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4 October 15, 2010


Effects of Natural Disasters

Natural disasters have become so commonplace that they hardly receive passing notice on
the news unless there have been a large number of casualties. Volcanoes, mudslides,
tsunamis and floods are just a few of the ways nature strikes on a daily basis, leaving behind
destruction and heartache. Humans have learned to prepare for the possibility of tornadoes,
earthquakes, hurricanes and wildfires, but no amount of preparation can lessen the impact
that natural disasters have on every aspect of society.
Physical Destruction
1. The biggest visible effect of natural disasters is the physical ruin they leave behind.
Homes, vehicles and personal possessions are often destroyed within a short period
of time, leaving families homeless and shutting some businesses down permanently.
Tornadoes destroy structures at whim, earthquakes can cause structural damage
that might not be apparent at first glance, and tsunamis and floods sweep homes off
their foundations.

Emotional Toll
2. Possessions are not hard to replace, as many people keep insurance on their
property and tangible goods. The emotional toll of natural disasters is much more
devastating. The death of a loved one may be the worst-case scenario but it's not the
only lasting emotional effect victims experience. Whole communities may be
displaced, separating friends and neighbors; victims face anxiety and depression as
they wonder if it could happen again. In extreme cases, they may experience post
traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Economic Concerns
3. According to the National Hurricane Center, Hurricane Katrina cost the U.S. $75
billion when it slammed into New Orleans in August 2005. That doesn't include the
damage caused in the Florida counties of Miami-Dade and Broward by the same
storm. While destruction of this magnitude is not commonplace, even a minor storm
can cause considerable damage. At the very least, the local economy must be able to
absorb the cost of cleanup and repairs.

Indirect Effects
4. While the visible effects of natural disasters are immediate and strongly felt,
communities that surround ground zero can be indirectly affected by them as well.
Natural disasters almost always lead to a disruption in utility services around the
area impacted. This can mean life or death for those who rely on dialysis or oxygen
to live. Medical assistance is also often slowed, as emergency crews must focus on
the victims of the disaster. Banks and other businesses might be closed, affecting a
family's ability to withdraw money to pay bills and buy groceries.

5. Geography plays a large role in how natural disasters affect an area. In rural or
isolated communities, natural disasters can thrust families into a situation where they
must do without modern conveniences like electric and running water. They may not
be able to get to town to buy necessities and have to rely on what they have stocked
up. Densely populated areas face their own unique problems from natural disasters.
Hygiene becomes a concern, as people crowd into temporary relief centers and
compete for limited resources.
6. Humans aren't the only living things affected by natural disasters. As is the case with
humans, animals can be displaced from their homes. Sometimes they have no
alternative but to leave the area and try to fit into a new habitat. Volcanoes,
earthquakes, floods, wildfires and mudslides often permanently alter an area's
landscape, leading in some cases to the destruction of a local species.

Common Disaster Reactions

Both natural and manmade disasters affect people in different ways. No one who
experiences a disaster is untouched by it. Many people have emotional and physical
reactions to a disaster. For many people, the emotional and physical reactions to a disaster
will subside over time. However, for some the reactions do not subside over time. When
those effects don't go away, or even become worse over time, it may be appropriate to seek
professional help.

Common Emotional Reactions may include:

• Feeling tense or nervous

• Crying often or easily
• Anger or irritability
• Feeling numb
• Feeling hopeless

Common Physical Reactions may include:

• Sleep disturbance
• Gastrointestinal problems
• Being tired all of the time
• Appetite disturbance

Children do not go untouched by a disaster. Children also experience emotional and physical
reactions to a disaster. The reactions of a child are often dependent on his/ her age and
developmental stage.

Young Children (ages 1-6)

• Nightmares and sleep disturbance

• Fear of separation from caregiver
• Regressive symptoms (e.g. bedwetting, loss of speech or previously acquired skills)
• Somatic symptoms (e.g. headaches, stomach aches)

School-Age Children (ages 6-11)

• Feelings of guilt
• Concerns about safety
• Changes in mood and behavior
• Anxiety

Pre-adolescents and Adolescents (ages 12-18)

• Rebellion at home and/or school
• Change in school performance
• Change in relationships
• Depression and/or social withdrawal

Emotional Recovery Tips for Adults and Kids

One of the first things people can do is pull together. It is important to ask for help. There
are many people around who want to help and will help. They just need to know what to do.
Help from others may make the critical difference between coping and prolonged suffering.
It is also important for people to take care of their own physical and emotional needs by
eating a balanced diet to fuel your energy, and as much as possible, getting enough sleep.
As people deal with the aftermath of a disaster, they can talk with others about their feelings
and look for the positives in the situation.

