Bob Bea, the nation's foremost forensic engineer, is the guy to call when levees break or oil rigs explode – to sift through the wreckage, assign blame, and try to prevent the same mistakes again. (He's still working on that part.) To accompany his profile in the February, 2013 issue of 'Men's Journal,' Bea told us about four places in the United States that are most vulnerable should a natural or man-made disaster strike.
See also: Bob Bea, the Master of Disaster
America's Most Vulnerable Places: Midwestern Floodplains (Mississippi River Basin)
Extreme storms have nearly doubled in the basin's seven Midwestern states since 2001. Years of housing construction and other development in the floodplain mean that the barrier that once protected towns and millions of people is largely gone. Bea's solution? HiDro Barriers: five-foot inflatable plastic walls that can withstand a 100-year flood. Short of that, Bea says, head for higher ground.
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