July 11, 2011
We are now in the middle of Hurricane Season in the United States. Exponent offers a select group of services to assist clients in the unlikely event that a hurricane strikes our borders.
Storm Surge Analysis
Exponent’s Water Resources team is experienced in performing assessments in coastal areas to evaluate the risks posed by storm surge. Storm surge is a phenomenon in which ocean water surface elevations rise as a result of high winds and decreases in atmospheric pressure during tropical storms and hurricanes. Storm surge can cause significant flooding in coastal communities. Lives and property located along the coastlines of hurricane-prone regions (e.g., the US Gulf Coast and Eastern Seaboard, islands in the eastern Pacific Ocean such as Hawaii and Guam) are at great risk during large storm events (including hurricanes) because of high water levels, which have the potential of inundating vast areas.
Exponent provides holistic wind engineering solutions to help our clients understand the wind hazard, the mechanisms and contributing cause(s) of wind damage, and the best measures to mitigate risk of future damage. We have helped owners of facilities in areas of high wind hazard quantify and mitigate their risks, and we have helped insurance carriers investigate the cause(s) and differentiate damage mechanisms after storms (including hundreds of structures after Hurricane Katrina).
With our reputation for cutting-edge innovation in atmospheric sciences, Exponent has conducted many projects investigating emissions, ambient air quality, and atmospheric phenomena. Our experience includes compliance, permitting, indoor air and atmospheric dispersion and deposition modeling, ambient air quality and emissions monitoring, rule assessment, pollution control research, and green house gas studies. We are frequently called upon to investigate unusual atmospheric releases of chemicals, assess air pollution risks, simulate transport and fate of chemical substances, or develop measures of prevention and control, such as emergency preparedness and response. We have conducted air quality analyses in locations throughout the U.S. and internationally including desert, tropical, temperate, and arctic environments and have communicated our analytical results effectively to the general public, regulatory bodies, and in courts of law.
Exponent’s engineers work with catastrophe adjusters to determine the nature and extent of damage, evaluate the contributions of perhaps several causal factors, and identify the most appropriate repairs. Our staff has repeatedly responded quickly to catastrophes, often on the first available plane to the affected region. Because we have offices across the country, our structural engineers and building technologists can meet the adjusters in the field, and our teams will remain as long as required. Our experience applying Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to disaster response can be of great value to insurance catastrophe managers, who require full information to manage the carrier’s response in an inherently chaotic situation.