Hurricane Michael: Devastation Reigns


Alexa Tagliaferri, Copy Editor

Fifty-four deaths and counting; thirty-nine in the United States, fifteen in Central America. It was the third most-intense hurricane from the Atlantic to hit land, and destroyed parts of Florida along with Mexico Beach and Panama City. The category four hurricane hit the northwestern strip of Florida, otherwise known as the Florida Panhandle, on October 10th, leaving communities decimated and shelter difficult to find. Many Florida residents were forced to evacuate during the hurricane and having to relocate afterward due to the destruction of their homes. Even though the hurricane has had many tangible repercussions, some of the worst effects are mental. Health workers and first responders in Florida have witnessed signs of emotional distress and a strong decline of mental health, specifically heightened anxiety; which could take years to heal.  As these natural disaster victims are without their belongings, their homes, and some are even separated from their families many are questioning what their future has in store for them.


Signs of post-hurricane trauma remind many of the devastation following Hurricane Katrina in 2005. In both natural disasters, communities were destroyed and flattened by strong winds and rainstorms.  Many of the areas hit by Hurricane Katrina are still rebuilding twelve years later. There was also a long-lasting physical and psychological toll left on the people involved in Hurricane Katrina, with rising rates of depression, anxiety, and behavior disorders in children and young adults. While they thankfully survived the natural disasters, everything they had ever known had been destroyed. And with parents dealing with the financial and physical stress, there has been less of a buffer for children, creating conditions of increased stress for these families. The devastation that has destroyed the lives of thousands of people is not going away anytime soon, which is why our country needs more support now than ever. Hundreds of first responders are shipping out to Florida to aid the residents and to help rebuild their fallen cities and communities. If we work together, we can help lessen the effects of Hurricane Michael; all it takes is a little strength and togetherness.


We may not all be able to be on the ground and help with the reconstruction in a physical way, but we can help in other ways including donations to those in need.  Click on the link below to donate!