Chapter 6: Natural Hazards and Accidents that Disrupt Transportation Networks
TRANSPORTATION AND NATURAL HAZARDS Overview of Significant Natural Hazards Affecting Transportation Transportation is affected by emergencies and affects the recovery from them. Of the numerous hazards that exist, some affect transportation and its users similarly while others have very different consequences. Many of the impacts share in common those that occur in deliberate attacks on the system that will be addressed in Chapter 7. In addition, many of the hazards and impacts are similar to those that were covered in Chapter 3 on global climate change. Differences between the impacts of global climate change and natural hazards occur with respect to the duration and timing of the effects although that distinction is becoming less clear. Flooding may occur with great suddenness in a natural hazard and then recede. In contrast, flooding from a rise in sea level associated with global climate change (GCC) generally takes longer, allowing more time to adapt, but may last longer, and is usually permanent, though the recognition of rapid ice melt may counter these differences. This section begins with an identification of some of the patterns and trends in natural hazards in general, and then focuses primarily on hurricanes, precipitation extremes, and earthquakes as case areas. Categorizing natural hazards Natural hazards can be categorized in many ways. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention uses “Natural Disasters and Extreme Weather” (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, undated web page), which they subdivide further as various categories for weather and geophysical events. Weather includes extreme heat,...
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