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Hurricanes Harvey and Irma


After watching the videos and analyzing various sources, I believe that the mold left behind after the two hurricanes possess a serious health risk to the victims. This is the case as Hurricane Irma devastation of Florida drenched the city 16 inc...Read More


~Posted on Feb 2018

Hurricanes Harvey and Irma

After watching the videos and analyzing various s...

After watching the videos and analyzing various sources, I believe that the mold left behind after the two hurricanes possess a serious health risk to the victims. This is the case as Hurricane Irma devastation of Florida drenched the city 16 inches of its water while Hurricane Harvey managed to discard over 50 inches of rain in Louisiana and Texas (Welch, Ashley 1). As it is often the case, when people’s residents and places of works have been flooded and swamped in the process, the moisture that is left behind forms the ideal ground for mold to breed (Welch, Ashley 1). Widespread mold problem could easily led to respiratory diseases among the residents. At the same time, mold can easily trigger asthma and other form of allergies.

            Looking at the aftermath of the two hurricanes, one can easily see that stress and anxiety did take a huge toll on the seniors, children, and other vulnerable populations. This is the case as all of those groups did find it hard to get access to the resources that they need to survive (Scutti, Suzan 1). The children were simply not used to such events where dealing with the stress was simply too much for them to handle. The elderly, on the other end, suffered from stress and anxiety as many of them simply did not know what to do or if help was coming their way. The vulnerable population always depend on certain resources to get independent which in this case not forthcoming, an event that led to stress and anxiety (Scutti, Suzan 1).

            The two health problem are significantly different as the problem with mold was something that took place sometimes later after the two disasters have subsided which could give people ample time to prepare. But the issue to do with stress and anxiety was immediate where people simply could not know what to do. The fear of the unknown as well as dying in the process was simply too much for many people to handle.

Question 2

            There is no doubt that when it comes to disaster response, formal system will fall short if it does not find a way of involving all form of informal responses in a more useful way. While informal response sometimes does not have the right training, their zeal to help always end up saving more lives that could have easily been lost. The same was true when it came to the response after Hurricane Harvey and Irma became eminent. Cajun Navy was the first unit to arrive on both sites even before the government could provide their response strategy (Holley, Peter 1). Cajun navy operated by having boats that look for people in distress where in this case they end up saving more lives.

            For hurricane Harvey, Cajun Navy had an active Facebook that encourage members to post where their family members could possibly be where there were people in place that were ready to go and help such people (Holley, Peter 1). This strategy proved to be very successful as it help Cajun navy team not only to know where the victims could be but to also find a way of reaching there quickly. Combining their efforts with the local people do-it-ourself rescue system resulted in many lives being saved in the process. The same was also being done in Florida and Louisiana where the informal response team were the first to hit the ground.

            While the government came in with much bigger support, it is the immediate response by the informal system that defined the destiny of the people affected by the two floods. As a matter of fact, the government effort only came to compliment what the informal response system was doing only that it did it in the official capacity. The government did indeed help significantly in saving a lot of lives through the deployment of firefighters, police, as well as the National Guard who went a long way in doing all they could to save as many lives as possible which they did. There were over 3,100 FEMA team members that were actively helping the victims where they ended up saving 1,006 lives (FEMA 1). The United State Cost Guard also ended up saving a total of 326 people with the  task force ended up rescuing 1, 141 people (FEMA 1). But in a storm of Irma and Harvey’s sheer devastation, no single government response would have been enough. As such, it is only fair to say that both informal responses such as that done by Cajun navy and other volunteer as well as the effort done by the government were all very instrumental in saving lives.

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