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Transcript of Hurricane Katrina
What is a Hurricane?
A Hurricane is a tropical storm containing winds at maximum speeds and large areas of rainfall. These high winds and massive rainfalls may cause abnormal changes in sea level and possible flooding. Christopher Columbus was the first European Individual to write about hurricanes. The Indians of Guatemala called the god of stormy weather "Hunrakan" Similar names were created throughout the Caribbean. The ocean water temperatures are obligatory to reach 79 degrees Fahrenheit in order for a hurricane to from. Meteorologist refer to a tropical storm when temperatures fall below 74 degrees Fahrenheit and it is later referred to a hurricane when wind speeds grow stronger and more powerful. A Hurricane has a central point known as the "Eye." The "Eye" stretches from 10 to 30 miles and often contains calm and steady winds, warm and temperate weather conditions and clear skies. Around this peaceful environment, gusty winds reach up to more than 200 miles per hour. Hurricanes are scaled by categories from 1-5. 1 being the least destructive and 5 being the most destructive.
Formation of Hurricanes
History of Hurricanes
The first recorded Hurricane in Canada took place in Newfoundland and Labrador on September 9 in 1775 and killed over 4000 people. It was reported to be the most deadliest hurricane in Canada and still is today. As I mentioned before, Christopher Columbus was the first European man to write about hurricanes. He himself had experienced a deadly hurricane during his fourth and final voyage to the "New World" in 1502. It had killed almost half of the crew members and many of the survivors died because of rare diseases. Christopher Columbus had stopped in Hispaniola when he suspected a hurricane was approaching their location. On his first few voyages, the natives had taught them how to sense a storm which they called "Huracan." To prepare for the deadly storm, he had told his crew members to build shelter and anchor all four ships tightly. As the hurricane passed, it pulled out all four anchors, setting all four ships out to sea with no warning. Christopher Columbus wrote about this sever hurricane after it took place.
In order to prepare for a hurricane, you must be aware of what category is estimated that the hurricane will be and depending on that, you have to prepare. If it is a very sever hurricane like Hurricane Katrina, following category 4-5, it is important and obligatory to store lots of non-perishable food items in your home. It is also mandatory to pack bottled water because the water supply is likely to shut down during this period of time. Keeping flashlights and matches would also be a good idea, because of the likelihood that the power will go out. The most important step is to lock all doors and windows for protection from the hurricane. Floods may occur and locking the doors and windows will help to prevent the water or gusting winds at very high speeds to reach the inside of your home. It also wouldn't hurt to keep a deck of cards or a board game handy for entertainment. During a hurricane, do
plug anything into a power outlet, as it may create electric sparks. Hurricanes can last several days and it is important to keep yourself entertained and not experience too much boredom. Whatever you do, do
go outside when a hurricane is in action unless necessary. If you happen to be driving, immediately return home or if you are too far away, find a relative's or friend's home that is nearby and go there instead. In other words, remain calm and go to any populated indoor area such as a shopping mall, office building, police station, etc. Before and during a Hurricane, it is also very important to watch the news on an hourly basis to be alert of any updates regarding the Hurricane.
Hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana, Mississippi, the Gulf of Mexico, Alabama, Mobile, Gulfport, Bahamas, New Orleans and part of Florida and Texas on August 25, 2005. It was a very deadly hurricane, ranging from categories 4-5. It was in fact the 3rd deadliest hurricane in U.S history. Meteorologists and news reporters were regularly delivering news about the hurricane and any warnings or updates that were to be said. It mostly impacted the coastal side of Louisiana and Mississippi. Most people who were living in those areas evacuated immediately except for those who had disabilities or transportation problems. When massive waves from the ocean crashed the coastline, most structures and building all collapsed and were destroyed. Flooding began to happen not only in Louisiana and Mississippi, but it also reached New Orleans and part of Florida. Eventually, the flooding became so sever that in New Orleans, 80% of the land was beneath over 20 feet of water in some areas! That would be deep enough to get a two story house underwater, and that was only in New Orleans! Because most of New Orleans is below sea level, all that water remained on land until something was done about it. As a result of Hurricane Katrina, over 1,800 innocent people had lost their lives during this horrible event and thousands were left homeless. 1,500 people dies in Louisiana, 230 in Mississippi and around 15 in Florida. The hurricane trapped people in their homes for several days with their houses mostly underwater. Even though all the doors and windows were locked, many homes experienced flooding up to 7 feet deep!
Hurricanes start by very harsh tropical storms and by using the warmth from the sun and water, it is then classified as a hurricane. Most hurricanes can also form with the remains of previous hurricanes. As the moisture evaporates, it helps get the remains stronger and it rises until large amounts of warm, moist and packed air are twisted high in the atmosphere. The winds begin to revolve, creating a water spiral counterclockwise north of the equator or clockwise south of the equator. In the center of this spiral is the "Eye." As I mentioned before, the eye is a peaceful environment containing steady winds. But around the "Eye", there are winds that move at speeds between 74 and 200 miles per hour! As long as the climate stays at 74 degrees Fahrenheit or warmer, the hurricane continues to absorb moisture from the warmth and grow in size, force and capability of destroying things. Once the hurricane is formed, it uses the sun's energy and the warm waters from the ocean to get stronger. When the hurricane manages to hit land, it tends to get weaker because of the lack of warm waters. Although hurricanes can cause massive flooding, the water becomes cold and slowly, the hurricane becomes weaker until it is gone. In other words, a hurricane continues to get stronger until it experiences cold waters or climates.
