Superstorm Sandy (2012)
Superstorm Sandy is considered to be one of the largest Atlantic Hurricanes (about 900 miles in diameter). It destroyed a total of $70billion worth of property and loss of 233 lives. Superstorm Sandy strengthened up to category 3. It affected countries such as Jamaica, Bahamas, Cuba, and Canada, and the U.S.
Although the hurricane may have occurred out of natural forces, climatic change also contributed to the disaster. For instance, the temperature at the sea surface had increased significantly. The warmer temperatures intensified the strength of the storm. Again, global warming had caused the melting of the Arctic front. The New Jersey Coastline had risen by close to one foot.
The response to Superstorm Sandy was effective. For instance, the hurricane was predicted eight days before it happened. The European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecast made an accurate prediction of the path of Superstorm Sandy. This was enabled by the use of advanced computer models. Technology proved to be a critical resource in disaster management. The pathway of Superstorm Sandy was unique from that of other hurricanes discovered in a similar position. For instance, most storms in that position move east towards open Atlantic. However Superstorm Sandy moved westwards towards land.
The relevant authorities alerted the public in advance. First, they issued a hurricane watch. As the storm intensified, the alert was upgraded to a hurricane warning. Places that would be adversely affected were identified, and the public was informed of preparation measures. Federal state and tribal emergency partners worked together to prepare for the storm. In the United States, the National Guard and the Air Force dispatched about 45000 personnel in areas that were more likely to be affected by the hurricane.
After the hurricane, several parties came to the aid of victims. Many media organization organized for fundraising and donations. The United Nations offered relief food and other basic needs to the affected. President Obama and the U.S. Senate authorized victims of the hurricane to request for aid. The emphasis on the need to embrace environmental conservation intensified.
Hurricane Maria (2017)
Hurricane Maria was classified to be of category 5. Puerto Rico and Dominica were the worst affected by the Hurricane. In Dominica, almost 85% of the houses and property was destroyed. In Puerto Rico, about 85 percent of homes and property was damaged. Hurricane Maria caused the loss of more than 3000 lives. Moreover, vast amounts of transport and other types of infrastructure were severely damaged. The destruction of Hurricane Maria was approximated to be about $91 billion.
Like Superstorm Sandy, the storm was caused partly by natural forces, but also the effects of global warming and climatic change. Warmer temperatures and rising sea levels significantly contributed to the severity. The environmental conditions were favorable for advancing the speed of the hurricane.
Hurricane Maria was monitored through satellite technology. The National Hurricane Center played an important role in tracking the hurricane. The relevant authorities issued a tropical storm watch to the public. As Maria intensified, the public was warned about the impending danger and the necessary preparations.
The response to Hurricane Maria was less effective compared to other similar disasters. For example, the federal government took longer (10 days) to suspend the Jones Act. The act barred commonwealth members from receiving goods from ships that are not built, owned and operated by U.S citizens or permanent residents. As a result, there were significant delays in sending relief to the affected areas. Again the Federal Emergency Management Agency sent inadequate personnel. Only about 10000 personnel were dispatched to the affected areas. Other disasters like hurricanes Irma and Harvey received more than 20000 staff. Many of these individuals were also not well trained. The shortage was due to the commitment of the agency’s personnel in other areas that had been previously affected. The supply of meals, tarps, and water was also compared to the case of similar disasters like hurricane Irma and Harvey.