impact of Hurricane Katrina. One way the US tries to mitigate the effects of these powerful storms is by using levees. The levees “protecting New Orleans were not built for the most severe hurricanes” (United States Congress, 2006). This failure was due to a lack of imagination by officials and ultimately, a lack of effective leadership and initiative. The levees in place were not properly maintained and there was a lack of warning systems in place to notify that repairs were needed. Improper maintenance of the levees shows just one aspect of ineffective leadership or leadership failures.

2017 Hurricane Maria

I chose September 2017s Hurricane Maria for my second case study. Hurricane Maria made landfall across Puerto Rice and a large portion of the Lesser Antilles, a group of islands in the Caribbean Sea. Hurricane Maria reached Category Five on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, with maximum sustained winds near 175 MPH, making it the fifth strongest hurricane in US history. Hurricane Maria was also notably the third costliest storm on record in the United States, with damage estimated at ninety billion US dollars. September 30th, two weeks after Maria’s initial formation, the U.S. National Hurricane Center released a bulletin saying dissipation would likely occur “within a larger frontal zone over the North Atlantic in about 48 hours .

The most interesting piece of information I learned so far is that hurricanes’ maximum potential wind speeds are estimated to be 190 MPH based on computations performed by Kerry Emanuel, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology climatologist.

Unit 6-Week 1- Case study #2

Hello everyone, my second case study will be on Hurricane Katrina. This natural disaster took place along the gulf coast of the United States, and this hurricane severely impacted New Orleans.  Hurricane Katrina struck the U.S early on August 29th in 2005. Hurricanes are formed when “areas of high air pressure pushing into a low-pressure area. As the warm air continues to rise, the surrounding air swirls in to take its place. As the warmed, moist air rises and cools off, the water in the air forms clouds. The whole system of clouds and wind spins and grows, fed by the ocean’s heat and water evaporating from the surface.” (NASA, 2018). Hurricanes are categorized by their wind strength. Hurricane Katrina made land fall as a category 3 storm, but winds of a category 5 storm were seen as it traveled across the Atlantic Ocean. So far the most interesting thing I learned so far about this natural disaster were the many failures that occurred.

Case Study 1 Week 3

One of my sources is myself. We covered the area on the one-year anniversary of Matthew. There were still parts of North Carolina that were under construction. People had to leave their homes and find a new place to live. Some towns were trying to revive, and another was a ghost town. Most people here did not have homeowners insurance, and they were not prepared for this type of disaster.

My favorite was the NCDPS article. It was extremely detailed and it gives really good information about the areas hit, and effort being made to help. Gov. Roy Cooper has said, “the recovery will take some time.” The state is still dealing with the need for housing since they put up 3,000 families in mobile homes and hotel’s, only four families remain in a hotels until their homes are completed.

The biggest set back from Matthew was how it affect the infrastructure. In the eastern portion of the state, there are roads that are still closed down- of course this is in extremely rural areas.


Spectrum news- You need to be a subscriber, but here is a link to another local station.—/2510750/

Case Study 1 Week 3

The human rights impact of Hurricane Katrina

My favorite resource that I found is :

One reason I enjoyed this resource because it tells the path of Katrina after passing through New Orleans. I had no idea that this storm eventually delineated into a frontal zone that moved across the Great Lakes. Although that system has little to no chance of causing any significant damages, I still thought it was interesting. Additionally, this articles touches on the health hazards present during the flooding periods of Katrina, such as potential spread of West Nile virus and mold. On top of that, the extended period of time that New Orleans spent underwater created an optimal breeding ground for mosquitoes.


Katrina Mitigation Techniques

Maybe one of the biggest mitigation failures in history, the biggest reason why Katrina was such a devastating, destructive and costly was directly due to the failures of the levees bordering New Orleans. With a storm surge as high as 28 feet in some places, the levees failure allowed water from the Gulf of Mexico to directly pour into New Orleans and decimate the city. To adjust for future mega storms, I see three options. One is to elevate the city so that it’s entirely above sea level (way too costly), another being the entire displacement of New Orleans (too far fetched and will naturally happen eventually anyways). Lastly, replacing the levees with towering walls would be the most ideal way to keep a storm surge out, however that would have drastic environmental impacts on the shallow waters of the coast. It seems like eventually, New Orleans will have to move inland whether it be from persistent large storm surges in hurricane season or the rise of sea level.