What Hurricane Matthew Proves About the World

Hurricane Matthew

I’ve lived in Florida my whole life. We get hurricanes every now and again; in fact, we’re famous for them! Hurricanes are not a new concept to me or any other Floridian. However, when Hurricane Matthew made landfall this past weekend, I noticed a couple different perspectives throughout different cultures.

Hurricane Matthew as a Floridian

Hurricanes are the only real threat Floridians face when it comes to weather. We’re famous for being ridiculously nonchalant about them – when school and work tell us not to leave our homes because it may be too dangerous to go outside, it’s time for a hurricane party!! Forget the bottled water and candles, we’ll be fine! But don’t forget to stock up on alcohol! I mean hey, we might lose power, so what else are we supposed to do? You can never have too much, since you probably have friends who did actually evacuate if they live in a city more likely to be hit. Other hurricane pastimes include surfing, boogie boarding in flooded streets, and simply watching in awe as the hurricane tears debris off trees and other vegetation and whips it around in the air.

Hurricane Matthew as a Haitian

Disclaimer: I’m not Haitian, nor have I spoken with any Haitians about Hurricane Matthew. This is simply what I gather from media outlets. That being said, the Haitian response to Hurricane Matthew was quite a different story. As the governor of Florida urged us to evacuate before Hurricane Matthew hit, only to be met with quite a bit of apathy (and, of course, some evacuation), Haitians have nowhere to go. They live in a third world country, so they cannot afford to evacuate from Hurricane Matthew. Next to our hurricane parties? The architecture in Haiti is not built to handle the likes of Hurricane Matthew, so as much as 90% of their homes are said to have been destroyed. At the end of the day, Haiti is left with 900 deaths that they couldn’t do anything to prevent.

If you live in a first world country, many things that are just a normal part of your day-to-day life are luxuries that many third-world citizens may never experience. If you’re a world traveler, you’ve learned to see the world from the eyes of somebody else – it’s something that many learn when they live abroad. Things like a hurricane-proof home and a kitchen full of food to hold me over are things that our neighbors down south don’t have. Florida got a day off work and a party; Haiti got their homes destroyed and their loved ones dead.

What to do post-Hurricane Matthew

I want to end this week’s blog post with a suggestion: help the needy. There are a variety of organizations looking for donations to help Haiti in their time of need after Hurricane Matthew. I’d recommend organizations like UNICEF, Hope for Haiti, and Action Against Hunger. These are all vetted charities who bring donations to those who need them.

Jamie

I'm Jamie, and I have an unquenchable thirst for the world. I'm currently situated in Tampa, Florida with my boyfriend and his two little ones. I want to travel everywhere, experience everything, and learn as many languages as possible!

Comments

  1. This is a wonderfully thoughtful post. It’s a sad reality that the same storm can have such a different impact on two neighboring areas. It’s worse that Haiti can’t seem to catch a break with the earthquake that happened just a few years ago. Thank you for reminding everyone that we are lucky to be the result of our circumstances and the importance of helping others.

    • I’m so glad to be able to share the message. It’s definitely important to be aware of how these things effect the rest of the world. We see it all the time in the media, but it sometimes never sets in.

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