Page 62

Â

Minnehaha and Lincoln County Hazard Information Type of Hazard Drought Definition: Drought is a condition of climatic dryness severe enough to reduce soil moisture and water below the minimum necessary for sustaining plant, animal, and human life systems. Drought characteristics usually include precipitation levels well below normal and temperatures higher than normal. Severe damage occurs to vegetation and soil which becomes dry and crumbles. Streams, ponds, and wells often dry up during a drought causing wildlife and livestock to suffer and sometimes perish. Though agriculture is the most obvious recipient of drought losses, it also impacts urban areas, leaving its mark on domestic and industrial water supplies. Vulnerability Capable of affecting the entire county but most likely the rural areas of the counties,specifically agricultural and grassland areas. Populations at risk include the elderly, the impoverished, the homeless, and those employed primarily outdoors. Property at risk includes all non-irrigated cropland and livestock. Environmental exposure includes the increased possibility of disease, fire and infestation. The severity of environmental exposure relates directly to the time period of the drought conditions. History Weather forecasters are unable to predict with certainty when a drought will occur or when it will end. Because the effects of drought tend to persist over long periods of time, it is difficult to predict what affects it will make upon the land. Historical analysis clearly indicates that severe drought conditions can be caused by as little as a four to six inch precipitation deficit. When mixed with numerous other factors, the situation can worsen in a short period of time. While drought conditions are most likely to affect agriculture, predicting the exact effects is difficult due to the wide variety of variables that can hinder or help the situation. These variables include the time of year, the timing

Â

60

2016 Standards of Cover Manual  
2016 Standards of Cover Manual