SCHS Reacts to the Hurricanes

Sunny San Clemente, a contrast from the recent weather in Texas, Florida, and the Caribbean

By Morgan Thomas | Opinion Editor   &   Courtney McDonald | Writer

September 13, 2017

Power gone. Cities flooded. People killed.

Hurricane Irma, over the past 10 days, has destroyed the lives of so many through the Caribbean and into Florida. The storm downgraded from a Category 5 Hurricane to Category Three as it made landfall on the southern Florida coast.  d. Over two weeks ago, fellow Category Three Hurricane Harvey caused similar devastation in Texas, particularly in Houston where flooding crippled the city’s infrastructure and endangering lives.

These dangerous storms a stark contrast to sunny San Clemente weather, deemed to be the “best climate.” In the past few days, the temperature has reached 80°F. On the afternoon of Friday September 8th, it was a complete shock to have even a few minutes of rain. Spoiled with consistently sublime weather in Southern California, many blissful teenagers have ended up in a state of ignorance, with the mindset: “as long as the weather here is okay, I am okay.”

This type of attitude can be an issue when it comes to needing a nationwide effort in order to aid the victims of these catastrophes. Although the U.S. is divided into states with their own issues, the borders should not interfere with a national climate of unity when coming to the aid of disaster-stricken regions. 

When asked about what she thought of the hurricanes,  Junior Isabella Anderson admitted, “Honestly, I haven’t even been watching them.” This is surprising, given the record-breaking magnitude and impact they had on civilians in Texas, Florida, and several islands just off the coast of the Southeastern United States. Popular news networks including CNN and Fox News, who typically report on the newest political developments, have shifted their focus to these detrimental natural disasters.

For the amount of news coverage that these hurricanes are getting, it is disheartening to see that so many students are unaware of the effects the hurricanes are having on the rest of the country. Senior, William Hirsh, a politic devotee, does not feel inclined to follow the news now that their focuses have shifted to the weather. He explains, “It’s not that I don’t care. It’s just that since it’s not in my backyard, it’s like, out of sight, out of mind,” putting into words the state of mind most of the school and community currently shares. 

Senior, Natalie Zanzonico is in a similar situation to Hirsh, and has received “limited information,” only seeing fractions of the stories on social media. However, she has taken notice of some of the few efforts organized to aid those on the East Coast, mainly from the Red Cross. Despite seeing some organizations asking for donations, she says that no one she knows has donated.

Even though it seems some of San Clemente is dominated by self-interest, there are, people who realize and are affected by the scope of the tragedies.

“It’s terribly sad how the hurricanes are impacting so many families and their homes and towns. Their lives are forever changed by these storms and the impact they have had. It is important now more than ever to appreciate what we have, the people we love, and to make sure we give back to the communities that have been affected,” Junior, Seidy Trenary, exclaimed, understanding that there could eventually be a time that her community needs the same support that the Irma and Harvey victims do.

Although it may not seem as though San Clemente, or even California, is in danger of suffering from natural disasters anytime soon, that may not be the case. Many seismologists have claimed that due to the long period of time in which California’s San Andreas Fault has not been active, there could be a large earthquake on the horizon. This means that large parts of Southern California could be in a similar, compromising position as Houston or Florida today.

If California were to be hit with this devastating earthquake, the Golden State’s population would be in need of help from fellow Americans.

However, who’s to say that other parts of the country will pay attention and help us if we don’t currently do the same for them?

It is important that the people of California try and imagine themselves in the hurricane victims’ shoes because, who knows, maybe one day they could be wearing them.

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