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Winter Storms

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

In many places around the world, heavy snow and ice accumulations may result from winter storms, bringing transportation to a halt and cutting power to affected populations. The primary weather phenomenons by which winter storms occur—and that affects the largest population and geographical area—are extratropical cyclones and fronts, whereas lake-effect and mountain snowstorms may cripple local regions.

In the United States, on average, approximately 20 people die and 130 are injured each year from the direct effects of winter storms (not including cold exposure or traffic accidents). More may die in the days after the storm during recovery efforts. Economic losses exceed $500 million a year, but rise even higher when indirect costs from lost wages, accidents, air traffic delays, cleanup costs, and mitigation efforts are ...

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