Greater Cooperation Needed to Tackle the Hurricane Season


Greater cooperation to tackle hurricanes. Hurricanes have become stronger around the world during the past couple of decades. Climate change is playing a key role in making these storms more intense. Kerry Emanuel, a hurricane expert at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said;

“When you see things going up all over the globe like that, the ducks are kind of in order.”

According to Dr. Emanuel, factors other than climate change may have played more of a role in the increase in intensity. One thing is clear though, it is critical to find ways to improve resilience and damage control to this level of activity. For instance, Hurricane Michael (in October 2018) caused over $2 billion in losses to the timber industry in Florida, Alabama, and Georgia. Several Caribbean territories had counties with disaster designations during this season.

Waste Hurricane Seasons Yet to Come

Based on the forecast, stronger storms that intensify are expected. Also, increases in heavy rainfall are also expected. Warmer ocean temperatures mean that the speed of hurricane translation is slower, which implies heavy rainfall. Three storms in the 2017 hurricane season caused $265 billion in damages in the U.S. Southeast and Caribbean, including billions of losses in the agriculture and forestry sector. If the projections for climate change are anything to go by, such disastrous hurricane seasons are becoming more normal.

Given the excessive damage done to electrical and telephone wires, the flooded roads, and the many landslides, one can only imagine the complications this will have on the educational system and the economy. No doubt several virtual classrooms and remote jobs will be disrupted for a few days at least. Greater cooperation to tackle the hurricane. There have been several calls for better road Infrastructure and drainage cleaning. This requires careful design and execution. Often, we find that government invests heavily in this infrastructure however the result is not durable or sustainable. For instance, newly constructed roads quickly return to a state of being old and worn out.

Countries in the Caribbean Region

For countries in the Caribbean region, that have a wealth of experience hurricanes, one is left to wonder how much has really been learned over the decades. In anticipation of the Hurricane season, there would have been some level of preparation. Before September, measures should have been carried out to prepare. Also, there should be synergy and smooth communication and information dissemination among key stakeholders. There are many rural communities with trees that grow close to cable wires. This should not be the case. A lesson can be learned from France. In France, it is common practice for tall trees to be groomed in preparation for the season. They are preserved permanently. In the Caribbean there are instances where electrical wires overlap as a result of landslips, resulting in a fire and loss of electricity. It often takes the intervention of the media to shed light on the matter before efforts are made to resolve the situation and bring things back to normal. There is also a need to follow urban planning best practices. At the community level, citizens need to play a role with respect to proper waste disposal and cleaning of drains and gullies.



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