Mega-storms like hurricane Sandy and Katrina can cause a great amount of harm to lives and property, which can sometimes overwhelm many rescuers. Despite this, ground rescuers have to work double to rescue storm victims.
Two of the most devastating hurricanes that hit the continental US in recent years were Katrina and Sandy. Both of these mega-storms wreaked havoc in their path, which, according to Huffington Post, left thousands of people homeless and several dead. Though government agencies in charge of disaster and relief are constantly training against these types of storms, the same problems keep cropping up every time. What are these?
Despite the advancement in technology, communication seems to be a perennial problem during hurricanes. While satellite phones are now the primary means of communication during mega-storms like Sandy and Katrina, many ground rescuers still rely on radio transceivers. Such communication equipment does not have the signal stability of satellite phones and besides, there are certain spots where radio signals are unable to penetrate. Fortunately, this problem is being addressed now with the plan of equipping all ground rescue units with sat-phones.
New York Daily News mentioned that Katrina and Sandy poured hundreds of tons of water into New Orleans and New York City, respectively. This resulted in massive flooding, particularly in New Orleans, of streets and subway stations. The best monitoring vehicle you can use back then are inflatable and motorized boats. Shank’s Argo notes that Today, authorities are looking in the direction of Extreme Terrain Vehicles or XTV, which can be obtained from any Argo dealer, to help in such tasks. Since XTVs can run even when two-thirds of its body is underwater and can be easily navigated even in muddy embankments, they are ideal for use as monitoring vehicles.
Relief and Recovery
Perhaps, the most critical of all phases, time is of the element during this time as it involves ensuring the survival of the victims. During Sandy and Katrina, people can be seen huddling together on the roofs of their houses, or whatever remained of it anyway, with some of them half-naked. Most of these victims nearly died on the way to temporary medical shelters because of hypothermia. There is also the issue of how to deliver food and drinks to those who cannot be rescued yet. With these issues, the government is considering many options, which again included using XTVs to perform some of the relief and recovery tasks.
Even if you have been preparing for years in anticipation of these types of hurricanes, you could be easily overwhelmed by the sheer damage they cause. The dynamics of a storm are hard to predict and the damage it can cause are sometimes unexpected. This is why it is better to be proactive and enlist the assistance of some ingenious machinery and equipment, along with good communications devices, to help deal with the situation. While these would not solve the problems 100%, at least their effects can be mitigated.