Hurricane Irma

Weather Channel Hurricane Central

Until our brief class discussion about Hurricane Irma, I hadn’t given too much thought on the impending storm. I rarely watch the news anymore so I haven’t stayed up-to date on Irma’s path. I knew about it, but now that its path is changing I’ve become even more worried.

In fact, it didn’t really hit me until just a few hours ago. It was when I took my normal commute home and the drive took me one hour longer than usual due to traffic. All the extra time stuck in traffic had me noticing things a little more, like the countless cars with Florida license plates. It seems like many people are heeding the advice to evacuate their homes in Florida and I am glad that they are trying to stay safe. Unfortunately, my own brother and sister-in-law live there and they are not evacuating. I think it’s really hard to leave your home even if you are warned. And I actually think because Hurricane Harvey was so destructive, more people are taking this new threat seriously. But not everyone is going to, or is even able to, evacuate from the dangerous threat.

Weather Channel Hurricane Central

Now that I’ve watched some of the news, it’s even scarier to think that Atlanta could be just a category one hit. To think any central part of a state, like Orlando or Atlanta, could be hit by a hurricane seems strange to me. I’m not a meteorologist, and I know this has happened in the past before, but whenever I think hurricane threats, I think coasts. And after seeing all the stories out of Harvey, I’m even more worried. More so, Irma is currently hitting the Caribbean (as a category five) and causing immense damage. It’s easy to forget about places outside of the U.S. when we are in a threat as well, but this storm is dangerous to thousands and thousands of people all over. When I think about how many people may lose their possessions and homes, I feel helpless. Mother Nature is one of the few things that can’t be overpowered, and in cases like these, there is nothing to do but to just weather the storm.  The best anyone can do is stay informed and stay as safe as possible. The hurricane’s path can change in the coming days and it’s good to take precautions. With the current projected path, people are already wisely doing so. Parts of coastal Georgia have declared a state of emergency. I have a friend who attends school in Charleston, SC, and her school has already canceled until mid-next week to allow for travel. As the saying goes, it is always better to be safe than rather than sorry.

If I try to relate this all back to class, I can easily see persuasion in the language and acts of everyone. The news covering the hurricane’s trajectory is convincing enough to me, but when you add in their language, like “powerful” and “category five,” the threat becomes even more imminent. Not only that, but the constant photos, videos, and stories offered by the news persuade people even more. This is the more pathos or emotional side to the persuasion. Just driving home and seeing a significant amount of florida plates is convincing enough of the gravity of the situation. Additionally, because the recent aftermath of Hurricane Harvey is fresh on everyone’s minds and Irma is already affecting the Caribbean, it’s not hard to imagine how far the storm could go.

Until the storm has passed, I hope everybody can stay informed, stay in-touch with family and friends, and most importantly, stay safe.

Resources to Stay Informed:

Website Coverage (Most Locations): Weather Channel Hurricane Central

Radio Coverages (Florida): Radio Station Coverage


One Reply to “Hurricane Irma”

  1. Thank you for this! Some day, when the storms are passed and gone, it might be interesting to go back, take a look at the way different sources use persuasive techniques to get us to keep watching or reading. One of the women meteorologists on The Weather Channel this morning totally personified Irma. She became “a monster,” toying with her prey. This kind of language does more than try to influence people to evacuate if they can, does more than convey concern, it seems to me. Maybe she’s “just expressing herself,” though.

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