Hurricane Harvey - Case Study

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  • Hurricane Harvey
    • Facts about Texas/USA
      • Population: 326.17m (USA), 28M (TX)
      • Life Expectancy: USA: Male - 76.3, Female - 81.3 Texas: Male - 76, Female - 80.8
      • Number of doctors per 1000: 2.57
      • GDP per Capita: $53,129 (TX)
      • Date: 25th August 2017
      • Time: 4:30am
      • Magnitude: Category 4 Storm
    • Location
      • Made landfall over San Jose Island > Rockport > Houston > Louisiana > Tennessee > Kentucky
      • Factors making the area vulnerable to Hurricanes
        • Low lying coastal areas
        • Urbanisation/Over-development of Houston
        • Texas lies to the west of the Trade Winds
        • Next to the Gulf of Mexico: warm, humid air prone to hurricanes
        • Fast population growth
    • Primary effects
      • $125bn damage
      • 300,000 structures were destroyed
      • Over 800 Houston area flights were cancelled
      • 103 people died
      • 500,000 vehicles were damaged
      • Rare species of the Prairie Chicken was reduced to a population of 10 in the wild
    • Secondary effects
      • Several dozen schools remained closed more than a month into the school year
      • The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits jumper to a more than 2 year high
      • Created 8 million cubic yards of garbage in Houston alone
      • Gas prices rose - 25% of oil & gas production closed
      • Long term economic investment was reduced due to the destruction
      • Emigration from the area increased whilst immigration decreased - causing an unsustainable flow of people
      • Houston sank 2cm from the weight of the precipitation
      • Questioning of Donald Trump's decision to leave the Paris Agreement
    • Immediate respomses
      • The Emergency Management Agency paid out $378 million in direct payments
        • Delivered 80 trailer loads of emergency supplies (cots, blankets, meals)
      • Federal forces rescued 10,000 people who were trapped in their homes and highways
      • FEMA positioned supplies and 30,000 personnel in the state and supplied 3 million meals and 3 million litres of water to Texas
      • The NGO DirectRelief distributed $4.6 million in medical assistance to 40 medical centres across Texas
    • Long term responses
      • FEMA moved 14,900 people to temporary housing
      • 37,000 people moved to shelters in Texas
      • The Department of Energy released 500,000 barrels of oil
      • Houston received $91m to pay for debris removal
      • The Red Cross provided emergency relief. $493.5m raised
        • Served more than 4.5 million meals and snacks
        • Provided 127,000 health and mental health contacts
        • Offered financial assistance to more than 575,000 affected households
    • Success of long term responses
      • Still exists a lack of zoning which makes Houston still vulnerable to hurricane flooding.
        • Effective land use zoning would allow people in damaged areas to lead happier and healthier lives
      • Direct Relief's provision of $4.9m cash grants has provided repair and replacement of storm damaged roofs to help them become more resilient for the upcoming season

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