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Emergencies in Small Communities

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On May 4, 2007, severe thunderstorms formed across the Midwest, resulting in the formation of 12 "supercells" that developed into devastating tornado activity throughout several states. At 9:25 p.m., the National Weather Service issued a tornado warning for Kiowa County, Kansas. At approximately 9:45 p.m. an EF 5 tornado struck the rural farming community of Greensburg, located in Kiowa County. The tornado cut a path through the town that was estimated at 1.7 miles across, killing 10 of the town's residents. Greensburg is located in what U.S. weather forecasters refer to as "tornado alley". Despite this, the town had few areas of refuge for tornado emergencies other than the basements of private homes.

Law enforcement and emergency responders were not prepared for the magnitude of the damage that resulted. State response was hindered because the National Guard equipment routinely used, including tents and trailers, had been deployed to Iraq. FEMA was to be the primary responder, providing food, water and mobile trailers for shelter.

In a two page paper, respond to the following questions:

1. What effects can an emergency have on a small community such as the one experienced by Greensburg, Kansas?

2. What kinds of emergency services are needed during and after an emergency?

3. What effects do emergency planning activities have on the response to a disaster, such as the tornado and recovery from it?

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Solution Preview

1. What effects can an emergency have on a small community such as the one experienced by Greensburg, Kansas?

Emergencies can decimate small communities such as Greensburg because of the damage to infrastructure and the high loss of life for communities with small populations such as Greensburg. These communities suffer a more difficult time coming back from such disasters as the one in Greensburg because they already have limited revenue and income because of ...

Solution Summary

The solution discusses emergencies in small communities.