What are the primary and secondary effects and immediate and long-term responses to tropical storms?
The effects and responses to tropical storms significantly impact people living in areas affected by tropical storms. Effects can be primary or secondary. Responses can be immediate or long-term.
Primary Effects of Tropical Storms
The primary effects of a tropical storm are the immediate impacts of strong winds, heavy rainfall and storm surges. These include:
- People are injured or killed by debris being blown around
- Buildings are destroyed or damaged
- Electric supplies are cut off due to power lines being destroyed
- Sewage is released due to flooding
- Water supplies become contaminated
Secondary Effects of Tropical Storms
Secondary effects are the impacts following the storm. This can include:
- People being left homeless
- A lack of clean water and sanitation – water-borne diseases can affect local people.
- Road and rail networks can be blocked by debris, making it difficult to provide support and aid for people affected.
- Unemployment is caused by businesses being damaged
- If crops are destroyed and/or livestock is killed, there can be a shortage of food
Immediate Responses to Tropical Storms
Immediate responses occur before the storm is forecast to make landfall and immediately after the event.
- people are evacuated before the storm lands
- rescue people trapped and provide medical support for injured people
- temporary shelters are set up for people made homeless by the storm
- provide water and food for people
- recover dead bodies
- digital maps are updated immediately after the storm using satellite photographs to support emergency services on the ground
- Aid provided by Governments and NGOs such as Oxfam
Long-term Responses to Tropical Storms
Long-term responses involve returning an area to the way it was before the storm and preparing for future storms.
- repair and rebuild properties
- rehouse people
- repair the transport infrastructure
- improve forecasting and early warning systems
- provide grants and aid to people to help rebuild their homes
- improve building regulations so that properties are constructed to withstand the impacts of tropical storms better
- Offer incentives such as tax breaks to encourage economic recovery