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United States, Southeast and Gulf Coast

  • By: Rachel Dowty
  • In: Encyclopedia of Disaster Relief
  • Edited by: K. Bradley Penuel & Matt Statler
  • Subject:Public Health (general), Public Policy (general)

Population growth in the southeast United States, particularly along the Gulf Coast, is challenging conventional wisdom about disaster relief. Gulf Coast residents face hurricane threats nearly every year. Experience tells them that although they alive in a hurricane zone, the actual risk of any given hurricane striking their community is fairly low. Although relief efforts are simplified when the affected population has been evacuated to shelters outside the impact zone, moving vast numbers of people out of harm's way in response to a 24-hour hurricane warning may be impractical. Hurricanes are associated with coastal areas, because winds are strongest there and low-lying areas are quickly flooded by a tidal surge. But hurricanes can also produce heavy, sustained rainfall far inland, causing destructive floods anywhere in ...

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