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Disaster Mitigation in the South Atlantic Coastal Zone (SACZ): A Prodrome for Mapping Hazards and Coastal Land Systems Using the Example of Urban Subtropical Southeastern Florida

Charles W. Finkl, Jnr.
Journal of Coastal Research
Special Issue No. 12. COASTAL HAZARDS: PERCEPTION, SUSCEPTIBILITY AND MITIGATION (1994), pp. 339-366
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25735609
Page Count: 28
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Disaster Mitigation in the South Atlantic Coastal Zone (SACZ): A Prodrome for Mapping Hazards and Coastal Land Systems Using the Example of Urban Subtropical Southeastern Florida
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Abstract

The South Atlantic Coastal Zone is susceptible to a wide range of coastal hazards. The major coastal risks or vulnerabilities in southeastern Florida are associated with flooding from hurricane storm surges, interior flooding from high intensity rainfall events in western suburbs that were developed by dredge-and-fill of coastal wetlands (Everglades), and wind damage from catastrophic hurricanes. Other important hazards include beach erosion, bulkhead scour, potential formation of new inlets across low-lying berms, blowing and drifting sand, and saltwater intrusion, among others. Emergency management in this disaster-prone area focuses on the identification of hazardous zones and development of evacuation plans for different levels of perceived hazard intensity. The emergency management plans for the Broward Coastal Zone (BCZ) are employed as an example of exemplary efforts to reduce potential hazards and as a case study for refining integrated comprehensive disaster preparedness. Because space in public shelters is limited to only 19% of the population in the case of a Category 4 or 5 hurricane, nearly Herculean efforts are required to quickly evacuate nearly 500,000 people living in high risk zones. Reducing the number of people who must evacuate may be facilitated by mapping natural coastal (hydrologic) environments that are less prone to flooding in addition to using political or civil boundaries to designate limits of hazardous zones. Land system maps not only provide a valuable tool for disaster preparedness, but can also assist in the planning and implementation of cleanup and restoration efforts after the passage of high energy events. The development of coastal hazard maps and delineation of "safe" land systems within presently perceived danger zones is seen as a first step toward comprehensive integrated planning for disaster preparedness.

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