Hurricane Sandy - a recent tropical storm in a HIC

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  • Hurricane Sandy - a recent tropical storm in a HIC
    • Basic facts
      • Became a tropical storm on October 22nd 2012
      • October 24th 2012 became a hurricane
    • Primary hazards
      • Storm surges - waves reached up to 20ft, flood defences were breached due to the severity
      • Strong winds - Wind speed reached 115mph but below 94mph hitting the US
      • Heavy rain - some Caribbean countries suffered up to 4 days of heavy rain causing flooding
    • Secondary hazards
      • Heavy rain - triggered landslides in certain areas near the Atlantic coast
      • Strong winds - debris was carried along the way, damaging property and often injuring people
      • Storm surges - caused reprecussions of flooding- flood defences were breached due to the severity of the storm surges
    • Impacts
      • Social
        • 117 US deaths
        • Damaged 200,000 homes
        • US power outages affected more than 8 million residents
        • 80% of Atlantic city underwater
        • More than 15,000 flights into New York & other east coast airports were cancelled
        • New York subways were flooded - worse damage in 108 years of history
      • Environmental
        • 80/369 wastewater treatment plants were damaged
        • 378,000 gallons of diesel oil spilled in surrounding creeks
        • 70/604 water facilities were 'in distress' during and after the storm hit
      • Political
        • Affected the election campaign as it hit a week before the presidential election
        • Beneficial to some extent as voters could see presidental leadership by helping to provide relief
      • Economic
        • Physical damage cost the US financial state up to $30 billion
        • Damage to infratrcture has slowed business e.g. Food industry experienced rotting food
      • What factors affected the severity of the hurricane?
        • Level of education - Caribbean less prepared
        • Technology - faster evacuation in the US
        • US HIC - more effective mitigation plans
    • Responses
      • Short term
        • Several thousand people evacuated from Manhattan in 6 days
        • Red Cross deployed 4,000 disaster workers providing food, water and generators
      • Long term
        • Congress passed a $50.5 billion bill for constructin in order to rebuild along the coast
        • The UN & world food programme promised humitarian aid to at least 500,000
        • New York has offered coastal homeowners a buy out programme so people will move away from the coast
      • Problems
        • Months after, those affected still struggling to recover
        • Less than half of those affected who required assistance hadn't received any and 30,000 residents still remained displaced
      • What factors affected effectiveness of the response?
        • Barrier islands were hard to evacuate and reach for rescue efforts
        • A shortage of trained, experienced personnel
        • Destroyed infrastructure made rescues difficult e.g. flooded roads slowed response
    • Application to the hazard mangement cycle
      • Mitigation
        • Closure of schools, reinforced building materials, early curfews- lower crime

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