TO EVACUATE OR NOT TO EVACUATE FOR HURRICANES A PRIMER OF KNOWLEDGE THAT CAN MULTIPLY AND SPILL OVER FOR THE BENEFIT OF MILLIONS Walter Hays, Global Alliance for Disaster Reduction, University of North Carolina, USA
NATURAL HAZARDS FOR WHICH EVACUATION IS TYPICAL FLOODS GOAL: MOVE PEOPLE OUT OF HARM’S WAY HURRICANES TYPHOONS HIGH BENEFIT/COST FOR SAVING LIVES, BUT LOW BENEFIT/COST FOR PROTECTING PROPERTY TSUNAMIS VOLCANIC ERUPTIONS WILDFIRES
EXAMPLE: HURRICANE DEANTHE FIRST NORTH ATLANTIC HURRICANE OF 2007 CAUSED EVACUATIONS AND PREPARATIONS FROM THE CARIBBEAN TO THE GULF OF MEXICO TO OUTER SPACE A CATEGORY 2-3 STORM ON 17 AUGUST 2007 A CATEGORY 4 STORM ON 18 AUGUST 2007 A CATEGORY 5 STORM ON 20-21 AUGUST
HURRICANE HAZARD • INVENTORY • VULNERABILITY • LOCATION • PREVENTION/MITIGATION • PREPAREDNESS • EMERGENCY RESPONSE • RECOVERY and • RECONSTRUCTION • EDUCATIONAL SURGE RISK ASSESSMENT POLICY OPTIONS ACCEPTABLE RISK RISK UNACCEPTABLE RISK HURRICANE RISK REDUCTION YOUR COMMUNITY DATA BASES AND INFORMATION HAZARDS: GROUND SHAKING GROUND FAILURE SURFACE FAULTING TECTONIC DEFORMATION TSUNAMI RUN UP AFTERSHOCKS
IF YOU CHOOSE NOT TO EVACUATE, YOU MUST PREPARE TO FIGHT THE WIND, WATER, AND MUDSLIDES THAT ARE COMING
HAZARDS OF A HURRICANE (AKA POTENTIAL DISASTER AGENTS) • WIND FIELD (COUNTER CLOCKWISE DIRECTION; CAT 1 (55 mph) TO CAT 5 (155 mph or greater) • STORM SURGE • HEAVY PRECIPITATION • LANDSLIDES (MUDFLOWS) • COSTAL EROSION • STORM PACKETS (SOMETIMES)
CAUSES OF DAMAGE WIND PENETRATING BUILDING ENVELOPE UPLIFT OF ROOF SYSTEM FLYING DEBRIS STORM SURGE HURRICANES IRREGULARITIES IN ELEVATION AND PLAN “DISASTER LABORATORIES” SITING PROBLEMS FLOODING AND LANDSLIDES
HURRICANE DEAN: A CATEGORY 2-3 STORM ON AUGUST 17 • The eye of hurricane Dean, the first of the North Atlantic season, passed between the Caribbean islands: St. Lucia and Martinique, on Friday,August 17. • The two islands, less than 80 km (50 mi) apart were, were struck with winds of 165 - 200 km per hour (100 - 125 mi per hour), storm surge, and heavy rain.
IMPACTS ON MARTINIQUE • In Martinique, Hurricane Dean ripped roofs from houses, schools, and other buildings. • 100 percent of Martinique’s banana crop and 70 percent of the sugar cane crop were destroyed. • Trees were downed. • Electrical power was knocked out. • Airport were closed. • Tourists in coastal hotels were evacuated. • $270 million damage to infrastructure
IMPACTS ON ST. LUCIA • In St. Lucia, Hurricane Dean turned the capital into a messy mixture of flood water and debris. • It ripped corrugated roofs off houses as well as the roof of the pediatric wing of Victoria Hospital. • It forced evacuations.
IMPACTS ON ST. LUCIA • Hurricane Dean’s storm surge breached a protective sea wall, caused flooding, and created mountains of debris. • Downed electrical power poles and lines forced utility companies to shut off electrical power to prevent electrocution. • Loss of communications forced door-to-door warnings.
IMPACTS ON DOMINICA • In Dominica, which is located north of Martinique, Hurricane Dean caused flooding, damaged 150 houses, and downed some fences and trees. • Dominica’s banana crop, a major export, was battered by Dean’s winds and rain.
EXPECTED IMPACTS ON HAITI AND DOMINICAN REPUBLIC • Hurricane Dean was expected to dump 12 cm (5 in) of rain on Hispanola, the location of Haiti and the Dominion Republic. • Haiti and the Dominion Republic are both prone to landslides and flooding, which heavy rainfall will exacerbate.
PREPARATION ON JAMAICA FOR DEAN’S ARRIVAL ON AUGUST 19 • Remembering tropical storm Jeanne in 2004 and expecting a direct hit from Hurricane Dean on Sunday with high winds and up to 50 cm (20 in) of rain, the 3 million residents were advised to began serious preparations.
PREPARATION ON JAMAICA FOR DEAN’S ARRIVAL ON AUGUST 19 • If riding out the storm, the initial actions were to stock up on food and water, to board houses, and tie down loose objects. • If evacuating, to move to shelters, or leave the area.
PREPARATION IN JAMAICA FOR DEAN’S ARRIVAL ON AUGUST 19 • Tourists began going to the airport to leave. • Officials called a halt to campaigning for the elections on August 27th. • 1,000 Hurricane shelters in schools, churches, and indoor sports arenas were opened on August 18th and placed in a state-of-readiness. • But only 47 were fully occupied when the winds and rains began arriving on the 19th.
CARIBBEAN INSURED LOSSES ESTIMATED AT $1.5 TO $3 BILLION • Most of the insured loss of $1.5 to $3 billion calculated by risk modeling company, EQECAT, for Hurricane Dean’s trek through the Caribbean is in Jamaica.