Hurricane Irma — what to expect when you’re expecting disaster

A look into vital statistics, predictions, and idealogies of the incoming storm.


Anakin Morales-Jimenez , Reporter

BEFORE READING: The American Red Cross and the Save the Children Federation are continuously accepting disaster relief funds for Hurricane Harvey, and the upcoming aftermath of Hurricane Irma is heading to the southeastern states of the United States. The funds will give them the resources needed to help people and families in need in such desperate times. The minimum amount of money need to be donated to American Red Cross is $10, but Save the Children does not have a minimum requirement. Any amount donated will be highly appreciated — it is up to our nation to come as one to support those who are being affected and devastated by the disastrous hurricanes down in the South.

Following Hurricane Harvey — already the most disastrous and damaging hurricane in American history — comes Hurricane Irma, and it is under high suspicion of having a more devastating aftermath. Although Hurricane Harvey has already placed a huge mark by planting over 19 trillion gallons of water, which are stated to be causing its consistent and catastrophic water cycle (according to the National Hurricane Center), Irma is coming with the potential to wipe out entire cities full of buildings and homes as a Category 5 hurricane.

The graphic below shows a prediction of the direction that Hurricane Irma is taking — the southeastern United States, including the Caribbean Islands, is expected to be impacted by the storm.

“These graphics show probabilities of sustained (one-minute average) surface wind speeds equal to or exceeding 34 kt (39 mph). These wind speed probability graphics are based on the official National Hurricane Center (NHC) track, intensity, and wind radii forecasts, and on NHC forecast error statistics for those forecast variables during recent years…These probabilities will be updated by the NHC with each advisory package for all active tropical cyclones in the Atlantic and eastern North Pacific basins. While separate graphics are focused on each individual tropical cyclone, probabilities resulting from more than one active tropical cyclone may be seen on each graphic.”

Despite how the wind speeds as shown in the graphic may seem relatively small and harmless in size, specifically for less impacted areas, there is a good chance that the winds are still quite catastrophic and violent. There is no letting your guard down in such a situation.

10 people have been confirmed dead so far by attempting to evacuate by state authorities. The streets of Florida are in heavy traffic due to people attempting to flee the disaster area into a safe haven within neighboring states. The prices of resources within the soon-to-be impacted states are increasing in price. A jug of water was being sold online for $63 as satire to represent the increase of prices on necessities, not excluding gasoline.

Given that Hurricane Harvey caused $190 billion in damages according to AccuWeather and how meteorologists are suggesting that Hurricane Irma is to have extra detrimental impact on more states, relief funds are going to be a vital need within the United States.

In addition to the predicted damage, Caribbean Island, Barbuda, has been wiped to scraps. Prime Minister Gaston Browne of Antigua and Barbuda stated that the entire island is destroyed, at least 90% of the total area. 60% are reported to be homeless, and it is estimated that there is at least $150 million in damage that will take many years to recover from. Haiti, although already facing struggles from the flooding of 2016, is also to face damages as a result of the hurricane.

In times like these, one might wonder what we are to do as onlookers of the disaster. There are three main actions that you can take:

1. Stay alert.

2. Spread the word.

3. Aid the victims in any way possible.

We must not become divided when the lives of other individuals are at risk. Send hope to those who need it.