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Hurricane Sandy and the importance of storm classification

by on May 1, 2013

Hurricane Sandy and the importance of storm classification

I thought this was a really interesting example of people not responding to environmental problems with the seriousness that they deserve. When the rating of a storm gets downgraded from a hurricane to a post-tropical cyclone, the National Hurricane Center can no longer issue warnings, and as a result people don’t leave the dangerous areas. I think that this is a good example of denial because though the frequency and seriousness of storms continues to increase, people are still able to find ways to deny what is happening or avoid facing the problem. 

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3 Comments
  1. DannyTierney2016 permalink

    This article definitely represented a lot of themes we discussed in the very beginning of the semester. Environmental sociology not only seeks to understand how we influence the environment, but also how the environment affects us. It almost feels like many people still have a tendency to carry around the human exemptionalism paradigm with them. There’s a tendency to think that the environment won’t affect us because of our culture or technology and that leads to people thinking they can wait out a storm or not take it seriously.
    Though I do think this is a common theme I definitely think it comes from a place of denial rather than just outright ignorance of the environment. People don’t want to believe that a storm is going to come and completely destroy their home, belongings and neighborhood. In many ways it’s easier to just think positive and believe everything will be ok.

  2. ginner35 permalink

    I was surprised that when a hurricane is downgraded to a tropical cyclone that warnings cannot be issued. This kind of promotes a laidback approach that could cause people to not prepare in a way that is necessary to protect themselves against the storm. Like Danny said, it is easier to believe that a storm is not going to hit and be destructive as opposed to that it is. This thought process can be problematic and harmful though as people would not prepare themselves and as a result get hit harder.

  3. With myself coming from an area that experiences hurricanes every year (Ft. Myers, Fl, right gulf coast side of Florida), has witnessed Hurricane Charley, which was a Category 4 when it landed (possibly a category 5) and many different tropical storms. Personally, I have been in worse regular afternoon thunderstorms than some tropical storms. The disaster that occurred from Hurricane Sandy was terrible, however I believe it was due to the area not prepared for something like that happening. Tropical Storms in Florida are no big deal because houses are built to code and can withstand those wind speeds. Like the man states in the article, they “didn’t have the tools in their toolbox” for that kind of storm”. Thus, I don’t believe that the issue lies with people not being warned, but people not having to be equipped with the proper “tools” to withstand a catastrophe, such as Hurricane Sandy.

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