Helping Others

1. Provide practical help in dealing with the disaster. Help friends or family pack or
clean up. Furnish meals. Store belongings or provide a place to stay. Parents may be
very busy; offer to spend some time with children to play and to listen to their
concerns. Offer specific types of help or ask how you can help.
2. Listen. When others talk about their experiences and feelings, their emotional load
seems lighter to bear. One of the best ways you can help is to just listen. You don t
have to come up with solutions or answers. It s okay if someone breaks down and
cries. Others will ask "Why me?" They are not really looking for an answer but
expressing their hurt.
3. Show by words and actions that you care. Go ahead and act. Don't be afraid of saying
or doing the wrong thing. A friendly arm around troubled shoulders or a few words of
support and encouragement can help in times of crisis. Small, kind deeds and sincere
expressions of affection or admiration also will mean a lot.
4. Keep helping. The disruptions caused by the disaster may continue for some time.
Recovering may take even longer. Your friends or family members will need regular,
small acts of kindness to maintain their morale and to put their lives back together.

Environmental Protection Program (EPP)

The Environmental Protection Program (EPP) is a unique component of the Environmental

Health & Safety Department that comprehensively evaluates, monitors, and controls
environmental releases in the form of air, water, hazardous waste, and assets, and ensures
releases to the environment are safe, compliant, and cost effective.

The Environmental Protection Program utilizes a systematic approach to manage hazardous

materials and environmental affairs and strives to raise awareness of environmental impacts
throughout the UTHSC-H community.
Solid Waste Management

Solid Waste management is the collection, transport, processing, recycling or disposal, and
monitoring of wastematerials. The term usually relates to materials produced by human
activity, and is generally undertaken to reduce their effect on health,
the environment or aesthetics. Waste management is also carried out to
recover resources from it. Waste management can
involve solid, liquid, gaseous or radioactive substances, with different methods and fields of
expertise for each.

Hazardous Waste Disposal

Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) collects hazardous materials in several categories
for disposal, treatment or recycling for all University of Oregon departments. Call EHS @ 6-
3192 for specific questions.

Municipal Waste Requiring Treatment or Special Handling

• Paint (solvent-based is collected by EHS). The first choice for unwanted Latex paint is
to share with other departments. However, if the paint is not usable or you cannot
find someone who will use the paint, it must be solidified before disposal in municipal
waste dumpsters. Dispose without the lid on the container. *Solvent based paint
must be given to EHS for disposal.
• Sharps that are not contaminated with biological material as described below and
collected in durable containers must be labeled as “Sharps”.
• Creosote & Penta wood products.

Universal Waste
• Waste or used oil (in a sealable container)
• Fluorescent, mercury vapor, or metal halide lamps (place broken lamps in a sealed
• Computer and Electronic Equipment (University owned) is collected by the Property
Control Manager 6-3163
• Batteries (all types)
• Ioninizing smoke detectors

Biohazard Waste
• Blood-contaminated debris
• Waste that is known to be infectious, pathogenic, etiological, or otherwise a
suspected health hazard
• Biohazard Sharps must be approved biohazard containers

Regulated Waste
• Chemicals which are Flammable, Toxic, Corrosive or Reactive
• Controlled Substances and Medications
• Degreasers and Cleaning Products
• Pesticides
• Mercury-containing thermometers, switches, etc.
• Smoke Detectors (ionizing only)

• Refrigerate must be removed prior to disposal.

Do not put these materials in the trash or down the drain.

Proper disposal is accomplished by following the steps listed below:

1. Collect the material in an appropriate container that is one gallon or less in size, or
obtain authorization from EHS for alternate containers. Containers must be
compatible with the type of material being collected and non-leaking with secure lids.
2. Attach a completed “Caution Hazardous” tag to each container. If you have questions
or need tags, contact EHS at 6-3192.
3. Call EHS for collection (6-3192). Provide the following information: your name, your
University affiliation (Principal Investigator or Department), the location of the waste
material (lab, building, room #, etc.), your UO extension, and the amount and type of
waste material to be collected, e.g. 2 bottles of organic waste, etc.

Waste collections are completed within 72 hours of notification.

Commonly Asked Hazardous Waste Questions

How do I collect the waste?

