Monday, September 05, 2005

The First Katrina-related Post

It's impressive with all of the hazards programs out there getting a little press for their contributions to modeling the effects of Hurricane Katrina. There are the Natural Hazards Center at the University of Colorado, Penn State Natural Hazards Center, University of South Carolina Hazards Research Lab, and the various hazards research at USGS. The hazards sub-discipline of geography has to be one of the lesser known knowledge areas to most americans. Except for insurance companines. Hazards researchers conduct field work in/near volcanoes and in other less desirable locations. Of course, advancements in GIS and computer mapping over the past decade has really helped those hazards geographes in their work. Good thing it's helping these days to help keep people safe and to allow for local authorities to warn their populations prior to a event. Or, at least mitigate the effects of potential hazards. My past experience with hazards was when I once built a post-destruction IMS site at NASA. At first most of the bean-counters would say to me, "Why are you building that?" My answer once I was finished was the interactive map located presurized storage vessels and their potential destructive patters. Some of the patterns overlapped the bean-counters' homes just adjacent to the fenceline of the research facility. I think one guy was planning on moving? Once again, pictures say a thousand words, but a map makes it mean something. Like this map from Trollprincess.

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