Natural Disaster Survey Report: Hurricane Andrew: South Florida and Louisiana, August 23-26, 1992 [open pdf - 9MB]
"The primary purpose of this disaster survey has been to evaluate the performance of the NWS in fulfilling its mission of providing timely warnings and accurate forecasts for Hurricane Andrew. The responsibilities of NOAA, the parent agency of the NWS, are broader. The NWS' products and services are key to severe storm preparedness and the mitigation of its impact: its SLOSH (Sea, Lake, and Overland Surges from Hurricanes) models are used by emergency evacuation planners; its wind speed measurements are used to develop building codes and to design buildings; and its warnings and forecasts are instrumental to placing a timetable on implementing preparedness actions and response efforts. But NOAA's partnership role with states in managing the Nation's coastal zone, NOAA's trustee responsibility for marine resources, and other agencywide concerns compel NOAA to step outside of the traditional NWS format in this preface to comment on Hurricane Andrew's consequences in south Florida and Louisiana. NOAA and the NWS are dedicated to a continuing improvement in warnings and forecasts, thereby allowing emergency management officials lead time to take lifesaving action. But, if disastrous consequences are to be mitigated, the coastal zone and other areas at risk must be managed in recognition of the awful threat to life and property that hurricanes pose. Hurricanes, of course, are natural meteorological events. In the absence of people and their property, hurricanes expend their force against marine and terrestrial ecosystems that adapt to the storm's destruction. People and their property, unfortunately, are not as resilient as damaged ecosystems."
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