• Segregate waste streams - organic from inorganic, solids from liquids, halogenated
from non-halogenated. The more you segregate waste, the more recycling and
disposal options there are for us.
• Glass or plastic bottles are acceptable. Consider the compatibility of the waste with
the bottle, and find an appropriately sized bottle for the amount of waste you expect
to generate.
• Containers must be labeled from the first time a waste is placed in the container.
• Containers must be kept closed except when adding material.

How do I store it?

• Store the waste material in a controlled area and in secondary containment. Make
sure containers are sealed, non-leaking and properly identified with the proper
chemical tag.
• Do not over fill containers (for liquids, leave two or more inches of headspace).

How do I identify the waste?

• List the contents by chemical name, no abbreviations.
• If several small additions are made over time, create a list of discarded materials,
noting the material, concentration and amount. Initial each entry.

Water Management


Water conservation is the most cost-effective and environmentally sound way to reduce our
demand for water. This stretches our supplies farther, and protects places like Mono
Lake. For example, the city of Los Angeles has grown by 1 million people since the 1970s,
but still uses the same amount of water. Using less water also puts less pressure on our
sewage treatment facilities, and uses less energy for water heating.


There are many effective ways to conserve water in and around your home. Look through
this list for ways that will work for you. Many of these tips were gleaned from materials
published by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD). Indoor savings
are based on a family of two adults and one child.

In the Bathroom
1. Put a plastic bottle or a plastic bag weighted with pebbles and filled with water in your
toilet tank. Displacing water in this manner allows you to use less water with each flush.
Saves 5 to 10 gallons a day. That's up to 300 gallons a month, even more for large families.
Better yet, for even greater savings, replace your water-guzzling five to seven gallon a flush
toilet with a one and a half gallon, ultra-low flush model.

2. If you're taking a shower, don't waste cold water while waiting for hot water to reach the
shower head. Catch that water in a container to use on your outside plants or to flush your
toilet. Saves 200 to 300 gallons a month.

3. Check toilet for leaks. Put dye tablets or food coloring into the tank. If color appears in the
bowl without flushing, there's a leak that should be repaired. Saves 400 gallons a month.

4. Turn off the water while brushing your teeth. Saves three gallons each day.

5. Turn off the water while shaving. Fill the bottom of the sink with a few inches of water to
rinse your razor. Saves three gallons each day.

In the Kitchen
1. If you wash dishes by hand--and that's the best way--don't leave the water running for
rinsing. If you have two sinks, fill one with rinse water. If you only have one sink, use a spray
device or short blasts instead of letting the water run. Saves 200 to 500 gallons a month.

2. When washing dishes by hand, use the least amount of detergent possible. This minimizes
rinse water needed. Saves 50 to 150 gallons a month.

3. Keep a bottle of drinking water in the refrigerator. This beats the wasteful habit of running
tap water to cool it for drinking. Saves 200 to 300 gallons a month.

4. Don't defrost frozen foods with running water. Either plan ahead by placing frozen items
in the refrigerator overnight or defrost them in the microwave. Saves 50 to 150 gallons a

5. Don't let the faucet run while you clean vegetables. Rinse them in a filled sink or pan.
Saves 150 to 250 gallons a month.

6. Use the garbage disposal less and the garbage more (even better--compost!). Saves 50 to
150 gallons a month.

1. Put a layer of mulch around trees and plants. Chunks of bark, peat moss or gravel slows
down evaporation. Saves 750 to 1,500 gallons a month.

2. If you have a pool, use a pool cover to cut down on evaporation. It will also keep your pool
cleaner and reduce the need to add chemicals. Saves 1,000 gallons a month.
3. Water during the cool parts of the day. Early morning is better than dusk since it helps
prevent the growth of fungus. Saves 300 gallons.

4. Don't water the lawn on windy days. There's too much evaporation. Can waste up to 300
gallons in one watering.

5. Cut down watering on cool and overcast days and don't water in the rain. Adjust or
deactivate automatic sprinklers. Can save up to 300 gallons each time.

6. Set lawn mower blades one notch higher. Longer grass means less evaporation. Saves
500 to 1,500 gallons each month.

7. Have an evaporative air conditioner? Direct the water drain line to a flower bed, tree
base, or lawn.

8. Drive your car onto a lawn to wash it. Rinse water can help water the grass.

9. Tell your children not to play with the garden hose. Saves 10 gallons a minute.

10. If you allow your children to play in the sprinklers, make sure it's only when you're
watering the yard--if it's not too cool at that time of day.

