a preventable disaster Essay example

Submitted By branamcohn
Words: 1701
Pages: 7

Every year there is a season that any coastal state must be weary of, Hurricane season. Although, everyone knows when the hurricane season begins and the possible catastrophes that lie with-in, year in and year out we turn a blind-eye to our preparation efforts for mega storms. The different media outlets offer no help to the public with their biased reports offering a lackadaisical approach to the seasons. Several Florida and national media outlets portrayed a blasé attitude towards the upcoming forecasts and greatly reduced the preparedness of the general population of Florida. Analyzing period newspaper articles from pre-storm to post-storm is crucial to understanding the progression of the reactions from the editors and reporters who wrote them. The downplaying the severity of the 1992 hurricane season could not only have contributed to the calamity brought to Florida by Hurricane Andrew but helped shaped the future of Florida’s vigilance when preparing for future natural disasters. Florida had not seen a severe hurricane season for 27 years prior to 1992. Despite this fact, as a major change to the prior years, the first hurricane of the 1992 Atlantic hurricane season was Andrew. Andrew originated from a tropical wave over the central Atlantic. Initially, a strong wind shear prevented much intensification, though increasingly favorable conditions allowed the system to become a tropical storm on August 17 and a minimal hurricane six days later. After turning westward, Andrew underwent rapid deepening, strengthening into a destructive Category 5 hurricane near the Bahamas on August 23. It briefly weakened to a Category 4 hurricane over the island nation, but regained Category 5 intensity on August 24 before making landfall on Elliott Key and later in Homestead. Several hours later, the hurricane emerged into the Gulf of Mexico at Category 4 strength as it curved northwestward. After weakening to a low-end Category 3 hurricane, Andrew moved ashore near Morgan City, Louisiana. After moving inland, Andrew weakened quickly and was downgraded to a tropical depression while crossing Mississippi on August 27. The next day, the storm merged with a frontal system over the southern Appalachian Mountains and Andrew had dissipated completely. One of the first articles of the hurricane season of 1992 was a Sun-Sentinel article published on August 6, 1992 labeled “Hurricane season to be a breeze”. It was written by Seth Borenstein well before the august 24th disaster, and clearly underlies a negligent approach to the upcoming season. The author did quote a professor in saying; he predicted more overall storms in the South Florida region but this hurricane season would not be anything more difficult to prepare for than the previous hurricane seasons, which were almost laughable. “William Gray, a Colorado State University professor of atmospheric sciences and who forecasts hurricane seasons, predicted fewer mega storms than normal this year. He said there should be four hurricanes and four named tropical storms”. This article portrayed a confident outlook upon the season to all readers, allowing them more comfort and less preparation efforts. “I’ve got a great deal of confidence in Bill Gray’s predictions”, said the State of Emergency Management Director Bob Nave. William Gray’s predictions were correct 7 of the last 8 hurricanes season up to 1992. http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/local/southflorida/sfl-1992-0806forecast,0,6013450.story. Up to this point in the hurricane season, which was more than half way complete, nothing had formed at all regarding tropical storms and the population, especially Florida’s population, was starting to think the end of the season was approaching with no storms to occur, and the newspaper articles addressing this situation were all downplaying the remaining season as well. Continuing the negligent approach to the season the Sun Sentinel published…