The author of this report has been asked to focus on a single hurricane or tornado and how it impact human and societal life. Being that it is quite recent and it was very destructive, the author of this report has chosen the EF-5 tornado that decimated much of Joplin, Missouri in 2011. The author will cover how the tornado impacted the earth, the damage toll, the death toll, the economic impacts involved and any permanent consequences that have resulted. While the city of Joplin is certainly in recovery mode, that tornado hit that city head-on and levied a massive amount of destruction.
One account of the Joplin tornado that is quite exhaustive and informative would be that of the National Institute of Standards and Technologies, or NIST. The "EF-5" label mentioned in the introduction makes reference to the Fujita scale of tornado intensity. There are only five points on the scale and the Joplin tornado was at the top of that scale…five out of five. The total death toll of the 2011 Joplin tornado ended up at 161. This makes it the single deadliest tornado that has ever occurred, at least since records of such death tolls were kept starting in 1950. The overall damage toll in terms of buildings and structures is said to have topped $3 billion USD. In terms of real economic figures and what precisely was damaged, a total of 7500 residential structures (e.g. homes, apartments, etc.) were damaged and the same thing happened...
Not quite half of the residential structures just referenced were completely destroyed (NIST, 2015).
In terms of "permanent consequences," there are two that have already been mentioned. The 161 people that lost their lives cannot be brought back, obviously. Second, there were surely a lot of people that were burned, maimed or otherwise harmed or traumatized as part of what happened with that storm. Third, many people surely had insurance and other means to rebuild with little to no money out of pocket. However, anyone who lacked insurance was probably left with nothing to their name, at least in terms of their homes and cars. Indeed, those items make up most of a person's wealth and resources a lot of the time (NIST, 2015).
However, there were some permanent changes that were conducted or at least proposed in light of what happened with the Joplin tornado. Specifically, the NIST recommended three major things. First, they insisted that there be a development of national performance-based standards for tornado-resistant design when it comes to buildings and infrastructure. This is…
NIST. (2015). Joplin Missouri Tornado 2011. Nist.gov. Retrieved 16 June 2015, from http://www.nist.gov/el/disasterstudies/weather/joplin_tornado_2011.cfm
Wheatley, K. (2013). The May 22, 2011 Joplin, Missouri EF5 tornado. United States Tornadoes. Retrieved 16 June 2015, from http://www.ustornadoes.com/2013/05/22/joplin-missouri-ef5-tornado-may-22-2011/
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