Transportation Risk and Weather and Natural Disasters

Transportation – Risk/Weather and Natural Disasters

Adverse weather and natural disasters tend to have devastating disruptions in transportation systems once they occur (Coyle et al. 2011). Hurricane Katrina that took place in 2005 in the New Orleans and other nearby towns had long lasting impacts on the oil production and transportation. The disaster had various risks to human beings, the economy, and the environment in the affected areas.

Risks that Occur from Hurricane Katrina

A risk refers to exposure of someone or something to harm, loss, or danger (Fischhoff & Kadvany, 2011). Hurricane Katrina exposed people, the environment, and economy in the affected regions to various risks. First thing, people in the area are prone to health hazards. According to Ciottone (2006), flood waters overloaded sewage systems and contaminated both ground and surface waters in the areas. The affected areas have not fully recovered from the contamination thus people are at risk of getting communicable diseases such as noroviruses, E. coli, and cholera among others. The other potential risk includes exposure to biological contaminations especially to people who live or work near sludge water. Environmentalists are also concerned that the contamination might devastate the area’s ecological health and biodiversity for many years hence further destroying the region’s already ailing fisheries. In turn, this might lead to an economic disaster. 

Loses to Companies

Hurricane Katrina caused enormous losses to various oil production and transportation companies. One of the companies that the storm hit hard was Shell. According to Mouawad and Romero (2005), a single deep-water platform costs more than $1 billion. The storm damaged the company’s platforms and pipelines thus destructing oil transportation. The damaged pipelines spilled more than 13,400 gallons (Porretto, n.d). Shell incurred a loss exceeding $1 billion because its oil transport activities also stop due to the storm and subsequent infrastructural damage.