A recent update from Admiral Gurnon informed us that FEMA continues to utilize the TS Kennedy in Staten Island as the floating hotel for hundreds of disaster workers who have been sent to the New York areas in the wake of the destruction brought by Hurricane Sandy. Captain Bushy reports that the crew is extremely busy, averaging about 400 or more emergency workers as "guests" each night; some from as far away as Minnesota and Maryland. The work of the FEMA employees is slow and difficult but the need is great.
Here on campus and on Seaterm cadets study emergency management and some cadets choose it as their major as preparation to enter the field.
Emergency management protects communities by coordinating and integrating all activities necessary to prepare for, respond to, and recover from threatened or actual natural disasters, acts of terrorism, or other man-made disasters. The profession and the academic discipline that addresses this 'management' of emergencies and disasters is called emergency management. An emergency is any unplanned event that can cause deaths or significant injuries, shut down business or disrupt operations, cause physical or environmental damage and/or threaten reputation or revenue.
Emergencies and disasters come in all shapes and sizes. They include hurricanes, earthquakes, hazardous materials incidents, flooding, structure fires, tornadoes, terrorism, protests, human epidemics, volcanic eruptions, drought, heat waves, power outages, computer system failures and many, many more.
Whatever the event, effective coordination among federal, state, country and local government, the private sector, non-governmental organizations (NGO's) and volunteer agencies- before, during and after an incident- is crucial to effective emergency management. The role of the emergency manger is to promote coordination among all of these parties.
The recent Superstorm, Hurricane Sandy that hit New York and New Jersey coast line seemed more devastating than any we have seen on the East Coast Two before. In fact more powerful hurricanes have struck northeast coast before. Why did this disaster seem to create more damage than before? The difference is that we have changed the way we live. We overdeveloped the coastal area, stripping the land of natural buffers like wetlands and trees that formed protection in the past.
To learn more about Hurricanes try these activities
The raging planet-hurricane hands on activity
This simple hurricane game might also help students think about the factors that influence a storm’s intensity.
To learn more math and science of hurricanes click on the websites below:
What is a hurricane? How does one form? Where are they found? Here is an overview and lesson from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and here are their general hurricane education resources. Then, explore the wealth of available weather data. Check out the path of Hurricane Sandy and compare it to the paths of other recent hurricanes. How do average wind speeds change with respect to distance to land? How quickly do storms dissipate once they make landfall? Estimate Hurricane Sandy’s total rainfall using this graph, or compare and contrast the different water levels along the coast using this map, both from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
You can also find nine different lessons on hurricane anatomy, wind patterns, air pressure, heat transfer and more at the Science Education Resource Center at Carleton College.