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Natural Disaster Assessment Risk

The most probable disaster that would hit IUB is an earthquake. It is worth noting that as much as the US is not as prone to volcanism as Japan there have been developments that may have caused considerable change in the internal structure of the earth’s crust. It is further important to note that irrespective of the levels of volcanic activity defining a zone there is always some considerable levels of volcanic activity that are affected by man’s activity.

The nature of volcanism can only be monitored and not controlled by man and therefore earthquakes can happen any time without IUB being in an earthquake prone region. Earthquakes from geological definition is a sudden release of energy and therefore as much as geologists can try to predict the events that lead to earthquakes there are several occasions where earthquakes have occurred without necessarily giving warning signs and proneness as a measure is only determined by past events and should therefore not be used as functional measure of determining if a place can suffer an earthquake disaster.

One of the key causes of earthquakes in modern times is nuclear activity (State Emergency Management Agency, 2009); with recent increase in awareness on the threat that weapons of mass destruction, terrorism and increased use of radioactive substances in the development of nuclear energy there is little doubt that the US which has established itself as a good target for terrorists and weapons of mass destruction could be a victim of this causative factor. Vulnerability Factors

Indiana University has been in existence for over two decades and there are some buildings that have been around through this time. Structures generally lose their stability with age and irrespective of the expertise and materials used in their construction older buildings are generally at a greater risk of collapse, cracking or general loss of stability due to the effects of an earthquake (READY AMERICA, 2009). Story buildings are at a greater risk of collapse compared to the non story buildings.

This is due to the effect that length has on displacing the center of gravity of a building and therefore its stability. Buildings that are rarely repaired are less likely to survive the effects of an earthquake. Depending on how regular a buildings is repaired, some buildings that have been ignored are more than likely to be worst affected by earthquakes. IUB is made up of a diverse population due to the institution’s emphasis on developing a community that is appreciative of diversity.

Generally, students or the IB members who are least versed on the institution and its structures are more likely to be caught out in the panic and melee that characterize an earthquake (Federal Emergency Management Agency, 2009). It is important to note that experience of earthquakes may also determine the effects that it will have on individual students. Students who have had an experience of an earthquake before especially if the experience was of an earthquake of a higher magnitude are less likely to be badly affected by the earthquake.

The nature of the structures that one is housed in at the time of the earthquake’s occurrence determines a great deal the psychological and physical impact that it will have on students. Having prior knowledge on how to conduct oneself during an emergency also determines the levels of personal control and logic that one can attain during the emergency. An earthquake in IUB is more than likely to bring the whole institution to a standstill irrespective of the structural damage that it would have caused.

It is important to note that the region is less prone to earthquake and such an event would have the same effect that the September 11th attack had on the US. All learning, research and administrative functions are likely to be brought to a stand still by such an occurrence and despite the university’s emergency management programs the event is likely to cause more apprehension and shock than actual bodily harm. Assessment of risk and threat The risk of an earthquake in IUB is low due to its location in a belt that is considered less volcanic.

However, the fact that nuclear activity can lead to earthquakes places IUB at risk of attack. In the worst case the earthquake will be of a higher magnitude resulting to structural damages and loss of human life. Moreover, there is always the possibility that the landscape could be badly affected that it would be considered unsafe for buildings, fires caused by electric failures and lack of support due to the effects that the earthquake will have on adjacent structures and social amenities may also present a complexity in management of the emergency (ICRC, 2009).

On the other hand, a minor earthquake may cause less structural damage and the harm on people could only be that arising from panic (THE SALVATION ARMY, 2009). Apprehension that would follow on would strain learning and administrative functions and thus lead to loss of operations. Conclusion It is evident that IUB like any other part of the globe is at risk of an earthquake. The large population and IUB high rise structures imply that it is at greater risk of loss of lives and structural damage.

Earthquakes irrespective of their magnitude will lead to considerable effect on the performance of IUB and lead to a stand still in its operations thus the formulation and implementations of a proper emergency management plan is necessary. References ICRC (2009). Make a Donation. Retrieved 9 April 2009 from <http://www. icrc. org/web/eng/siteeng0. nsf(PSearch)SearchView&Query=earthquakes&searchWv=1&searchFuzzy=1&SearchOrder=1&SearchMax=0&style=Custo_results_search2> Federal Emergency Management Agency (2009).

hazard maps. Retrieved 9 April 2009 from <http://www. fema. gov/hazard/earthquake/index. shtm> READY AMERICA (2009). Earth quake. Retrieved 9 April 2009 from <http://www. ready. gov/america/beinformed/earthquakes. html> State Emergency Management Agency (2009). Missouri SEMA Earthquake Program. Retrieved 9 April 2009 from <http://sema. dps. mo. gov/EQ. htm> THE SALVATION ARMY (2009). Disaster Relieving. Retrieved 9 April 2009 from <http://www. salvationarmy. org/ihq/www_sa. nsf/fmsearchopenform&query=EARTHQUAKES&start=1>

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