The scientist predictions continue to warn of an earthquake equivalent to that of Haiti along the New Madrid fault in the next 50 years. Historically, the strongest earthquake in the United States occurred in Missouri along the Mississippi river in 1811. However, geologists argue that with the new Madrid fault line along the river, similar earthquake of 7.0 magnitudes is likely to occur in future. The New Madrid zone is one of the economically distressed areas in the United States and therefore is comparatively not in a position to deal with such calamity than the other states. And since both the federal and local governments are aware of the threat, adequate measures ought to be established. It is true that the strike could equally affect United States despite its economic strength and capacity. This paper will seek to analyze the various impacts of the Mississippi Delta earthquake on the Americans. In addition the paper will look at the various measures and plans which the government needs to establish to mitigate the loss.
Considering the unforeseeable nature of this catastrophic trike, people are mostly caught unaware and as a result great loss and damage of properties caused. Earthquakes have claimed the lives of so many people all over the world and more care should be taken to lessen its impacts in future. Approximately 1,740,000 people have so far lost their lives due to earthquake strikes worldwide. This is quite a big number and the United States government should do something to prevent New Madrid citizens from encountering the same. Since it is obvious that the region is beneath the geologic fault line which poses such threats, and considering that the geologists have predicted the same, proactive measures ought to be established in the region to safeguard American citizens in that region. The government has a lot to do considering the economic position of New Madrid (Parker, 2010).
The zone is located beneath the country’s economically distressed regions along the Delta. They should improve the housing conditions in the city and eliminate shanty structures which are more vulnerable to such calamities. Improvements need to be done on the cinderblock structures that dominate the area as they are weak considering their stiff nature (Pratt, 1994). More advanced structures which are flexible and which can yield seismic vibrations needs to replace the current ones. Additionally, more resilient buildings which can sustain the seismic vibrations need to be established in the region in order to reduce property loss which could be caused by the quake. The communities along this region also need to be sensitized accordingly in order to enable them cope well with the catastrophe. This is why the government and other numerous task forces have established regular educational programs in the state. They continue to sensitize people on the need to have survival kits for their families. However, much still needs to be done concerning the issue as very few families have adhered to the call, despite the sensitization (Parker, 2010).
Recently, the Obama administration established a long term disaster recovery working group which aims at designing ways and mechanisms of dealing with catastrophic disasters. Bearing in mind that the New Madrid fault zone crosses the Mississippi river three times and it’s now more densely populated compared to 1811 and 1812 when it was first truck by earthquake.
The government also needs to increase healthcare facilities in the region in order to assure its citizens of adequate medical attention if needed. People also need to learn some basic first aid techniques which can really assist them in such a scenario. Qualified medical personnel also need to be positioned in the region as the state prepares for the catastrophic event.
Since the government mostly focuses on the metropolitan areas, there might be a risk of inadequate supplies in the cities. Facilities like light, water and gas needs to be critically considered as they can be greatly affected by the catastrophe. The American people should also understand the natural disasters are not only the responsibilities of the government but a public concern. And since this is beyond human control, the public together with the government should only consider mitigating the loss through the use of preventative measures. Adequate building codes ought to be established and people also need to adopt quality constructions as the statistics shows such measures lessens the hazards. When constructing buildings, strong foundation ought to be established as the tremors tend to shake the weak ones (Boyd, 1995).
The government together with other interstate agencies needs to continue providing adequate education to the people on how to ensure safety before and after an earthquake. This is because the tremor mainly occurs for some few minutes, but leaves enormous destructions on the ground. Whatever you do before, during and after the incident is therefore of great importance to you, your family and to your neighbor. For safety measures and before an earthquake, people needs to bolt down all the water heaters and gas appliances, they should also place the large, heavy and fragile items in a securely fastened lower shelves to avoid breakages and fallings. And for communication purposes, they ought to maintain flashlights and other gargets like battery-powered transistor radio in their homes. Such items may be of great importance whenever the incident occurs.
During an earthquake people ought to remain calm and focused as majority perish because of tension which triggers wrong actions and moves. It is also appropriate that people reassures one another that everything will be fine, that in itself gives hope and strength to go on despite the hardships. For precaution purposes, people are advised to keep away from windows and mirrors and in case you are inside the house and the tremor intensifies, it is advisable for you to get under the bed, desk or a table. It is not advisable for you to run outside in such a scenario. This similarly should be the case if you are in a high-rise building. But it is somehow frustrating since majority of people chooses to run to the exits and elevators and finally die of congestions and fallouts while one could have been safe under the table or bed. And if outside it is advisable that you keep off from high buildings and if in an automobile you should stop at an open ground.
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After an earthquake, you ought to check injured victims in your family or in your neighborhood. Wear shoes and check for any fire hazards in the area. It is also advisable for you to check all the utility lines and ensure that they are in good condition. Similarly, you are not required to use matches or lighters unless you are certain that there are no gas leaks in the room. Likewise it is not advisable for you to spread rumors as it may cause more harm than good. And finally it is very important for you to respond to any request from the police, fire fighters, relief agencies or civil defense team. These are some of the knowledge and skills that the people and residents of New Madrid area need to have at all time for safety precautions (Pratt, 1994).
The government should also secure a special land where they can relocate the affected people in case of earthquake strike. It should set aside an amount to cater for the incident now that the geologists have predicted of the event. Such budgetary allocation should be enough to cater for the basic necessities such as food, shelter and clothing to the affected people. The government also ought to establish a disaster management team, to assess the situation of New Madrid region and propose some measures to counter the event. By doing that, the state will be more prepared to face the catastrophe and will have a way out in case the predictions turn out to be true (Britt, 2005).
The United States government should work closely with the United State Geological Survey (USGC) in order to monitor and mitigate risks caused by earthquakes. USGC should continue providing all the relevant information they have concerning the Mississippi earthquake to the government in order to help them prepare well for it. Construction engineers should ensure strong building structures are established in the region in order to mitigate the damage (Boyd, 1995). Likewise the government should establish vital infrastructure which assures essential flow of utilities like water and communication networks.
Federal government and other state agencies should intervene and caution people of the adverse effect caused by the continued erosion and other environmental degradation processes. They should encourage adequate environmental conservation techniques which will ensure natural safety and reduce erosions in the land. The government should seek to relocate the population living adjacent to the river, in order to mitigate the impact of the earthquake in the region. Everybody should join hands with the government and the state agencies to ensure that we are well prepared to respond to the catastrophe. Adequate safety knowledge should be provided to all residents in the New Madrid area in order to equip them well for the event. The state agencies like the Red Cross should have the entire medical and other important gargets to assist them undertake their rescue missions effectively.
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