What They Don’t Tell You About Hurricanes

I found Gerard’s essay on hurricanes especially interesting, having grown up in the North where the occurrence of hurricanes is not very common. Gerard helped the reader get a better sense of all the struggles and devastation associated with a hurricane. Most of it was the smaller details that go unnoticed by the public eye, particularly to the people who don’t experience the brunt of the devastation. For instance, he talks about plagues of insects, frogs and snakes that come after the storm. Additionally, it never crossed my mind that severe storms followed hurricanes and dropped even more rain at alarming rates of eight inches in three hours. It’s hard for me to relate to Gerard’s strife, as I have never actually experienced a hurricane of Fran’s degree. One line in the essay, however, drew my attention. Gerard states: “Fran has swept on up the coast, taking the Weather Channel and CNN with it.” I guess this line really stands out to be because news media is the only medium between us in the North and a major hurricane creeping up the coast. As I watch the devastation on television or read about it in the paper, all I can think about is where its going to hit next or if it will strike Long Island. I never stop to consider that each of these flooded and leveled towns are full of people just like Gerard and just like me. It’s almost foreign to me seeing it on the news, as if i’m just watching a movie. I think that seeing it through news media takes away some of the reality of the situation, at least for me. I think Gerard recognizes this too, which is why he subtly and almost spitefully jabs at the news media for exploiting his hardships for a popular story, and then moving up the coast as if it’s all over.

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2 Responses to What They Don’t Tell You About Hurricanes

  1. aliciab23 says:

    I really like your post and how you connect Gerard to your own perspective on how you view the news growing up in the North. I think you’re right in that the news media is the only source of connection between you and the hurricane. Also, the details of the hurricane are known to only people (like Gerard) and myself who have experienced hurricanes and the devastation they bring. So, you’re right in saying that most of it goes unnoticed especially if you grew up North where hurricanes were rare. Gerard’s piece seems to speak only to a specific audience; that which has experienced a hurricane so it does become difficult to relate to him, like you said. I liked that line too about the hurricane sweeping up the news channels as well! It does feel a bit like watching a movie and you’re right in saying that the media takes away a bit of the reality of the situation. I do like how Gerard makes fun of the media sensationalism of the storm and I think you pointed that out clearly, when he takes “jabs at the media” for exploiting the devastation. Great post!

  2. larissarios2013 says:

    Good post! I was fortunate enough to not get hit much by hurricane Sandy. Our house didn’t even lose power. I read news articles and talked to friends who lost everything they owned, including their house. I can’t even imagine what they are going through. It breaks my heart to know people lost their homes or even their families. I consider these people brave and strong after going through such a huge catastrophe.

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