Deadly Season : Analysis of the 2011 Tornado Outbreaks

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2012-04-15
  • Publisher: Univ of Chicago Pr
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In 2011, despite continued developments in forecasting, tracking, and warning technology, the United States was hit by the deadliest tornado season in decades. More than 1,200 tornadoes touched down, shattering communities and their safety nets, and killing more than 500 people-a death toll unmatched since 1953. Drawing on the unique analysis described in their first book, Economic and Societal Impacts of Tornadoes, economists Kevin M. Simmons and Daniel Sutter here examine the factors that contributed to the outcomes of such tornadoes as the mid-April outbreak that devastated communities in North Carolina, the "Super Outbreak" across the southern and eastern United States in late April, and the single, mile-wide funnel that touched down in Joplin, Missouri, among others, in late May. In the course of their study the authors identify patterns and anomalies, and reconsider previous assertions about the effectiveness of the Doppler radar and storm warning systems. Their conclusions, as well their assessment of early recovery efforts, are aimed at helping community leaders and policy-makers keep vulnerable populations safer in the future.

Author Biography

Kevin M. Simmons is the Corrigan Chair of Economics at Austin College and a former Fulbright Scholar, selected to work with the International Center for Geohazards in Oslo, Norway. Daniel Sutter is professor of economics at the Sorrell College of Business at Troy University.

Table of Contents

Forewordp. xiii
Photographsp. 64
The 2011 Tornado Season in Historical Perspectivep. 1
An Overview of the Seasonp. 3
How Much of an Outlier was 2011?p. 6
The Challenge for Researchersp. 11
Outline of the Bookp. 13
Southeastern Vulnerability and the April 27-28 Tornado Outbreakp. 17
Introduction: A Record Outbreak in the Wrong Place?p. 17
Patterns of Vulnerability in the Southeastp. 19
Comparing Southeastern Vulnerabilities to Other Regionsp. 25
Assessing the Record Outbreakp. 31
Conclusionp. 34
Extreme Vulnerability Versus Extreme Weather in the 2011 Seasonp. 37
Warning Regression Modelp. 38
Do Fatalities Regressions Anticipate the 2011 Death Tolls?p. 39
Projecting Fatalities Using Damage and Injuriesp. 43
Conclusionp. 51
Doppler Radar, Warnings, and Electric Powerp. 55
Do Doppler Radar Effects Need To Be Revised?p. 56
Warnings and Power Outagesp. 59
Conclusionp. 66
Recovery from Tornadoesp. 69
Disaster Impacts and Evidence on Recovery from Tornadoesp. 70
Population Change after Significant Tornadoesp. 73
Case Study: The Tri-State Tornadop. 77
Tornadoes and the Local Economyp. 82
Conclusionp. 83
Lessons Learned and the Path Forwardp. 85
Societal Vulnerabilities Highlighted by the 2011 Seasonp. 86
Can the Danger from Violent Tornadoes Be Efficiently Reduced?p. 89
Referencesp. 95
Indexp. 99
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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