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Your Task

Up until now, you have studied fires, hurricanes, and volcanoes to prepare for your upcoming e-Mission. Your studies have sharpened your thinking about how complex nature can be. Now that you are aware of the volcanic activity on Montserrat and of the storm headed toward the island, it is time to apply all you've learned to help the people of Montserrat.

Each team must carry out a detailed study of Montserrat. However, this might be difficult. The data has been delayed because of the malfunctioning Low Earth Orbiting (LEO) satellite, and all other communications with Montserrat are cut due to bad weather and seismic activity.

What Do You know?
To learn as much as you can about Montserrat, refer to the pages listed in the navigation bar to the left. These pages contain maps and any up-to-date information about Montserrat that we have been able to gather at e-Mission Headquarters.

What Do You Need To know?
At the beginning of your e-Mission, a crew aboard the Challenger shuttle will be trying to repair the LEO satellite. After the satellite is repaired, Mission Control will send your teams all the available data on Montserrat for your analysis and interpretation. You must use your scientific studies and your analysis of the island to summarize the situation and to make predictions and recommendations for immediate action.

You need to think about all that could happen on the island and what to do about it. You should develop alternate plans of action in case different events occur. We will call these "contingency plans." Mission Control will use your contingency plans to advise Montserrat's government about what actions you recommend.

"Plan for the worst and hope for the best"

In your plans, you need to consider the worst that could happen and prepare for such a contingency.Three of the plans you must think about are:

  1. What would happen on the island if the volcano were to erupt much more than it has been erupting over the last few months? How would the ecosystem be affected? How would people be affected? What do we do about it?
  2. What would happen on the island if a hurricane hit? How would the ecosystem be affected? How would people be affected? What do we do about it?
  3. What do we do if both events occur at the same time?
Please be specific. Discuss your thoughts with the other members of your Emergency Response Team. Then compose your thoughts about possible future events on the island that might place the people in danger. Be ready to offer your advice.

Here is a summary of your tasks at t-Minus 1 week.
  • Learn as much about Montserrat as you can. Study the island's geography, its human infrastructure, and its history of hurricane and volcanic disturbances. Be particularly alert to what parts of the island might be most exposed to danger should one or both of these events occur.
  • Practice developing a contingency plan. Make a list of what you think might happen and what the people should do to prevent a disaster.
  • Evaluate your team.