When the lights go out

On June 10, 2011, in injury, public health, by Karen Grepin

Yesterday afternoon I was siting at my desk at my place in CT when suddenly a very mean looking storm came over the valley. An hour later and after one of the most spectacular lightening storms I have ever experienced, our little town was in chaos: downed trees had closed off most of the major roads and many of the little ones and about a quarter of the homes had lost power. As of this morning I still did not have power and finally decided to leave the area to seek out internet and a shower.

My troubles are minor compared to the problems that many have experienced this year in the United States due to the unusual weather activity that has been affecting the country. I heard on NPR a few weeks ago that so far over 500 people have been killed in the USA from tornados, and that was before the twister that touched down a few dozen miles from us in Springfield, MA.

It made me think of this excellent post by Johns Hopkins graduate student Brett Keller on Tornado Epidemiology. It also made me think of this paper from Alfredo Burlando, an Assistant Professor at the University of Oregon, who has a paper that investigates the impact of a major power outage in Zanzibar on the health effects. He finds rather substantial impact on the probability that a child is born low birthweight at birth.

Nature is a powerful force and it continues to have major impact on both rich and poor communities around the world.

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1 Response » to “When the lights go out”

  1. Moyo Academy says:

    RT @BonnieKoenig: When the lights go out…in Connecticut & in Africa blog post by @KarenGrepin http://t.co/5wHlQ3D

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