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A GOES satellite shows Hurricane Irma, center, and Hurricane Jose, right, in the Atlantic Ocean, and Hurricane Katia in the Gulf of Mexico. U.S. Navy (Flickr).

UCS Experts’ View of Risk and Preparedness as the Impacts of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma Mount

, senior analyst, Climate & Energy Program

We’ve witnessed the destruction done by Hurricane Harvey and now, less than two weeks later, with clean-up in Texas and Louisiana scarcely underway, we see the path of Caribbean devastation Hurricane Irma is leaving as it heads toward mainland US. The NHC is warning that Irma will bring dangerous storm surge to coastal Florida, and heavy rain and life-threatening flooding from Florida to North Carolina.

With preparedness efforts being marshalled to the Southeast US and specific risks coming into better focus, we offer a composite of what our team – experts at the intersection of science, policy, and social equity – is seeing.

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Flooded by Hurricane Harvey: New Map Shows Energy, Industrial, and Superfund Sites

, climate scientist

New analysis shows that more than 650 energy and industrial facilities may have been exposed to Hurricane Harvey’s floodwaters. Read more >

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Photo: Patrick Bloodgood/US Army

Superfund Sites and the Floods of Hurricane Harvey: Foreseeable or an “Act of God”?

, research scientist, Center for Science and Democracy

Superfund sites contain some of the most dangerous chemicals known to humankind. It has been confirmed that Superfund sites in the Houston area were submerged by the floodwaters of Hurricane Harvey. Does this mean these hazardous chemicals were swept away off of Superfund sites into neighboring communities where people live, play, and work? If so, who will be responsible for cleaning up such a disaster? Read more >

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Irma, September 5. Photo: US Naval Research Laboratory

¿Está en zona de peligro de inundaciones por Irma o José? Esté atento a los avisos de las agencias locales y usa éste mapa para enterarte de tu riesgo.

, Kendall Science Fellow

No bien hemos pasado el susto de la destrucción causada por el Huracán Harvey en Houston, ya se nos encima Irma, y José parece que no tarda. Preocupado por el paso de éstos dos peligrosos fenómenos , me dí a la tarea de crear mapas que puedes utilizar para evaluar el riesgo de que el lugar donde vives se inunde. Pero es más importante saber que estar fuera de las áreas de inundación en el mapa no garantiza que no se vaya a inundar el área en que vives. Hay que estar atento a los avisos del National Hurricane Center acerca de la cantidad de lluvia esperada, ya que estar afuera de las áreas de inundación en el mapa no garantiza que estarás a salvo.

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A 2014 session of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)—a crucial "dot" in a connected climate science narrative. Photo: IPCC (Flickr)

Connecting the Dots on Climate Science: The Importance of a Complete Science Narrative

Keith Daum, , UCS

In Walter M. Miller’s classic apocalyptic novel, A Canticle for Leibowitz, an atomic holocaust leaves the world in a modern version of the Dark Ages. In this post-apocalyptic world, books are burnt and cultural information destroyed by anti-intellectual mobs. The monks of a small knowledge-hoarding religious institution try to preserve, understand, and control what information remains. Read more >

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