11. Xeriscape--replace your lawn and high-water-using trees and plants with less thirsty
ones. But do this only in wet years. Even drought resistant plantings take extra water to get
them going. That'll save 750 to 1,500 gallons a month.

12. When taking your car to a car wash--a good idea for saving water--be sure it's one of the
many that recycles its wash water.

13. Dispose of hazardous materials properly! One quart of oil can contaminate 250,000
gallons of water, effectively eliminating that much water from our water supply. Contact
your city or county for proper waste disposal options. And don't flush prescription

Marine Resource Management

The ocean is downstream of everything, so all of our actions, no matter where we live, effect
the ocean and the marine life it holds. Those who live right on the coastline will have the
most direct impact on the ocean, but even if you live far inland, there are many things you
can do that will help marine life.

Eat Eco-Friendly Fish

Our food choices have a huge impact on the environment - from the actual items we eat to
the way they are harvested, processed, and shipped. Going vegan is better for the
environment, but you can take small steps in the right direction by eating eco-friendly fish
and eating local as much as possible. If you eat seafood, eat fish that is harvested in a
sustainable way, which means eating species that that have a healthy population, and
whose harvest minimizes bycatch and impacts on the environment.
Limit Your Use of Plastics, Disposables and Single-Use Projects
Have you heard of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch? That is a name coined to describe the
huge amounts of plastic bits and other marine debris floating in the North Pacific Subtropical
Gyre, one of five major ocean gyres in the world. Sadly, all the gyres seem to have their own
garbage patch.
Stop the Problem of Ocean Acidification
Global warming has been a hot topic in the ocean world, and it is because of ocean
acidification, known as 'the other global warming problem.' As the acidity of the oceans
increases, it will have devastating impacts on marine life, including plankton, corals and
shellfish, and the animals that eat them.
But you can do something about this problem right now - reduce global warming by taking
simple steps that will likely save money in the long run - drive less, walk more, use less
electricity and water - you know the drill. Lessening your "carbon footprint" will help marine
life miles from your home. The idea of an acidic ocean is scary, but we can bring the oceans
to a more healthy state with some easy changes in our behavior.

Be Energy-Efficient
Along with the tip above, reduce your energy consumption and carbon output wherever
possible. This includes simple things like turning off the lights or TV when you're not in a
room, and driving in a way that increases your fuel efficiency. As Amy, one of our 11-year
old readers said, "It might sound strange, but being energy efficient helps the Arctic marine
mammals and fish because the less energy you use the less our climate heats up - then the
ice won't melt."

Participate in a Cleanup
Trash in the environment can be hazardous to marine life, and people too! Help clean up a
local beach, park or roadway and pick up that litter before it gets into the marine
environment. Even trash hundreds of miles from the ocean can eventually float or blow into
the ocean. The International Coastal Cleanup is one way to get involved - that is a cleanup
that occurs each September. You can also contact your local coastal zone management
office or department of environmental protection to see if they organize any cleanups.

Never Release Balloons

Balloons may look pretty when you release them, but they are a danger to wildlife, who can
swallow them accidentally, mistake them for food, or get tangled up in their strings. After
your party, pop the balloons and throw them in the trash instead of releasing them.
Dispose of Fishing Line Responsibly
Monofilament fishing line takes about 600 years to degrade. If left in the ocean, it can
provide an entangling web that threatens whales, pinnipeds and fish (including the fish
people like to catch and eat). Never discard your fishing line into the water - dispose of it
responsibly by recycling it if you can, or into the garbage.

View Marine Life Responsibly

If you're going to be viewing marine life, take steps to do so responsibly. Watch marine life
from the shore by going tide pooling. Take steps to plan a whale watch, diving trip or other
excursion with a responsible operator. Think twice about "swim with dolphins" programs,
which may not be good for dolphins and could even be harmful to people.

Ways To Prevent Air Pollution

The fact is that human activities contribute the most to air pollution. Considering the harmful
effects of air pollution, now it is very essential that everyone should contribute a bit to
prevent air pollution. There are certain ways that one can help to reduce the emission of air
pollutants in the atmosphere. Following are some tips for preventing air pollution:

Car Pool: Forming and implementing a car pool will reduce the number of cars, thereby,
preventing air pollution by cutting down the use of fossil fuels. This way, it will help in the
sustainable use of fossil fuel and its conservation for the future generations.
Vehicle Care: Timely servicing of the car helps to keep it in a good condition and also
minimizes fuel exhaust. Driving the car at an average speed and turning off in traffic is a key
to save fuel. Make sure to use unleaded petrol and opt for regular pollution checking of your

Public Transport: Whenever possible, try to travel by public transports. This helps in two
ways; prevents air pollution and increases public income. If you are going to a nearby place,
go by walking or use bicycle, instead of using your vehicle. The objective is to minimize the
use of fuels, as far as possible.

