Convert it Into "Green Town Term Paper

Pages: 12 (3795 words)  ·  Style: APA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 9  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Weather

Mental Health Counseling

Many commentators and psychologists believe that victims of any disaster face an uphill battle against depression and post-traumatic stress. The reason for depression could be shock and loss of personal or possession. The survivors of disasters, such as the Greensburg tornado would require Mental Health counseling (Blaikie et al. 1994)

The respondents of the study by Paul, Che, Stimers and Dutt (2009) stated that not a large number of the survivors needed mental health counseling. However, they conceded that mostly people older than sixty years old benefited from counseling. They also stated that the temporary shelters provided by the authorities had adequate resources to provide counseling to all those who needed it. Moreover, the individuals who received counseling expressed satisfactory perspectives regarding these services.

Debris Removal

Researchers claim that more than twelve different private and public institutions, such as The Kansas Highway Patrol, USDA Forest Service, Kansas National Guard, FEMA, Red Cross, Salvation Army and little other organization began the task to clean up the region. In addition to the public and private organization, the survivors of the tornado, volunteers from neighboring towns, farms and ranches came and contributed towards clearing the debris.

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The destruction caused was immense and it took a little over five months to clear all the rubble and debris. The number of volunteers and the enthusiasm of public agencies to clear the region were very promising (Tierney et al. 2001, U.S. Department of Energy, 2008).

Among the survivors, they first consideration was to reclaim their personal belongings before helping out with clearing debris in other locations of Greensburg. The report by Paul, Che, Stimers and Dutt (2009) suggest that the participating survivors took as much as nine days to clear debris from their own property and then later joined others to help clean other regions.

Term Paper on Convert it Into "Green Town" Assignment

For self-motivated volunteers, the time spent to remove the debris varied between one hour and two months. The enthusiastic response of the volunteers was due to public messages for help issued by various government representatives, as many senators urged volunteers to pour in the region and offer their resources.

Most commentators agree that the amount of debris present at region of Greensburg would have taken years to clear up if response from the public and government organization had not been so overwhelming. The respondents of the study prepared by Paul, Che, Stimers and Dutt (2009) expressed their delight at the turn out and the manner through which debris was removed. The respondents scored a '4.8' (out of '5') on the Likert scale to demonstrate that they were 'very satisfied' with the debris removal operations.

They added that everyone involved in the debris removal process did a wonderful job. However, among the positive feedback received for the debris removal teams, few respondents claimed that there was not enough heavy equipment to take away the extracted materials. Another respondent suggested that the extensive amount of volunteers created some problems as well, such as difficulty in coordinating between mini teams.

Provisions for temporary Shelter

It has been stated earlier that almost all of the residents of the town had to leave the region within twelve hours of the emergence of the tornado. This tornado destroyed most of the building in Greensburg, which meant that evacuees did not have complete access to their damaged homes for a considerable duration of time.

The survivors had to face a lot of problems. Some went to the residence of their relative in unaffected areas, while others had to rely on the government to provide shelter for them. The victims of the Greensburg tornado were not happy with the arrangements for shelter. Many of them had to stay at three different places during the early phase of debris removal. Both the public and private sectors organized the formation of shelter homes for the displaced personnel. FEMA organized mobile homes in Pratt (near Greensburg). Moreover, for the first eighteen months of their stay in these mobile homes, they were not charged any rent but were asked to pay for their utility bills. Hence, there was adequate number of shelter homes for the victims of the Greensburg tornado.

Overall Emergency Response

Considering all of the factors stated above and the comments of a number of researchers, who have analyzed the emergency response of the Greensburg tornado, it can be concluded that the emergency response was effective, timely and adequate.

The survivors of this traumatic experience were themselves pleased with the role and services of the government, private and volunteers.

The death toll for this disaster reached thirteen but many believe that if the response of medical services and search and rescue operation been inadequate then more deaths people could have died.

The only flaw in the emergency response was noted in the lack of communication between the rescue services. However, this was expected as the participating organizations were from all parts of the country. However, the overall performance still remains quite satisfactory.

Analysis of the Rehabilitation

This section will analyze the government policies after the initial phase of emergency response ended and determine if they contributed towards the recovery of Greensburg.

Building of Residential blocks

There have been a lot of questions regarding the recovery and rebuilding of Greensburg. A number of residents were not too optimistic about rebuilding as they fear that it will be too expensive for them. These fears were justified as at the time of the disaster, the average Greensburg home had a value of $47,000. However, the estimated costs of a new building (three bedrooms) is coming up to be $140,000. Similarly, the rental apartments would also have high rents as compared to rents before the tornado. Hence, most of the residents would be forced to buy moderately prices homes in the neighboring vicinity of Greensburg. On the other hand, a large portion of interest has been devoted to rebuilding the town. There is a lot of talk about a "Green" Greensburg (U.S. Department of Energy, 2008)

The extent of the housing recovery is the most significant aspect of rebuilding the town of Greensburg as it will define the future of the region.

The extent of housing recovery will shape the town's future. The U.S. development authorities have recognized this and have issued a statement to make available a funding of one million dollars to aid the local of Greensburg with their planning and administrative expenses. Moreover, the USDA's 'self-help' program for housing loan is designed to help low income families to construct their homes. Similarly, residents looking to rent an apartment were also issued supportive programs by the Kansas Housing Resource Corporation (KHRC). Their program was designed to aid those making less than eighty per cent of Greensburg's median income (Langdon, 2007)

The town of Greensburg is very old and this tragedy provided an opportunity for the local government to enforce the updated building regulations and codes. This includes, using better constructions material, safe room and protective house designs.


The works of Brock and Paul (2003) suggested that once the emergency response is provided then the local and federal governments can move their focus on the recovery part of the process. One of consequence of such a disaster is that the mitigation measures are revised to make them more capable of preparing against future disasters. The total death toll for the Greensburg tornado is not huge but still arrangements have to be improved to minimize the death toll in future such catastrophes.

The first part of this document comprises of an analysis of the initial emergency response to the Greensburg tornado and it was found to be both effective and effective. Unfortunately the rehabilitation process has been a lot slower than the first phase.

The report by FEMA (2007) states that it should be noted that it is very difficult for a community to come out of such a huge disaster so soon. The recovery process for such devastation could take up from several months to several years. For the case of Greensburg as ninety-five per cent of the structures were destroyed then it is more likely that it will take several years to be completely rebuilt. Unfortunately, the extent and complexity of this project will also discourage the concerned authorities to invest in rebuilding.

Commentators insist that many locals wanted to start rebuilding a few months after the debris was removed but building permits and zoning issues slowed their progress. There are some reports that suggest that Greensburg can be rezoned into an industrial state as opposed to a residential location Paul, Che, Stimers and Dutt (2009).

The talks about such endeavors have added a lot of complications in the rebuilding phase. Moreover, a new law was formed on July 1, 2007, which limits the involvement of the local government to seize private residential property without the approval of the Kansas Legislature. This rules states that cities can only remove debris from private… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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