Assignment 1: Hurricane Harvey
In August 2017, Hurricane Harvey made landfall in in Texas. The Category 4 hurricane had measured wind speeds of 130 mph (215 m/h). Despite the high wind speed, it is the flooding events from the associated rain fall that caused the most damage. As a result of the flooding, 103 lives were lost, 15,000 homes were destroyed, and 250,000 additional homes were damaged (1). The estimated cost is $125B which makes this event the second costliest natural disaster in the US. (2)
The purpose of this assignment is to review a report prepared by the Conference Board of Canada (1), which studied the event to identify lessons learned. The purpose of their report was to provide emergency management professionals a resource to improve the emergency management cycle and reduce the cost of future disasters.
In this assignment, you will produce a summary of this report. The report is located in CuLearn. The summary should include:
1. A summary of the event;
2. A summary of the 4 pillars of the emergency management cycle (preparation, response, recovery, and mitigation). Specifically, for each pillar, summarize what steps were taken, what was the outcome, and what were the lessons learned. For example, how did the government prepare, was it sufficient, and what should they do in the future.
3. A comparison, with respect to emergency response, to other events such as Hurricane Sandy, Katrina, or the hurricanes of 2020.
4. You are welcome to add any other topics you feel are relevant.
5. At least 2 references in addition to those already specified in this document.
You may use this Word document as your template for the format. If you do not wish to use this document, your assignment must adhere to the following:
– 3 page maximum, References may be placed on a 4th page.
– 1 inch margins on all sides
– Font types: Cambria, Calibri or Arial
– Font size: 12
– Line spacing: 1.5 line
No points will be given for following the formatting instructions. However, up to 2 points may be taken off the final grade if the above is not followed.
The assignment will be graded out of 25 and is worth 10% of your final grade.
1. Details of the event = 4 marks
2. Preparation = 5 marks
3. Response = 4 marks
4. Recovery = 4 marks
5. Mitigation = 2 marks
6. Comparative Aspect = 6 marks
7. No marks will be assigned for the following. However, marks can be deducted for these items:
a. Spelling / Grammar = up 5 marks
b. References = up to 2 marks
c. Late submission = 2 marks if 1 day late
Regarding the spelling / grammar, one or two spelling mistakes are fine.
Please post questions to the forum so all students may see the question.
Any questions that are more personal in nature may be directed to Dr. Jason Mah.
The TA Nabil Shawwa, email@example.com, will be grading the assignment. Any questions regarding your grade can be directed to him.
1. Gresch, Darren. Lessons From Hurricane Harvey: Shoring Up the Emergency
Management Cycle. Ottawa: The Conference Board of Canada, 2019.
2. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration: National Centers for Environmental Information. (2021, January 20). Billion-Dollar Weather and Climate Disasters: Events. https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/billions/events/US/1980-2020