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A hazard is defined as any object or thing that has the potential to cause injury, damage, or negative impacts to an individual or a large number of people (Dey & Singh, 2006). The loss caused by hazards can be classified as primary, secondary, or tertiary. The principal consequences are the harms that occur as a result of the risk itself. For example, a building collapse caused by landslides (Nelson, 2014). Secondary impacts occur as a result of the presence of primary effects, such as when electrical connections are disrupted due to an earthquake or flooding. Tertiary effects are lost lasting effects that are initialized by the primary results, for example in the case permanent alterations in the position of the river channel due to floods (Dey & Singh, 2006).
Hazards are broadly categorized into two: natural disasters and technological (human-made) hazards (Nelson, 2014). Natural hazards are real occurrences that occur geologically because of rapid or slow start events while technological are caused by humans and they usually occur in or around human inhabitants. Atmospheric hazards are an example of the natural risks; they result from the processes operational in the atmosphere, they include the following: lightning, tornadoes, drought, tropical cyclones and severe thunderstorms (USGS, 2017). Famine is an example of technological hazards that result from deforestation or pollution that causes variations in the climatic condition hence the seasons vary leading to little rainfall and consequently drought.
Risk refers to the distinctive correlation between the humans and geological processes such as; they can be hardly eliminated however knowledge is of essential to minimize their occurrence phenomena called hazard mitigation (Nelson, 2014). Risk assessment refers to the evaluation of risks from both the scientific knowledge as well as socio-economic impacts of the perilous event. For instance, the location of buildings in areas prone to hazards evaluating the physical threat and community vulnerability (USGS, 2017).
Natural Hazards in America
America, similar to other countries in the world, is faced with a plethora of natural disasters (Dey & Singh, 2006). Several hazards threaten the economy as well as the lives of the inhabitants. They include tsunamis, earthquakes, landslides, volcanos among others. Earthquakes are one of the serious threats to the American society. Their occurrences before have led to economic loss, injury, and dismissal. The adverse effects resulting from earthquakes can be reduced by developing the following strategy: effective planning, development and mitigation practices before the occurrence and lastly provide critical and well-timed knowledge to improve the response to the earthquake (USGS, 2017).
Landslides are very dangerous they have the potential to cause damage in the fifty states. They are risky to the emergency professionals during the rescue and recovery of the victims. Therefore it is important to strategize procedures to deal with this hazard (Archer, Borthwick, & Travers, 2014). To make accurate landslide maps, the forecast of occurrence and information on how to avoid or alleviate landslide effects severally questions needs to be addressed. These include: when and where the incident will take place? How is a huge landslide? How far and fast the landslides move? What will be the regions affected? And how often does a particular area experience the landslides? The Geological Survey developed the above questions to extract information to protect the inhabitants from the dangers resulting from the landslides (USGS, 2017).
Probable Disastrous Hazards
Based on the location of the city, it is prone to be adversely affected by some natural hazards (OSHA, 2016). Therefore, it is of the essence to be conversant with the most probable and strategies to reduce their impact on the lives and economy. Hurricanes, tornadoes, volcanic eruptions and floods on occurrence can be very lethal. Tornadoes are aggressively moving a column of air in contact with the surface of the earth and are mainly associated with a severe thunderstorm. Most tornadoes are powerful, unpredictable and destructive natural hazards (Archer, Borthwick, & Travers, 2014). Tornadoes majorly occur due to wind shear or instability (abnormally warm and humid condition in the lower atmosphere).
Floods is a mass of water that covers land that was initially dry; they can contaminate drinking water and lead to diseases and also cause erosion of the soil nutrient from a single region (Hyndman & Hyndman, 2016). They result from torrential downpours, melting snow from mountains, which increase the amount of water in the river causing overflows. Volcanic eruptions refer to the overflow of molten material (magma) from the vent on the earth surface on either the land or sea floor (Dey & Singh, 2006). These eruptions cannot be forecasted, but the big and active volcanoes are routinely scrutinized and release warnings in case they predict an occurrence.
Natural hazards cannot be prevented. However, several strategies (mitigating action) need to develop to reduce the adverse effects. Firstly, development and implementation of policies for national readiness to cope with an emergency should be documented and readily available to all residents (Nelson, 2014). Secondly, all institutions should be encouraged to support preparedness and mitigation action in collaboration with the local authority. Thirdly, training program should be made a mandate to all institution to equip everyone with knowledge. The natural hazards should be identified and analyzed, and scientific researchers should be well funded to enhance their operations in forecasting. Lastly, there should be the launch of mutual support and teamwork among the local authority and citizens (Nelson, 2014)
Archer, R., Borthwick, K., & Travers, M. (2014). WHS: A Management Guide PDF. Melbourne: Cengage Learning Australia.
Dey, B., & Singh, R. (2006). Natural Hazards and Disaster Management. Delhi: Chandu Press.
Hyndman, D., & Hyndman, . (2016). Natural Hazards and Disasters. Boston: Cengage.
Nelson, P. S. (2014). Natural Hazards and Natural Disasters. Natural Disasters.
OSHA. (2016). Hazards. Washington DC: Occupational Safety and Health Association.
USGS. (2017). U.S. Geological Survey. USGS.
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