Community

Recent Hurricanes Hit Home for Dana Hall Community Members

Recently multiple natural disasters have affected our country. I spoke to some Dana Hall community members about how Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Harvey affected their family and friends. I learned a lot about what the aftermath of these hurricanes meant to them.

I got the chance to talk to new English teacher Ms. Gayton who recently moved here from Florida. Out of the many people affected by Hurricane Irma, Ms. Gayton shared with me how lucky she was to have her family and friends only be lightly touched by this disaster. She explained to me,  “everyone I knew was ok, there was no power for a week, and there was no school for a week and a half.”

Ms. Gayton did have some friends who were affected: “An inconvenience was that the Keys were completely trashed and a good friend of mine getting married on the Keys might not have the wedding…” She told me about how she knows it is easy for us to complain about little things that mess up our daily life, but really are “first world problems.”

I also spoke with African Studies teacher Ms. Panahi. Ms. Panahi’s parents moved this June to Lumberton, Texas, in southeastern Texas near the greater Houston area. Her parents felt the ravaging affects of Hurricane Harvey. Panahi explained, “They were hit very, very hard, they lost their house, their cars, and all of their possessions, as did everyone in their neighborhood.”

Shockingly, when Ms. Panahi’s parents moved to the area this summer, they were told that they didn’t need flood insurance (most others in the neighborhood did not have it either). This left her parents, and most others in their neighborhood, to rely on FEMA payouts, which unfortunately take years to get.  She recalled to me the powerful image of Harvey’s initial aftermath; “There was 9 ft of water, and everyone was evacuated by boat.”

We have had many recent natural disasters, including these hurricanes, the hurricane in Puerto Rico the earthquake in Mexico City, and the wildfires that have just affected California.

None of these disasters discriminated about who they harmed, whatever their race, age or economic status. While everyone in Florida and Texas in the area of these hurricanes was touched in some way, however, the depth of resources that people start with really make a difference in the aftermath.