Question

Write a short paper on the impact and use of technology in mitigating and/or responding to natural disasters. At least 5 real-life examples of natural disasters should be provided. It is suggested that the student works to address as many natural disasters as discussed in the class. The final project is expected to be submitted in a word or pdf format with a max of 10 pages.

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Forecasting technology and improvements in engineering are critical means to mitigate natural disasters. Forecasting technology allows the public to evacuate or take cover from hurricanes and/or tornadoes. Several decades ago, this technology did not exist, but forecasts certainly lowered the death tolls of several hurricanes. Tornado forecasting is trickier because of how rapidly they form in an unsettled atmosphere so the public does not have as much time to prepare. However, improvements in tornado forecasting are critical to surviving in the Midwest and Southeast, where tornadoes are prevalent. Additionally, functional dikes and levees in low-lying areas classify as engineering improvements that have saved thousands of lives. Unfortunately in 2005, the levees in New Orleans were not built to sustain a near-direct hit from Hurricane Katrina, a Category 5 storm. In the Netherlands, the dikes protecting low-lying cities like Rotterdam were not sufficient protection for a huge North Sea storm in 1953. The Dutch built a much stronger dike system in response to the 1953 North Sea storm; the US Army Corps of Engineers are currently fixing New Orleans’ levee system to ensure that the city survives another inevitable major hurricane....

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