Academic department under which the project should be listed

RCHSS - Geography & Anthropology

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Faculty Sponsor Name

Dr. Paul McDaniel

Abstract (300 words maximum)

Florida is prone to flooding and tropical storms due to its physical geography and climate. Hurricanes occur every year in Florida causing many people to evacuate their homes for emergency shelters. This project examines Florida’s flood zones and their severity, Florida’s population, and emergency shelter locations, focusing on the following questions: “Are there enough emergency shelters in an area prone to natural disasters?” and “Are the shelters easily accessible to those areas?” Flood zones provide knowledge to the public by showing areas that are most or least prone to flooding. Flooding has increased rapidly in Florida because of climate change. As the rate of flooding increases, more shelters may be needed. Population data may support the need for an increase in emergency shelters as well. If an area is densely populated and is near a flood zone, odds are there will need to be more than one shelter within that location. Finally, mapping the shelter locations themselves help the public find their nearest shelter. A shelter may need to be moved if it is not close enough to areas in need. Florida will likely have a higher number of shelters located further inland from an area by the coast. The coast bears the brunt of hurricanes and tropical storms, which spread inland. Based on this observation, coastal areas experience the most severe flooding. Yet, many people live by the very coast that gets the worst end of the storm due to the status that living near the ocean gives. Living on the ocean is seen as a luxury, but many of those luxury homes experience the most flooding and deterioration caused by storms and climate change. Spatial analysis of Florida’s flood zones, flood severity, population geography, and shelter locations will yield important information for the general public’s understanding of these issues.

Disciplines

Geography

Project Type

Oral Presentation (15-min time slots)

TurmoilSS.mp4 (667416 kB)

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Turmoil in the Sunshine State: Population and Hurricane Severity

Florida is prone to flooding and tropical storms due to its physical geography and climate. Hurricanes occur every year in Florida causing many people to evacuate their homes for emergency shelters. This project examines Florida’s flood zones and their severity, Florida’s population, and emergency shelter locations, focusing on the following questions: “Are there enough emergency shelters in an area prone to natural disasters?” and “Are the shelters easily accessible to those areas?” Flood zones provide knowledge to the public by showing areas that are most or least prone to flooding. Flooding has increased rapidly in Florida because of climate change. As the rate of flooding increases, more shelters may be needed. Population data may support the need for an increase in emergency shelters as well. If an area is densely populated and is near a flood zone, odds are there will need to be more than one shelter within that location. Finally, mapping the shelter locations themselves help the public find their nearest shelter. A shelter may need to be moved if it is not close enough to areas in need. Florida will likely have a higher number of shelters located further inland from an area by the coast. The coast bears the brunt of hurricanes and tropical storms, which spread inland. Based on this observation, coastal areas experience the most severe flooding. Yet, many people live by the very coast that gets the worst end of the storm due to the status that living near the ocean gives. Living on the ocean is seen as a luxury, but many of those luxury homes experience the most flooding and deterioration caused by storms and climate change. Spatial analysis of Florida’s flood zones, flood severity, population geography, and shelter locations will yield important information for the general public’s understanding of these issues.

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