THE TALON

THE TALON

Hurricane Michael: Our Take

View+of+the+aftermath+left+across+the+panhandle+after+Hurricane+Michael.
View of the aftermath left across the panhandle after Hurricane Michael.

View of the aftermath left across the panhandle after Hurricane Michael.

Mark Wallheiser/Getty Image

Mark Wallheiser/Getty Image

View of the aftermath left across the panhandle after Hurricane Michael.

Daniel Sterbens, Editor in Chief

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In 1943, Abraham Maslow proposed to the world that we each had a distinct hierarchy of needs; starting with primitive needs like food and water, and working up towards self-actualization and building our self-esteem. For the majority of those living in the United States we can place ourselves towards those higher needs, but every so often we find ourselves knocked back to the bottom just trying to survive.

For Floridians, every year we find our fellow citizens stuck in this very struggle. Last year, Hurricane Irma set much of the state into a frenzy, promising to cause mass devastation across the state. The mighty storm would soon lose much of its forecasted power and strength and not caused the destruction many were expecting. For days and weeks after the storm, many of those who had evacuated returned home unimpressed and remorseful for having not stayed at home to “tough it out”. Irma let down our guards, Hurricane Michael sought to bring them up.

It was this deadly combination of frustration and a false sense of immunity that carried over to this hurricane season, leaving many Floridians vulnerable.

Hurricane Michael grew almost over night from what was likely to make landfall as nothing more than a usual summer storm, to the third strongest hurricane to ever make landfall on the contiguous forty-eight states. Much of the Panhandle scoffed at the storm as it grew in the Gulf of Mexico, until it got so powerful that for many it was too late to take action. Others knew the imminent danger and decided that they’d prefer being at home than in a shelter or evacuate to a nearby state.

For those who stayed, plywood would fall much sooner than their pride as winds reached speeds so high they pushed local ground equipment to the breaking point and accurate wind readings were unable to be calculated. Many towns along the Panhandle went from tourist attractions to war zones overnight. Mexico City Beach and other famous cities became almost entirely underwater and surrounded by destruction.

Hurricane Michael made landfall in the Panhandle, but its effects were felt throughout the state. Counties all across the state sent in their crews of emergency responders to aid in immediate action and relief efforts after the storm passed. County governments sent more than just abled bodies, they started gathering supplies and soon were sending truckloads of goods to the disaster struck areas of North Florida. In Pasco alone, a week after the storm hit the Sheriff’s office was collecting supplies to bring to those hit by Michael and Pasco County Schools, in conjunction with the Florida Association of District School Superintendents, was raising money to help rebuild schools in need.

This hurricane season, Florida got too cocky. Hurricane Michael humbled the state once more and showed just how powerful of a force nature can be. From secure and stable lives, these storms can bring us down to our most basic function and needs. There is no stopping a hurricane, but how those in its path react and the community responds shows the true way to stop the damage felt. Florida was unsuspecting and too complacent, but signs of recovery efforts show next time many will be anything but.

About the Writer
Daniel Sterbens, Editor in Chief

Daniel Sterbens has been a part of The Talon staff for two years and has also worked with Fivay's broadcasting program The Wingspan News. He is currently...

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Hurricane Michael: Our Take