Hurricane Irma was seen as the most powerful Atlantic hurricane in history last year and the first in over a hundred years. Irma held 7 trillion watts of energy which is twice as much as all bombs used in World War II thus a force so powerful that earthquake seismometers recorded it. It generated the most accumulated cyclone energy in a 24-hour period (Amadeo). According to the US economy, as of September 23, 2017, the death toll was 102 people, including 75 in Florida including those, 11 seniors who perished in a nursing home that lost its air conditioning and fourteen others who died in Florida Keys.
In my area, the hurricane caused blackouts, the destruction of various buildings that in turn destroyed several vehicles on the road. The hurricane destroyed a lot of roads which in turn halted the transport of foods and the injured as well stopping the rescue of other people. The fallen buildings had injured several pedestrians trapping them and other people who worked or lived in those building in them. The lack of power or electricity made it almost impossible for local clinics to work and the local nursing homes to provide their patients and or clients with the appropriate services that they require, especially the life threatening ones. Without power, some patients were required to be transferred to major hospitals but it was also difficult due to the destroyed roads, the debris on the road, the traffic caused by the destructed roads and the extreme wind generated by the storm. A lot of people lost their lives while in ambulances or awaiting medical treatment.
One of my neighbor’s child was carried away by the wind a he was running towards the shelter and was found atop a boulder a mile away. He was not the only one and not the only object that was carried away from their rightful places. The devastation was everywhere with human bodies strewn atop of trees and washed up on destroyed curbs. There were smashed vehicles, tires and various parts of buildings. There was a lot of waste that washed up in various places that was carried by the winds and the floods that was experienced in various places. The roof of our building collapsed on itself and the windows were almost all broken with shattered glass strewn everywhere.
The hurricane caused a lot of damage throughout the cities and areas that it touched as it caused destruction in every place that it went through. A lot of people were reported to have experienced posttraumatic stress disorder due to their experiences, their losses and the graphic events that they had witnessed. People lost their sense and means of livelihood as well as their relatives and or family members. The damage caused was worth more than 50 billion dollars and the loss of so many lives and it is ranked as the fifth most destructive hurricane ever experienced in the state.
Benefits of Hurricane Irma
- Individual and Psychological
Although the hurricane caused a lot of damage, there are various benefits that came about as a result of the hurricane and the damages. One main benefit, in my opinion, is the posttraumatic growth that came about due to the hurricane (Morin). A person is able to have a new appreciation in life especially after experiencing a near death or losing a loved one. The hurricane served as a reminder of the fragility and value of life. It also helps one build better relationships with other people, majorly the family and friends even though going through these events may cause a strain in other relationships. You find other people have a better appreciation and renewed belief in spirituality. The belief may be strengthened or may wither depending on the individual. Experiencing a natural disaster could also psychologically open up a person to seeing better opportunities and purpose. With a hurricane like Irma, people are able to better appreciate nature and the great power that nature has. Personally I have seen people in my neighborhood become more acquainted with their families and going to church often. Others have created a habit of checking up on each other and appreciating the calmness of nature as it is presently.
- Ecological Effects
The hurricane helps to distribute the heat of the earth to the earth’s poles. Generally, there is a lot of heat near the tropical areas. The winds of the hurricane also helped to distribute fertile soils in other areas that do not grow anything. The ecological effects go either way, maybe positive and sometimes adversely negative. The flooding from the hurricane can wash away the unwanted plants, enrich the soil, and spread seeds for pollination.
- Infrastructure and community/social benefit
After the distraction of roads and buildings, there is need to build better roads and more houses and buildings. Most of the buildings in my area were old buildings that were not very steady. Due to the distraction of these buildings, they were rebuilt into modern and steady buildings with more modern facilities. The roads are built better in ways that cannot be destroyed as easily by floods and better drainage systems. Building of preventive structures such as walls also was taken upon and the needs of the community were put in the front line. The new buildings and structures have increased the property value and living conditions of people in our areas. The government is able to implement the disaster recovery plans and can be able to adjust these plans and seal the loopholes for the future. The community was brought together as whole to deal with the construction together thus promoting unity.
- Innovation and Technology
Due to destruction of various properties and valuables. People try to find new means of doing their jobs, rebuilding their homes and buildings. The destroyed capital can be restructured through use of new technologies by, for example, building of homes with better insulation, replacement of old office technologies with new ones such using of computer-based systems as well as implementation and adaption of new infrastructure to the current needs of the people and against past and future threats that can be predicted by modern technology.
When a disaster occurs, there is a lot of damage that is incurred by the individual, government and other institutions through loss of capital and loss of lives. The amount of money used to reconstruct the damage and compensate those affected is very high and there is no doubt that the damage caused is heartbreaking. However, this paper has looked at the negative effects of the hurricane and also proven that there is a benefit to these disasters such as the posttraumatic growth, use if better and more developed technologies. A positive impact in the ecology of the country and the spread of unity and working together.
Amadeo, Kimberly. “Hurricane Irma Damage Was $50 Billion.” The Balance, 8 Sept. 2017, www.thebalance.com/hurricane-irma-facts-timeline-damage-costs-4150395.
Morin, Amy. “5 Ways Your Worst Experience Could Bring Out the Best in You.” Inc.com, 16 Mar. 2016, www.inc.com/amy-morin/5-ways-your-worst-experiences-could-bring-out-the-best-in-you.html.