Risk Identification And Justification
The identified disaster risk is tornado, which is defined as “a violently rotating column in contact with the ground that is usually overhanging from a parent cumulonimbus cloud” (Vinod 2011, par 7).
This disaster brings lots of impacts to the community living in the region. Though most Tornados last for only a few minutes, they have been viewed as being the most destructive meteorological disasters in the world. However, there are those Tornados which might last for several hours, and might even travel for a very long distance apart from being wide.
Due to the fact that this risk is prone during storms, heavy rains and bad weather conditions particularly in the evening, Indiana University Bloomington (IUB) will be affected most in case Tornado strikes the region. This is because of its location and weather patterns. In addition, since IUB is located within right front Quadrant, it will be affected by tornadoes and heavy rains; which might lead to life and property loss, as well as infrastructure destruction.
Due to the fact that Tornado is a natural disaster that locations around IUB need to be prepared of; there are lots of vulnerabilities in the University. There are many facilities in IUB that are being controlled by many people.
For instance, in case the disaster happens and affect learning institutions like Universities in the region, the university will incur a lot of losses. For example, the university has buildings being used as classrooms, offices, dining halls, stores, and hostels among other things. In case such buildings are destroyed by Tornado, the university will have to incur lots of expenses to rebuild them.
In addition, in case classrooms are destroyed, learning activities will be affected much. This is because before rebuilding, learning process for students within the campus will come to a standstill first. On the other hand, if hostels are destroyed, where will boarding students spend their night? This means that the university will have to either incur other expenses of renting houses for them, or close the university till they rebuild them.
Nevertheless, in case dining places are destroyed, it will be very hard for students, lecturers and university workers to have their meals. There are other buildings within the university being used as seminar and meeting rooms. Such buildings might not necessarily be used by student population, but they might be used by lecturers, administrators and even the surrounding communities. In case of destruction, what will happen to them?
Nevertheless, the IUB houses other buildings which are being used as business premises, and a very large percentage of such buildings will be destroyed in case Tornado strikes the area. This will result to a halt of important services offered by this business community.
Apart from this stoppage, it will also result to destruction of income sources of such individuals who drives the economy of the country. There are other buildings within IUB that might bring lots of effect to the livelihood of the community leaving in IUB, for instance, the libraries acting as source of information to all people.
In addition, the university houses the supercomputing and as well as network equipment which in total costs about 50 million dollars. In case this centre is destroyed, the information technology will incur a very big loss. To protect the centre from Tornado destruction, the university has constructed an “82,700 square-foot Data Centre is designed to withstand the strongest tornadoes, as well as a host of other potential disasters” (Indian Red Cross 2008, par 8).
On the other hand, structures like roads will be destroyed, and this will lead to a halt in transport within and without IUB. There are chances that communications within and without the region will be cut down, and this will have lots of impacts on the community, government and non government agencies (Vinod 2011, par 3). In general, the university has placed several warnings concerning Tornado occurrences and ways through which people can stay safe.
Risk Assessment of the Threat
Though Tornados are very destructive in nature, the probability that they will strike India including IUB is very low. It is perceived that, in a year, this disaster might happen only once or twice. Most of these tornados in India have been reported during April and June, which are hot months in India (Indian Red Cross 2008, par 4).
The most destructive incidences have been observed in “northeast India, northwest India, central parts of the Country and southwest Peninsula. Tornados over eastern and north-eastern parts of the country are more severe in intensity than those of other regions” (Geophys Union 2005, par 5). In 2002, Ellettsville town, which is only a few miles from IUB, experienced an F3 category tornado. This disaster occurred with winds travelling at a speed of 200 miles per hour. This led to a destruction of properties worth $ 10 million.
Plan of Action for My Personal Safety
My action plan for personal safety entails the following activities:
Leaving my home immediately the government announces evacuation program.
Am always aware of security conditions around the area by listening to news and reading newspapers.
I have identified exit routes and emergence telephone numbers.
Always avoiding overcrowded areas as they seem to be more insecure and dangerous.
Checking and listening to news updates concerning weather condition.
Checking out for special medicines as well as drugs
Moving valuables to safer grounds in advance.
Staying indoors part away from windows
Some of the necessary resources during Tornado include money, boats, axes, food, radio/television, batteries, imperishable foods, spotlight, blankets, phone and very strong houses (Emergency.iub.edu 2011, par 8).
The occurrence of Tornado around IUB is real. This is as a result of its geographical location as well as historical events. Due to the fact that this area has learning institutions like Indiana University Bloomington and other infrastructures being used by many people from different regions as well as from IUB itself, the impact will be of great loss to the population in case the population is not well prepared. The event will not only affect economic activities, but it will also have lots of effects on peoples social life, and students’ education.
However, in case the community around IUB is well educated and prepared, then this risk will be managed. Education can be conducted to ensure that people know what to do to ensure that they are safe, for instance, building windstorm resistant houses.
The federal emergency management authorities should also educate people on how to inculcate disaster preparedness culture among the people of IUB. During evacuation, it is good to carry things like blankets, imperishable foods, apart from knowing exit routs and emergency phone numbers.
Indian Red Cross. Severe Local Storms and Tornadoes. 2008. 21, November 2011.
Vinod, Sharma. Natural Disaster Management in India. 2011. 21, November 2011. < http://bprd.nic.in/writereaddata/linkimages/8793954309-Disaster%20Management%20Trainng%20Material.pdf>.
Geophys Union. Extreme Weather Events over India in the last 100 years. 2005. 21, November 2011.
Emergency.iub.edu. Preparing Campuses for Protection. 2011. 21, November 2011.