September 10, 2012
Although not classified as a major hurricane, Hurricane Issac recently did significant damage to the Gulf Coast and tested the levees constructed after Hurricane Katrina. Hurricane Leslie, still churning in the Atlantic, may impact the Southern East Coast as well. It is important for companies and carriers to prepare for damage and business interruption that takes place after such events occur.
Exponent offers a select group of services to assist clients in the 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 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.
- Wind Engineering: 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).
- Meteorological Analysis: Exponent has strong capabilities and deep experience in using state of the science numerical weather prediction and diagnostic meteorological models and meteorological data analysis. Numerical meteorological modeling can be used to develop a high spatial and temporal resolution analysis of meteorological fields during the storm event that can be used to perform storm damage assessments.
- Catastrophe Response: 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.
- Risks to Utilities: Hurricanes in the recent past, such as Katrina, Rita, Gustav and Ike, have done unprecedented damage to the nation's power infrastructure. Not only are underground lines at risk, but above ground transmission lines that feed power to the underground lines remain vulnerable during storm events. Exponent provides multi-disciplinary expertise and rapid response to assist electric utility clients with technical and managerial support services, often in extremely short time frames.
- Health Effects Analysis: Exponent’s industrial hygienists and health consultants provide support related to health impacts from moisture and water intrusion, environmental mold, odors, and other related issues from furniture, consumer products; food and other materials.
- Environmental Assessment: Exponent’s environmental and water resource engineers evaluate issues related to water run-off, damage to existing estuaries, soil and groundwater contamination, and impact on wildlife.
Charles A. Menzie, Ph.D.
Lloyd L. Schulman, Ph.D., CCM
Joseph S. Scire, CCM
Walter J. Shields, Ph.D., C.P.S.S.
David W. Sykora, Ph.D., P.E., G.E.
Jon Wren, Ph.D., P.E.