ITE Journal July 2018 - 26

Wilfredo Cordero, CSA Architects and Engineers, LLP

This photo shows the current state of a road in Caguas, Puerto Rico.
This was largely because of the heavy rains Puerto Rico received:
10 to 15 inches during Irma and 23 to 38 inches during María, and
only two weeks apart. The other impact to the infrastructure was
associated with the landslides, causing the closure of several roads,
including freeways as well as primary, secondary, and tertiary
roads. Combining the lack of accesses with the electricity and
communication "black-out" was a very stressful situation, especially
during rainy events in rural highways and along coastal streets.
My thoughts after eight months from hurricane María are
summarized into three main categories: the importance of strong
community outreach, the need for education about the importance
of building codes, and "back-to-basics" as a redundancy approach
in a technology-dependent culture.

Importance of Strong Community Outreach
During hurricanes Irma and María, the most organized
communities have demonstrated to be in a better place than others,
regardless of their social level. This is because these communities
had plans on how to manage disasters. One way to strengthen
community outreach is to promote the development of emergency
management plans among communities. This would help to
make people aware of their community needs and methods in
case of a natural disaster or other emergencies (i.e., fires, medical
emergencies). For example, communities could perform a census by
category (disabled people, children, elderly, doctors, construction
workers, etc.) and simple maps of the location of these people. In
addition, communities could prepare escape routes, siren systems,
and shelters, among other things. Having a community plan, in
26

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coordination to the state plans, could be the key for surviving a
natural disaster, and the aftermath.

Need for Education about the Importance of
Building Codes
Illegal construction was an important factor in losing more than
250,000 homes in Puerto Rico due to hurricanes Irma and María,
according to local news outlets. The application of new construction
codes is an important factor too, and limiting the granting for
permits in high-risk areas could reduce the number of people affected
by coastal erosion, cyclonic storm surge, landslides, and flooding that
results in losing homes. Avoiding construction in high-risk areas and
encouraging residents from these zones (which includes the coasts,
areas susceptible to landslides, and flood areas) to move to safer areas
permanently is a challenge. The Puerto Rico College of Engineers and
Land Surveyors (CIAPR, its acronym in Spanish) has immediately
taken a leadership role in this area after hurricane María.

"Back-to-basics" as a Redundancy Approach in a
Technology-dependent Culture
Experiencing months without electric power, lack of replacement
materials in the chain-of-supplies, and limitations in the amounts
of available contractors to perform the recovery efforts are only
some examples of the importance of having redundancy in
basic traffic operations and other transportation needs, such
as pedestrian facilities and transit systems. Experiencing triple
traveling times during the first three months after María made me
rethink about the need for having other types of traffic controls



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ITE Journal July 2018

ITE Journal July 2018 - Cover1
ITE Journal July 2018 - Cover2
ITE Journal July 2018 - 3
ITE Journal July 2018 - 4
ITE Journal July 2018 - 5
ITE Journal July 2018 - 6
ITE Journal July 2018 - 7
ITE Journal July 2018 - 8
ITE Journal July 2018 - 9
ITE Journal July 2018 - 10
ITE Journal July 2018 - 11
ITE Journal July 2018 - 12
ITE Journal July 2018 - 13
ITE Journal July 2018 - 14
ITE Journal July 2018 - 15
ITE Journal July 2018 - 16
ITE Journal July 2018 - 17
ITE Journal July 2018 - 18
ITE Journal July 2018 - 19
ITE Journal July 2018 - 20
ITE Journal July 2018 - 21
ITE Journal July 2018 - 22
ITE Journal July 2018 - 23
ITE Journal July 2018 - 24
ITE Journal July 2018 - 25
ITE Journal July 2018 - 26
ITE Journal July 2018 - 27
ITE Journal July 2018 - 28
ITE Journal July 2018 - 29
ITE Journal July 2018 - 30
ITE Journal July 2018 - 31
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ITE Journal July 2018 - 33
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ITE Journal July 2018 - 35
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ITE Journal July 2018 - 37
ITE Journal July 2018 - 38
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ITE Journal July 2018 - 46
ITE Journal July 2018 - 47
ITE Journal July 2018 - 48
ITE Journal July 2018 - 49
ITE Journal July 2018 - 50
ITE Journal July 2018 - Cover3
ITE Journal July 2018 - Cover4
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https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/ITE_Dec2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/ITE_Nov2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/ITE_Oct2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/ITE_Sept2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/ITE_Aug2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/ITE_July2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/ITE_June2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/ITE_May2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/ITE_April2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/ITE_March2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/ITE_February2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/ITE_January2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/ITE_December2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G110939_ITE_November2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G110110_ITE_October2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G110109_ITE_September2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G108559_ITE_August2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G108250_ITE_July2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G107225_ITE_June2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G104039_ITE_May2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G104038_ITE_April2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G104036_ITE_March2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G103582_ITE_February2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G102868_ITE_January2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G100155_ITE_December2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G100154_ITE_November2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G99495_ITE_October2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G98028_ITE_September2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G97366_ITE_August2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G96287_ITE_July2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G94315_ITE_June2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G93877_ITE_May2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G93065_ITE_Apr2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G91484_ITE_Mar2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G89434_ITE_Feb2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ITE/G86608_ITE_Jan2018
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