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Did You Know That...

1948 years ago in AD 63 an earthquake in southern Italy by the gulf of Naples seriously damaged the ancient city of Pompeii causing an undetermined number of deaths and spread out destruction, but the locals went to work rebuilding in the same spot until they were buried by the eruption of the Vesuvius volcano 16 years later in AD 79.

Galveston TX Hurricanes

Average Brushed or hit every 2.94 years
Average Direct hit every 8.63 years

The Great Storm of 1900 - Sep 8th 1900 - Pop: 42,000 residents
Category 4 @ 135 mph -Great loss of life between 6,000 and 12,000 individuals – officially 8,000

The 1915 Storm, August 17th, Category 4 @ 135 mph
42    people dead in the Galveston area
$60 - 1915 million dollars in damage

Ike Sep 13th 2008 - The third most destructive hurricane to ever make landfall in the United States
Final landfall in Galveston Texas as a strong cat 2 with cat 5 equivalent storm surge winds extended 120 miles from the center.

Blamed for at least 195 deaths – 74 in Haiti and 112 in the USA 300 still missing. - Damages estimated at 24 billion (2008) US Dollars

Resulted in the largest evacuation in the state of Texas history and the largest search and rescue operation in US history

Nuclear Issues

Chernobyl, An Experiment Gone Wrong

On Saturday, April 26th, 1986 at 1:23 am, one of the reactors at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant exploded.
Ironically, the experiment consisted in testing how the power plant would respond in the event of an accident. The operators at the plant wanted to bring down the power output of the reactor to 25%, but over-confidence, poor training and poor knowledge of how a reactor works caused them to overdo it, and they ended up bringing down the power output to 1%. When they then tried to bring it up to 25%, the reactor overheated and exploded causing the worst nuclear accident in history.

Five U.S. nuclear reactors in earthquake zones

Status of the Nuclear Reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi Power Plant

How a Reactor Shuts Down and What Happens in a Meltdown

Hazards of Storing Spent Fuel

Timeline: Nuclear Plant Accidents

Why the Fukushima disaster is worse than Chernobyl

In graphics: Fukushima nuclear alert

Fukushima victims: homeless, desperate & angry

Japan Panel: Fukushima nuclear disaster "man-made"

More, Did You Know That


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Emergency Management: What a Difference a Hurricane Makes
Posted on Monday, September 01 @ 18:44:00 PDT by editor
A Coordinated Response to Hurricane Gustav

Three years after Katrina killed about 1600 people across the Gulf Coast and flooded 80 % of the city of New Orleans the nation nervously watched to see how the city would weather Gustav.

Anticipating a storm that could rival Hurricane Katrina in its destructive power, millions of people in New Orleans and communities along the Gulf Coast from Texas to Alabama received evacuation orders.

The National Guard was brought in to ensure an orderly evacuation and deployed to enforce a dawn-to-dusk curfew imposed for protection. Across the bordering states shelters were opened to evacuees. In coastal Texas, hundreds of vulnerable residents were flown inland and thousands of others left by car. Those without cars took advantage of the government’s offer of free transportation.

Most seemed to have heeded the call, by midday Sunday, only around 10,000 people out of a population of 250,000 to 300,000 were left and up to 95 percent of the residents of coastal Louisiana had fled, the State Police said.

Only a few diehards were hunkering down, anticipating days without electricity. They had stockpiled food, water and gasoline.

“The vast majority of our people have heeded the warnings, have evacuated,” Governor Jindal said. “I think it’s unprecedented, when you see the medical evacuations, the nursing homes, the hospitals, the city- and parish-assisted evacuations.”

As of this writing Sunday afternoon Sep 1st, Hurricane Gustav has made landfall slamming into the heart of Louisiana’s fishing and oil industry avoiding a direct hit on the city of New Orleans boosting hope that the city would avoid catastrophic damage and flooding. Damage from Gustav is expected to be greater outside of the New Orleans area.

New Orleans Police superintendent said there had been no reports of injuries, looting or calls for rescue. The Levee system that was rebuilt after Katrina seems to be holding strong and no breaches were reported.

Although it has weakened to a Category 1 hurricane Gustav is spinning and slashing through Louisiana and there are concerns of significant flooding and impacts affecting the southern half of Mississippi and Texas where the storm seems to be heading.

A human catastrophe seems to have been averted by the early involvement and firm directives of federal state and local authorities taking charge and coordinating. One death due to a car smashing into a tree was reported and due to the coordination to get people out of harms way human loss is expected to be very low.

Damage to the area where Gustav made landfall could be devastating. Damage reports to refineries and drilling platforms in the Gulf will not be available until weather conditions improve and support teams can be sent to determine the impact.

The Gulf Coast is home to about half of the nation oil refining capacity and production from offshore accounts for about 25 %. Damage to refineries and platforms could cause gasoline prices to rise.

Flood to homes, inundations and damage to infrastructure is but impossible to avoid but that can be rebuilt. The federal government has declared disaster areas in the Gulf Coast and resources are pouring in from all over the country to deal with the aftermath and reconstruction.

This time FEMA, State and Local authorities were proactive anticipating to avoid the calamity of three years ago by providing resources, logistics and coordination ahead of the storm and making all kind of resources available to deal with an unprecedented historical evacuation and reconstruction to follow.

Efforts by local authorities working in cooperation with state and federal governments seem to have paid off as governors of Alabama, Louisiana Mississippi and Texas working in concert feel relieved that a major catastrophe has been avoided by coordination of resources and advance planning Though Gustav is still on people's minds, coastal residents of Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina are advised to monitor the track and development of Hurricane Hanna which has already begun to churn the ocean waters off the Southeast coast.

Survival Insights exhorts residents of the Eastern seaboard to take heed of the call for preparedness. It is important for people who live in these areas to have preparation plans well before a hurricane threatens to protect lives and property.

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