Date of Award

8-2016

Document Type

Capstone-Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Program Name

Emergency and Disaster Management

Capstone Instructor

Dr. Robert Ditch

Abstract

While the argument continues regarding the reasons behind climate change, the fact remains that the climate is indeed changing. These changes are projected to impact the frequency and intensity of storms in the future. This case study investigates current and predicted changes in the intensity of hurricanes, flooding, tornadoes, drought, and wildfires and how those changes affect the profession of emergency management. Specifically, current decision making regarding planning, mitigation, and adaptation is based on a historical perspective though many of those decisions have impact 50 – 100 years into the future. As natural disasters including hurricanes, tornadoes, drought, floods and wild fires increase in intensity and frequency due to anthropogenic climate change, they will exceed current protection methodologies in mitigation and adaptation thereby increasing vulnerability for people and property to future hurricanes, tornadoes, drought, floods, and wild fires. The tools and methods must be updated to incorporate future change as well as historic trends while policy makers and emergency management professionals need to incorporate potential changes in their decision making regarding planning, mitigation and adaptation. Failure to incorporate these changes may lead to more deaths and higher costs associated with more intense and more frequent storms in the future.

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