Magazine article Risk Management

Risk Atlas

Magazine article Risk Management

Risk Atlas

Article excerpt

U.S. Megadisaster Threats

Our cover story this month focuses on the destruction '"of Haiti and how better disaster prevention, response and..multi-agency relief coordination^Kne,e'ded both globally and nationally. As we saw with Hurricane Katrina, it is not just the, developing world that can be woefully unprepared for disaster. And after all the u/íathomable death tolls and flattened cities we have seen across the world over thé past decade, the failure to properly respond to disasters in developed nations will. seem increasingly unforgivable. We now have the science to predict and the knowledge to respond to the inevitable dK sasters of the future and, although you cannot sltfp an earthquake or a hurricane, you can know it is coming and be ready. This map shows the top disaster threats facin the United States and explains why we remairf underprepared. -JW


Mount Rainier majestically overlooks Seattle and while it has not erupted in 5,000 years, the fact that the peak sits directly above tectonic plates troubles scientists. Predicting what will happen when a volcano erupts is more guesswork than science, but ensuing chaos and destruction would be far-reaching, and any evacuation plans in existence are not well known by those living throughout the region.


The images of a New Orleans overwhelmed by floodwaters in 2005 helped prompt California to bolster and refurbish the substandard levees that protect dozens of communities throughout the state. Though the project remains behind schedule and underfunded, Sacramento has begun the fortification process (which is far from finished), and while this is commendable, many other municipalities remain at risk of major flooding if their levees fail.


Citizens and governments throughout California remain painfully aware that the "Big One" is inevitable, and although the state has been increasing its prevention efforts ever since the 1906 San Francisco quake that left half the city homeless, the retrofitting of buildings remains delayed in many areas due to deficits, and effective disaster response plans are still far from ubiquitous. From LA. to the Bay, cities should be actively planning for the next major quake.


The Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower) is far from the only major terrorist target in the country, but it is one prime example of a location that could face tragic loss of life, huge economic loss and major disruption. …

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