Natural Disasters Relief

Photo Credit: NOAA/CIR

Natural Disasters Relief

By: Georgia Brittan

This year, across the United States, there has been a number of devastating natural disasters effecting nearly all regions of the country. These natural disasters have covered both extremes from severe hurricanes to relentless wildfires. The first to hit was the crying fire in Montana. It began on July 19th, and was started by a lightning strike. The fire destroyed 7,925 acres of private, state, and wildlife refuge lands. Luckily, in this case there were no reported injuries or fatalities, and the fire was eventually contained, with help from some rain.

The next major natural disaster to hit the United States was hurricane Harvey. The hurricane lasted for 6 days as it tormented parts of Texas and Louisiana. After it made landfall on August 25th, the hurricane affected 13 million people all the way to Mississippi, Tennessee, and Kentucky. There were 88 reported deaths, with 62 being directly caused by the storm, and 26 from “unsafe or unhealthy conditions”. Allison Johnston, a PC senior from Houston Texas said, “water came half a foot into the garage, and my grandma had a bunch of trees knocked over and she didn’t have power for about two weeks, but we were very lucky.” She also mentioned that her mom, a nurse, “had to work for a week straight.” Along with the horrific effect the storm had on the people of the region hit, there was also an enormous amount of property damage. The issue of physical damage, which has not been fully resolved, is likely to cost over $180 billion in total. Damage costs like this, from one storm, seem almost unfathomable.

After hurricane Harvey came Hurricane Irma. This category 4/5 devastation made landfall in Florida Keys on September 10th. The storm devastated most of the Virgin Islands and areas off the coast of Florida. The storm took the lives of 134 people in the Caribbean and US. For a storm of this magnitude to hit so soon after Harvey was devastating for the nation emotionally and financially. It also created more work for volunteers and people who were working for recovery and aid in the affected areas. As with hurricane Harvey, there is no definite cost of damages at this time, however, it is estimated that the two storms together will cost the country well over $200 billion.

Another, and the most recent of the major weather disaster to affect the United States are the wild fires that are sweeping across Northern California. With at least 40 people dead and over 5,000 homes destroyed, these fires have left a devastating path of destruction in their wake. The fires hit densely populated areas like Santa Rosa, Napa, and Sonoma, among others. Elizabeth Newton, a resident of the Sonoma area, says, “Having lived in the area during college, I was absolutely devastated to see such destruction. Sonoma County and the surrounding area are some of the most beautiful in the state. It was heartbreaking to watch and wonder what would be left once the fires were out.” Another resident in California, Jared Wade from Lake Port, explained, “It hits home because my county has been devastated by fires in the past. Seeing bigger towns affected hurts knowing that more people are directly affected. A spot that my junior college stopped at regularly to eat before games got burned down, and all those memories are just gone now. I’m certainly not excited to see the damages when I get back home.”

People can get a leg up on the adversity presented by natural disasters by educating themselves on available emergency information, and that prior knowledge could be the difference between life or death. With so much of the American population, and specifically fellow PC students being affected by these natural disasters, a list of relief funds have been attached below.

Every Little Bit Helps!



Hurricane Harvey relief fund:

Hurricane Irma relief fund:

Napa and Sonoma county fire relief:

And although not mentioned in the article here is the link to the UNICEF relief fund for Puerto Rico:


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