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Environmental Impacts of Hurricane Katrina

From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout Project 1994-2006. http://scout.wisc.edu/ (a most excellent resource)

Environmental Impacts of Hurricane Katrina [pdf]
http://www.st.nmfs.noaa.gov/hurricane_katrina/

Over the past few months, a number of government agencies have worked diligently to assist those affected by Hurricane Katrina, often working in tandem with other units of government throughout the region. One agency that is working to assess the marine environmental impacts of Katrina is the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The site is fairly simple to navigate, as it essentially contains a number of links to some of the projects they are currently working on throughout the region. Some of these projects include assessments of the marine mammal and turtle health and monitoring the area for harmful algal blooms. Visitors may also wish to learn about the currently deployed vessels that are out working in the area, or they may also want to take a look at their links section. [KMG]

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Whip up some hurricane cuisine

Whip up some hurricane cuisine

Move over, Emeril; make way for Marcia Magnus.

Under her guidance, students at Florida International University in Miami have recently published ‘The Healthy Hurricane/Disaster Cookbook.’
….
People cleaned out supermarket shelves of foods laced with salt or sugar, while some of the best survival victuals – canned fish and canned beans, for example – went untouched. So Dr. Magnus, an associate professor of dietetics and nutrition, challenged some students to come up with tasty, nutritious recipes that require little or no water and no electricity to prepare.

(pdf file) http://www.fiu.edu/~health/hurricaneseason/Cookbook.pdf


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McAdow: Past hurricanes felt locally

McAdow: Past hurricanes felt locally
By Ron McAdow/ Columnist
Thursday, September 8, 2005

Because they didn’t start naming storms until the early 1950s, that event is known only as The Great Hurricane of 1938. Like fireman’s musters and the cutting of pond ice, the hurricane was something I learned about from an elderly neighbor when I first moved to Massachusetts – it was a reference point for everyone in his generation. It took nearly 700 lives and made a permanent impression on everyone who survived.
….

Even 40 years later, the flood scars could be seen on the landscape (and older buildings) in the Northeast Kingdom, way up in Vermont. I was surveying for an environmental impact assessment on historic resources. Whole swathes of the 1930 topography were simply not there.

Here is what you can do to assist hurricane victims

Cherokee [OK] Manor Nursing Home, Cherokee: Accepting donations to provide bandages, blankets, medical supplies and other essential nursing home supplies to elderly nursing home residents affected by Hurricane Katrina. Call (580) 596-2141.

2004- Elderly in Florida at risk in every hurricane season

Fran Marscher Christian Science Monitor, Aug 22, 2004

HILTON HEAD, S.C. — Hurricane Charley demonstrated last weekend why some of the nation’s most vulnerable folk — the ill, the disabled, and the frail elderly — should think twice before taking up residence in the most dangerous parts of the hurricane-prone coastal regions. For those most at risk, public policymakers ought to discourage or prohibit development on the riskiest lands.

Last Saturday morning, rescue workers found a stunned and bewildered elderly woman alone in a smashed cinder-block condominium in a retirement community in one of the hard-hit areas of southwest Florida. Could she have evacuated? Did she understand ahead of time – – and in time — the threat to her life? Could she have packed her most precious belongings and driven herself through heavy traffic out of harm’s way to a safe place to spend the night? Now that her retirement home is wrecked beyond livability, where will she go?
….

Along with the responsibility of individuals for their own choices, elected officials have responsibilities for planning and zoning restrictions in the public interest. To often, they fan the fires of growth instead of looking after those unable to help themselves.

Assisted-living facilities have sprung up almost as fast as tennis courts near the nation’s beaches. By definition, thousands of their residents are incapable of evacuating themselves when a hurricane whirls offshore and aims landward. Their problems range from aches, pains and stiffness, to dependence on wheelchairs and bottled oxygen. In short, they need others to help them make it through every day. They should not be subjected either to the stress of hurricane evacuations or to the havoc of hurricane impact.
….

Living quarters for folk who are fragile, whether because of illness or age, should be sited appropriately — miles inland if necessary — certainly not on land likely to be flooded or subject to a hurricane’s highest winds. Further, all buildings anywhere in the coastal zones — but especially those housing the ill and the disabled, and those unable to live on their own — should be required to be built or retrofitted to withstand hurricane-force winds.

Where we call ourselves civilized, policymakers are obligated to protect those who cannot protect themselves.

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