The meaning of natural disasters: A never ending cycle

Hurricane Irma is one of the most powerful storms ever recorded. Ranking category five with 185 mph winds and many fatalities, Irma is a “dangerous major hurricane,” according to the National Weather Service. “Irma has me sick to my stomach,” Eric Blake, a scientist at the National Hurricane Center, tweeted. “This hurricane is as serious as any I have seen. No hype, just the hard facts. Take every life-saving precaution you can,” he said. Hurricane Irma is accompanied by Hurricane Maria and Hurricane Harvey as well. The hurricanes have had major impact on Puerto Rico, Florida, Texas, Georgia and the Carolinas, forcing the locals to evacuate. People raided the few open grocery stores, updated their insurance coverage, backed up their electronics and did anything they could to protect their homes. There has been some inquiry as to whether or not we as a country were properly prepared for such catastrophic events. How are we handling this? How are other states helping those that have been and are still being affected? What impact have human actions had on the hurricane, if any? These are all vital questions to be asking at a time like this, so that in the future we can be better prepared. Although Puerto Rico is a part of our country because it is a United States Territory, there are not as many people talking about the destruction that is occurring there, as well as some states. People should be spreading more news about the impact that Hurricane Maria is having on Puerto Rico, but not enough people are. Puerto Rico is entirely without power and has been since the hurricane hit on Wednesday, Sept. 20. Families are unable to check on their loved ones or figure out any way to get help. However, I feel that as a country we are doing a satisfactory job at helping the victims of the hurricanes in most of the affected places, but not all. There are many places where one can find a donation center to give belongings to help those who lost theirs to the storms. Almost anyone can donate money, blood, food, shelter, clothing and more. Personally, I believe that climate change has had an impact on the severity of the hurricanes, although it is not the cause. “The hurricanes [are] spinning over waters that have warmed in the last century as a result of human activity. Oceans absorb about 90 percent of man-made warming, and warm waters fuel hurricane activity,” according to NASA. Unfortunately, there are still many people who deny that climate change is real for various reasons, despite the hard evidence that proves its existence. This leads to people not doing anything to try to decrease their ecological footprint, which is what is causing the problem. As reported by the Environmental Defense Fund program, when humans burn fossil fuels and burn trees that produce carbon dioxide, it sends heat-trapping gases into the atmosphere. Ways to decrease your ecological footprint include buying reusable water bottles and grocery bags, avoiding the use of paper towels, lowering the thermostat, and much more. It is our responsibility as Earthlings to do what we can to prevent climate change from becoming more intense. To help the hurricane victims, contact the Red Cross about what options are being offered. To learn more about sustaining our environment, visit the Washington State Department of Ecology for more information. Every little thing counts. Go to to contribute your part as an Earth citizen.