As two ominous weather systems brew in the Gulf of Mexico, threatening to form
into the season’s first hurricanes and further complicate problems with the oil spill,
several Texas Tech University experts can discuss how these storms may impact the
One storm, off the coast of Honduras, has a 70 percent chance of becoming a hurricane
within the next 48 hours, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Researchers with extensive experience researching hurricanes such as Rita, Katrina
and Ike, and can speak as experts about various aspects of these devastating storms.
Two other experts can discuss the economic impact and, the impact of the oil spill
should a hurricane make landfall.
All the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico needs to go from bad to unprecedented environmental
disaster is an early hurricane season. As oil continues to flow from the exploded
Deepwater Horizon oil rig, a hurricane now can force escaped oil into wetland habitats
and populated areas causing huge problems for wildlife and humans. Ron Kendall is
director of The Institute of Environmental and Human Health. He can discuss the toxic
effects of oil on wildlife and human health. He was a part of the assessment for the
Exxon Valdez as well as other oil spills and contamination events. Kendall can be reached at (806) 885-4567, (806) 786-4480, or firstname.lastname@example.org
John L. Schroeder, associate professor of atmospheric science, visited affected areas
after both hurricanes Rita and Katrina to deploy instrumented towers that gather high-resolution
storm data at a time when most conventional observation systems fail. Schroeder can
offer insight into how hurricanes develop, move and react to various meteorological
elements. He is an expert on hurricane winds and has been actively intercepting hurricanes
since 1998. Schroeder can be reached at (806) 742-2813 or email@example.com.
Bradley Ewing, professor of operations management in the Rawls College of Business,
has studied the economic impact of hurricanes and tornadoes for more than 12 years.
He can speak to the impact of hurricanes and tornadoes in cities such as Oklahoma
City, Corpus Christi, Wilmington, N.C., Miami, and Nashville, Tenn. Ewing can be reached at (806) 742-3939 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Daan Liang, assistant professor of construction engineering technology, investigated
building damages caused by Hurricane Katrina using satellite images and aerial photos
along with ground survey results. Liang has studied how the construction of buildings
affects their vulnerability against severe windstorms with various probability models.
Recently, his research is focused on the advancement of remote sensing technology
in documenting and assessing wind damages to residential structures. Liang can be reached at (806) 742-3538 or email@example.com.
Larry Tanner, research associate, completed a six-month investigation working with
the FEMA mitigation assessment team on the wind damage to residential structures from
Hurricane Ike in Texas and Louisiana. He was also a member of the FEMA mitigation
assessment team that studied Hurricane Katrina. He led a team that recorded wind and
water damage along the coastline in Louisiana and Mississippi. Much of the damage
done by Katrina, he said, resulted from structures being built below the base flood
elevation – or the elevation that flood waters will rise to during a 100-year storm
event (meaning the storm only has a 1 percent chance of happening in a year). Tanner can be reached at (806) 742-3476 ext. 336, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ernst Kiesling, professor of civil engineering and executive director of the National
Storm Shelter Association, recommends that homeowners who live above the flood plane
in hurricane-prone areas buy a storm shelter for their home. As was seen in Houston
preceding Hurricane Rita, evacuations often can put immense strain on traffic corridors,
leading to traffic jams and – in the case of Houston – fatalities. By utilizing in-home
shelters, some families who are not required to evacuate can remain where they are
and ease the traffic flow. However, Kiesling urges buyers to look for a seal of the
National Storm Shelter Association when they buy a safe room for their home, because
not all shelters are verified to be fully compliant with current standards for storm
shelters and to provide full protection from extreme winds. Kiesling has more than
30 years of experience in the design, standards-writing and quality control of storm
shelters. He can be reached at (806) 742-3476, ext. 335 or email@example.com.