Natural Disasters


Fields(2009) is a proposition of sustainable methods that modern cities canuse to achieve long-term sustainability against natural catastrophessuch as Hurricane Katrina. The research is based on a case study ofthe post- Katrina in the New Orleans city. One of therecommendations to solve the flooding problem in the city wasrelocating the people living in high-risk regions to the safer areas.That is redesigning the urban construction design in the highlandareas such that the population in the lowland areas can relocatethere. However, the solution faces high political opposition from thepeople who reside in the lowland areas since their land will beconverted into a green area for both storm water management andecological functions (p. 327).

Accordingto the study, a compact city is effective since the occupants canaccess different regions through either walking or use ofeco-friendly transit such as electric trains. The compact citydesign will reduce the number of cars used as well as the greenhousegasses the vehicles would release into the atmosphere (p. 329). NewOrleans primarily intends to achieve long-term sustainability againstthe climate change by the implementation of the Lafitte Greenwayproject (p. 340). The city developers and the people waiting for theprogram expect to achieve for major outcomes. First, it will renovateand preserve the original historic sites located in the country.Secondly, it will create ‘green corridors” that will connect thecultural institutions. Third, the program will construct affordablehouses that low-income earners can afford to buy (p. 341).

Inmy view, the green corridor is an innovative strategy to controlnatural climate disasters associated with climate change since humansrelocate to safe zones. The unsafe lowlands can then provide suitablegrounds for the development of natural vegetation cover that iswaning fast due to increased human activities to acquire new land fordevelopment purposes. Moreover, the conservation of the historicalsites and landmarks will attract the tourists that will also help togenerate foreign exchange.

Similarly,Gerald Galloway explores the strategies that the United Statesgovernment has used to control flooding and the risks it causes tothe people who live in lowland regions. The author asserts thatflooding is common in the United States therefore, the country hasused diverse methods to contain vulnerability to water risks. Forinstance, the government focused on the construction of structuressuch as floodways, sleeves and dams (Galloway 301). However, thenonstructural methods of controlling flooding became famous in the1990s since the federal government decreased the budget allocated toflood control programs. The idea to control flooding in the plainsgained higher momentum in 1993 after the extreme Mississippi flood(which damaged property worth over 20 billion USD and killed over 103humans) (Galloway 301). The Interagency Floodplain Management ReviewCommittee (IFMRC) established after the 1993 overflow of theMississippi River recommended that proposed that floodplains shouldnot be developed unless an alternative for the program is inexistentor the project is water-related. Secondly, it recommended reducingflood vulnerability in the regions that have been previously affectedby the relocation of people, structures, use of floodwalls, upstreamstorage and floodproofing (Galloway 302). Thirdly, remake destroyedriverine regions. Fourthly, minimize damage through educating thepublic on flood issues, warning them of flood risks in advance aswell as the provision of insurance plans to the vulnerable population(Galloway 306).From a personal perspective, the US governmentapproach to controlling natural disasters that result from floodingare based on economic approach. As a result, they aim to reduce thedestruction and the loss that will occur after a flood. However, thebest approach should aim at protecting the human life. Relocation ofthe people living in a flood plain is indispensable.

Inan article based on EF-5 tornado observation, Dr. Beth A.Forshee-Hakala argues that natural disasters increase the cases ofpneumonia infection. She attributes the cases of increased pneumoniacases to the disturbance the tornado causes. The strong windsaerosolize germs found in the soil, so they become infective.Consequently, the unusual lung infection requires aggressivetreatment with a wide range of antibacterial. The author observesthat the regular approach to the lung infections uses limitedvarieties of antibiotics to address the condition. However, themedication is inadequate for the treatment of infections that resultfrom atypical soil microbes. She observes that such outbreaks mighttake some time before they become obvious in the atmosphere. For thefirst four days, trauma is the most pronounced in many patients. Thesecond phase occurs between the fourth day and the fourth week. Theinfection spreads through food, air and water. Phase 3 is the finalstage, and recurrence of latent infections characterizes it.

Pneumoniacan cause death or substantial damage to internal organs in case apatient lacks effective treatment. Subsequently, health careprofessionals should increase use a large variety of medication totreat victims of natural disasters such as tornado and flooding. Onthe same note, the population living in flood-prone regions shouldtake pneumonia antibiotics or vaccination as part of the preparationto combat pneumonia outbreaks. The federal government should alsoinvest in research towards Forshee-Hakala’s hypothesis of increasedpneumonia cases after natural disasters to determine other potentialinfections that could increase or put the population at risk.

InDing, Hu, Zhang and Wang (2015), the authors claim that the extent ofthe injury after natural disasters, such as earthquakes, vary basedon many factors. The authors arrived at the findings throughcomparing the outcome of the Wenchuan and Nepal earthquakes that were5.12 and 4.25 on the Richter scale respectively. Both disasters hadthe same magnitude, but the level of injuries varied substantiallybecause they are located in different geographic and climaticenvironment (Ding et al. 1). In the Wenchuan earthquake, thehumanitarian medical team attended to 465 patients in a period ofthree days. The same team also took care of 71 patients of theNepal’s earthquake at Katmandu. In both cases, the sexes of theinjured patients, as well as the victims` age, variedinsignificantly. Bruises caused by heavy drops were the most commoninjuries in both cases. However, a majority of the wounded people inthe Nepal earthquake were senior citizens who were aged above 65years. On the contrary, the majority of the injured patients in theWenchuan earthquake were people aged between 21 and 60 years old. Themost frequent injuries in both disasters were fractures caused byfalling debris (Ding et al. 2). In summary, the case study finds thatthe height and climatic factors substantially determined the numberof injured individuals. Probably, the age factors the number ofinjured victims in such disasters. However, the study concludes thatthe earthquakes mainly cause massive injuries to the senior citizenssince they lack the strength to escape to the safe places (Ding etal. 4).