Alternative Energy Source: Another effective way to prevent air pollution is to

use alternative energy sources such as solar energy, hydroelectric energy and wind energy.
Nowadays, sophisticated technologies such as wind turbine, solar water heaters are
introduced to generate electricity and other energy forms for the household use.

Saving Energy: Saving energy will, of course, help to prevent air pollution. Switch off the
lights, fans, air conditioners, televisions, and other appliances, when not in use. You can also
share a room with others when the air conditioner or fan is on, instead of switching them on
in every room.

Minimize Air Pollutants: Always try to minimize smoke emission, as it can contribute to air
pollution. One way is to compost dried leaves and kitchen waste, instead of burning
them. Composting will also give you organic fertilizer for your garden. While buying the
products, always choose air-friendly and recyclable products that will minimize the emission
of pollutants.

Social awareness about air pollution is the most essential step to be taken for the prevention
of air pollution. Awareness programs and/or advertisements should be encouraged, so that
people understand the potential health hazards of air pollution. Improvement of transport
facilities and proper use of land for the sake of social benefits are equally important for
controlling air pollution.


Different Kinds of Pollution

1. Air pollution
2. Water pollution
3. Land pollution
4. Noise pollution
5. Radioactive pollution
6. Thermal Pollution
7. Light pollution
8. Visual pollution
9. Personal pollution

Air pollution is a change in the physical, chemical and biological characteristics of air that
causes adverse effects on humans and other organisms. The ultimate result is a change in
the natural environment and/or ecosystem. The substances that are responsible for
causing air pollution are called air pollutants. These air pollutants can be either natural
(e.g. wildfires) or synthetic (man-made); they may be in the form of gas, liquid or solid. Air
pollutants are classified into two categories viz. primary and secondary. The former refers to
air pollutants that are directly emitted from the source, for example, carbon monoxide gas
from automobile exhaust. The secondary air pollutants, on the other hand, are the result of
interaction of primary pollutants, for example, the ground level ozone, which is formed when
sunlight hits fuel exhaust in the atmosphere. It is to be noted that some forms of air
pollutants are both primary and secondary. Let's discuss in brief about the causes, effects
and ways to prevent air pollution.
Water pollution is the contamination of water bodies
(e.g. lakes, rivers, oceans and groundwater).
Water pollution affects plants and organisms living in these bodies of water; and, in almost
all cases the effect is damaging not only to individual species and populations, but also to
the natural biological communities.
Water pollution occurs when pollutants are discharged directly or indirectly into water
bodies without adequate treatment to remove harmful compounds.

Land pollution is the degradation of Earth's land surfaces often caused by human activities
and their misuse of land resources. It occurs when waste is not disposed properly. Health
hazard disposal of urban and industrial wastes, exploitation of minerals, and improper use of
soil by inadequate agricultural practices are a few
factors. Urbanization and industrialization are major causes of land pollution. The Industrial
Revolution set a series of events into motion which destroyed natural habitats and polluted
the environment, causing diseases in both humans and other species of animals.

How can you Prevent Pollution

The least you could do

Turn off Sound pollution

1. Keep the volume of your T.V., music system low.

2. Honk the car horn sparingly.
3. Discourage use of loudspeakers.
4. Avoid the use of band, crackers in wedding processions.

5. Get all to practise laws regarding Sound pollution.

Vaporise Air pollution

1. Keep smoke emission from homes, factories, vehicles to minimum.

2. Avoid use of firecrackers.
3. Dispose garbage in bins, do not bum it.
4. Use spittoons or flowing drains for spitting.

5. Get all to practise laws regarding Air pollution.

Purify Water pollution

1. Never dump garbage near communal taps, wells and other water
2. Do not tinker with public water pipes.
3. Immerse holy idols in authorised places.

4. Get all to practise laws regarding Water pollution.

Dispose off Chemical pollution

1. Prefer organic manure to chemical fertilizers, paper to polythene,

cotton, jute to polyester.
2. Dispose polythene bags through proper channel.
3. Plant more trees and vegetation.

4. Get all to practise laws regarding Chemical pollution.