Besides the death tolls, hundreds of thousands of people were left homeless, considering the fact that over 800,000 house units were destroyed by the powerful current of the ocean. Hurricane Katrina left hundreds of structures collapsed that were build in a way that they would never get destroyed. Even the most powerful buildings fell down during this tragic event. Hurricane Katrina was the costliest hurricane in the U.S and was estimated to have cost over 160 billion US dollars to repair such destruction.
Meteorology and Forecasting
Hurricane Katrina was formed from tropical storms and the remains of hurricanes in the past. It was first described as a normal tropical storm, but a few days later, it was a category one hurricane. A few more days passed by and was then it was then a powerful category 5 hurricane. As the hurricane became stronger and stronger, it traveled towards the west and hit Bahamas and Florida. It hit the two places with very strong force, but later on, Hurricane Katrina calmed down and was again considered as a tropical storm.
Effect on Citizens and Country
After the disaster, the government of the United States promised to send money and resources to help rebuild the community and to take care of the people who were starving and homeless. The government said, "...We will do everything in our power to rebuild and construct what was damaged by the hurricane..." The Government fulfilled their promise and sent as many workers as they could like doctors, electricians, police, firefighters, ambulances and plumbers to recover this disaster and help the people facing hardships of losing their homes and/or families. People reacted by sending money to charity events in support of Hurricane Katrina such as the Humanity First Foundation, Red Cross Foundation and many more. People all around the United States became so aware and open hearted that they offered the homeless to stay in their homes as long as they wanted or until they had found a new home. "Natural disasters like Katrina unite us all in our desire to help those in need. Good citizens do what they can to offer assistance. Some go directly to the hardest hit areas and lend their skills and talents. Others help to gather food, clothing, and money to send to the region. Children with little money of their own organized bake sales and lemonade stands to help raise funds for relief efforts. In the worst of all circumstances, all of these people acted on their best instincts," says Macmillan McGraw-Hill.
Lessons we can learn
One of the many lessons that we can learn from a natural disaster is to always remain calm and be ready for another one to come. We can do this by looking at the things that went wrong in a previous disaster and prepare in such a way that those things can be prevented. For example, if people in Hurricane Katrina experienced flooding in their homes even though they had locked up all the doors and windows, a good idea would be to nail down planks of wood against all the doors and windows along with them being locked. They could also cover up any glass hat can be shattered with using the same method the next time a hurricane warning is announced. Community wise, the government can evacuate all the people to a safer place ahead of time and provide food, water and clothing to the victims. Also, when construction workers rebuild the buildings, they should figure out what went wrong in the previous structure and what can be done to make it more sturdy and strong enough to be able to survive in such a disaster.
Effect on Earth as a Whole
Hurricane Katrina had effected not only the United States, but had also done some damage to Earth as a whole. It destroyed many animal habitats which left most dead and because of that, the food web got unbalanced and disrupted. This effects how living things act and the way they live their lives. Earth is a large cycle. It can be divided into 4 spheres. The lithosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere and the atmosphere. Hurricanes like these can have an enormous effect on these spheres. It can change the cycle and how things are transformed into solid, liquids and gases.
Previous Storms in the U.S
Tropical storms and small Hurricanes occur very often in the United States; Hurricane Katrina just happened to be a massive and destructive one. 1995 was the start point or when storms like these stared to occur more often than usual. In 2005 alone, there were 27 named tropical storms that took place in which 15 of them formed into hurricanes including Hurricane Katrina. 2005 held the record for most tropical storms beating 1933 with 21 storms. 2005 also has the largest number of category 5 hurricanes.
Raising Public Awareness
Meteorologists and news reporters were in charge of raising public awareness around the cities to warn everyone that there is a hurricane in action and will soon be hitting their land. They did this by reporting on the radio, on television, in newspapers and city posters. They spoke to large crowds or places were many people would be able to here. In other words, meteorologists tried their best to report the news in several different ways so they raise awareness to every single person in those particular cities.
Importance of Scientific Research
It is very important to study about natural disasters and conduct scientific research because that research can come in handy in the event of a disaster. Learning about these things can prepare us and guide us if the actual event occurs. If meteorologists did not study hurricanes or any other natural disasters, then they won't be able to raise public awareness and no one would know if a disaster is coming or not. People won't have time to prepare and more people will be likely to get negatively effected in one way or another. For example, a girl was on vacation with her family near the beach when she noticed the ocean's waves acting in an abnormal way. Then she remembered what she learned in school about this. Waves like this meant that there was a big storm approaching very soon, maybe even in a few hours. She immediately told her parents to evacuate the area along with other people on the beach. Her prediction was correct and the storm happened to be a deadly hurricane and she saved thousands of lives throughout the entire city. This shows us the great importance of studying such things and the many benefits of it as well.
Here is a video on how Hurricane Katrina was formed:
1) What is a Hurricane?
2) Briefly explain how a Hurricane is formed
3) Who was the first person to write about Hurricanes?
4) List at least 5 things that you must have to prepare for a Hurricane?
5) What category was Hurricane Katrina?
6) How did the world respond to Hurricane Katrina?
7) How does Hurricane Katrina affect the Earth as a whole?
8) When and where did Hurricane Katrina take place?
9) Explain the importance of conducting scientific research about natural disasters.
10) What lessons can be learned from such a disaster?
By: Hadeeqa Aziz - SJ7