Fieldsdiscusses some of the strategies that New Orleans has beenconsidering to apply to stop flooding accidents in the region. One ofthese strategies includes portioning the city into safe and hazardousareas. The safe zones are mostly the highland regions where thehurricane cannot reach. The new city design should sustainhigh-density settlement such that the people from the flood plainscan resettle in the safe areas (Fields 327). On the other hand, thelow-lying planes should be left furrow so that natural forests canregenerate. The strategy can apply at a local level because thegovernment can provide affordable housing in the higher lands.Similarly, the proposition to refrain from developing the flood-proneregions, unless there is no alternative feasible location for theproject or the program is water oriented, is also applicable to allthe regions that are vulnerable to floods (Fields 328). Lastly, thetraditional methods of flood management such as the construction ofdams, restoration of riverside banks that are damages as well asconstructions of barriers to contain water are still potentialmethods that can help to control excess flooding in the floodplainswhere people have settled (Fields 330). Several regions that areclose to the Coat are vulnerable to flooding caused by hurricanessuch as Katrina. In addition, the strategies can also be used inlow-lying plains that are close to riverbeds such as the Mississippi.The study recommends that all states should develop the safe-zoningregulations that will restrain developers from constructingstructures in high-risk regions that are prone to flooding (Fields328).

Presently,many people who live close to the rivers or coasts are educated ondiverse methods they should use to control flooding. For instance,several organizations are dedicated to educating the public about thealternatives available when they in case they live close to a watersource. The source recommends various flood control methods such asleaving a green corridor. The corridor refers to expansive land thatis unsettled, and probably with natural forest. In the case of anoverflow situation, the water will just flood the empty lands(Galloway 301). As a result, the damage to human property and livesdecrease substantially. The reconstruction of a riverine environmentand building barriers for the rivers can help to mitigate floodrisks, but the strategy is a short-term control method because itdoes not address the cause of the problem. Similarly, offeringpeople compensation for the damages caused by flooding is a badapproach to flooding control (Galloway 304).Instead, thegovernment should use the insurance proceeds to secure settlements insafer places that are not vulnerable to flooding. The green corridorproposition is applicable at the local level, but the governmentwould need to pass regulations that would allow it to retake propertylocated close to the rivers and beaches that are susceptible toflooding from river overflow and hurricane calamities (Galloway 307).

Pneumoniais widespread lung infections that can kill the affected patients ifthey fail to receive appropriate treatment on time. The condition isoften prevalent in the post- natural disaster zones. DoctorForshee-Hakala asserts that natural disasters such as the hurricaneKatrina disturb the soil, thereby, releases atypical bacteria intothe atmosphere. The pathogens in turn cause pneumonia infections thatcannot be treated using regular antibacterial drugs (Forshee-Hakala). The solution in such a case involves using a combination of variousantibacterial medications that cannot be used in normal patients.Nevertheless, the doctor recommends cautions medical experts againstusing the aggressive treatment method on patients who are sufferingfrom pneumonia that is not related to the hurricane since theinfections result from one type of pathogens that can b successfullytreated using one of the antibacterials. The findings can be used atthe global scale to treat stubborn pneumonia infections worldwide(Forshee-Hakala).

Finally,earthquakes are common in regions such as Japan, Nepal and Chinaamong other places across the globe. Scores of people often sustainserious injuries while others lose their lives each time thecalamities occur. The research investigates potential factors thatmay contribute to increased injuries by using the data of patientsthey treated in Nepal and Wenchuan earthquakes respectively (Galloway301). The findings indicate that earthquakes tend to cause moreinjuries in the higher areas than in lowland places. The injuriesresult from falling objects. The researchers also observe that theage also determines the extent of injuries sustained. The seniorcitizens would require urgent and intensive medical care in apost-natural disaster environment. The findings in the article areimportant at a global scale level since they offer practical methodsthat the government, emergency medical response teams and otherstakeholders in the rescue mission of people affected by the calamitycan use to reduce the extent of injuries (Galloway 302). The studyproposes that the rescue team can reduce the magnitude of deathsrelated to the natural disasters through the provision of injurycontrol, early medical rescue and delivery of reliable food supplyand gear for warmth retention. Reliable transportation should also bereadily available to facilitate the transfer of the injured people toa safe ground (Galloway 304). The findings of the study areinvaluable at the local level as it provides proven strategies thatprofessionals responding to the emergencies can use to expedite therescue services without compromising the quality of the servicesdelivered to individual victims.


DingSheng, Yonghe Hu, Zhongkui Zhang and Ting Wang. A Contrast Study ofthe Traumatic Condition between the Wounded In 5.12 WenchuanEarthquake And 4.25 Nepal Earthquake. ChineseJournal of Traumatology(2015): n. pag. Web. 7 November 2015.

Fields,Billy. “From Green Dots to Greenways: Planning in the Age ofClimate Change in Post-Katrina New Orleans.” Journalof Urban Design14.3(2009): 325–344. Print.

Forshee-Hakala,Beth A. “Pneumonia Cases Following an EF-5 Tornado.” AmericanJournal of Infection Control43.7 (2015): 682–685. Print. Doi:10.1016/j.ajic.2015.02.027.

Galloway,Gerald E. Flood risk management in the United States and the impactof Hurricane Katrina. InternationalJournal of River Basin Management6.4. (2008): 301-306. Print. DOI: 10.1080/15715124.2008.9635357.