I have never experienced a major natural disaster yet. I have just experienced an earthquake once or twice. Luckily, it lasted for few seconds and did not cause any damages. That is why I never realized how destructive natural disasters can be to both human life and property until I read, “What they don’t tell about hurricanes” by Philip Gerard.
I really liked Gerard’s style of writing. I felt that his introduction- “What they don’t tell you about hurricanes is the uncertainty” (Gerard 223) was intriguing. The news always tells the people about warning or aftermath of a disaster but it never shows the anticipation and stress people are facing. They don’t show how people are checking the weather channel every day to see if it safe to step out of the house- “ So the radar on the scope on the weather channel becomes familiar, part of the nightly ritual before going to bed, like taking out the dog and locking the front door” (Gerard 223) .
I felt like his story was very descriptive. I could imagine everything he wrote in his story. For example, “A family down the street gets flooded out on the ground floor. They scramble upstairs ahead of the surge. But the battery of their brand new car shorts out in the rising water, and it catches fire. The garage underneath the house burns” (Gerard 227). I could visualize the scenario in my mind. I could imagine how the family must have felt scared and how they must have ran away to save their lives. Also, how the family must have helped each other so that they didn’t lose anyone and the sacrifices they must have made. To see how your entire house get burned or looking around you to see how hurricane destroyed everything around you can be very traumatizing.
In his story, he writes what happens before, during and after the hurricane. In his story not even once he writes about his own emotions. Throughout the story, its just a list of things he mentions. However at the end, he summarizes his feelings in one sentence- “what they don’t tell you about hurricanes is how many ways they can break your heart” (Gerard 229). In this one sentence- all his feelings come out about devastating and traumatizing natural disasters like hurricanes can be.