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A Major Catastrophic Recovery Program for Events Like Hurricane Sandy by Dr. Joseph S. Maresca

Preparing for Catastrophic Events and Recovering After They Hit

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Preparing for Catastrophic Events and Recovering After They Hit

  • Nov 18, 2012

This article will cover recovery aspects which communities and local governments should look to in order to restore residential homes and commercial businesses in the post Hurricane Sandy period and for future exigencies.

In the storm surge of Hurricane Sandy, the winds impacted areas such as  New York Harbor, Staten Island, Queens, and Brooklyn. The hurricane lifted the sea and piled water onto the nearby land areas. The great tides created shear forces that ripped through neighborhoods and reduced the local housing and infrastructure to rubble.

Local, state, and federal agencies are working to find temporary housing, food, medical care and other necessities until the people impacted are able to settle into permanent housing. Entities like the Red Cross are providing for food and temporary shelter together with local charities and federal agencies like FEMA. Property insurers are involved for people who have residential home and major flood insurance.

There are ways to reduce the impact of a storm surge on people. For instance, parks, playgrounds, tracks, tennis courts, and ball fields could be put into place within ocean proximity instead of residential and commercial buildings which create difficult and expensive evacuation and disaster recovery planning issues.

In addition, zoning laws and building codes may changed for beach areas which abut major waterways. These codes could provide for the use of mobile homes and manufactured housing which is easier to install and less costly to maintain and insure.

Clearly, multi-million dollar structures should be placed farther away from major waterways. People could utilize public storage facilities located inland for more valuable personal possessions in the event of major hurricanes, storm surges or other catastrophic events.

In addition, marsh lands could be employed as boundaries around communities and valuable commercial real estate which abut a major waterway or ocean. Sand dunes may be upgraded with geotextile tubes covered with sand to protect beach areas impacted by hurricane force winds and storm surges.

In rural and recreational areas which abut oceans, hurricane storm shutters may be employed to protect windows from great winds.  Storm rated shutters are made from high quality woods like mahogany.

These shutters have unparalleled strength and protective value. There is a brace between the top of the window frame and the ground for single family dwellings. The wind shear hits the brace, the wind and rain disperse and the windows are protected from breakage.                                     

Seawall barriers or units may be used to enhance protection against wind and wave damage.
These barriers are concrete structures that are reinforced with steel and adapted for use in a variety
of applications which exist to preserve and maintain properties which abut waterways.  There always is a need for an improved type of a seawall barrier that can be readily  positioned on a shoreline to retard or prevent erosion thereof.                                                                       

Dam safety is another important issue for local communities during storms. The problem involves high wind, overturning moments and the mitigation of flood damage  local to dams.

Dam reinforcement issues include providing for overturning moments, adequate tensile strength and stability of the concrete, as well as shear friction issues and the compressive load of the structure itself. The shear friction issues may include the concrete surface as well as the shear resistance of the reinforced steel. Classically, Euler's formula is employed for buckling issues in the structural evaluation.  

Each time a major hurricane, flood or even an earthquake event happens, the existing municipal and  industrial contingency and disaster recovery plans should be upgraded in light of the experience gained during the catastrophic event. In addition, home owners and commercial establishments should work with their insurers and with FEMA in order to get funding to rebuild their homes and businesses. Sometimes, locating homes inland may be a better long term solution over simply rebuilding structures in harm's way.

Credits : First Published on Blogcritics with link at: (Full Article)

References:   Drains   Euler   seawall barriers   dunes              
Preparing for Catastrophic Events and Recovering After They Hit

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November 24, 2012
Very nicely done.
November 25, 2012
I can count on you to read these reviews and appreciate the contents. I see that 7500+ people have viewed this. Perhaps, some people among the readership will benefit from this article. I certainly hope that is the case.
November 24, 2012
Very informative piece! Love the references!
November 25, 2012
Thanks for the kind words.
About the reviewer
Dr Joseph S Maresca ()
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Dr. Joseph S. Maresca CPA, CISA      21 Amazon / KDP Books including:   SEARCH- America's Comparative Advantage by Dr Joseph S Maresca   SEARCH- The Solar Energy … more
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