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Recent Natural Disasters Take Toll on LHS Students, Families

Can you imagine one day having your life and everything you previously knew turned upside down in the blink of an eye? While it’s undeniable that nobody can truly empathize unless they have actually experienced this level of loss, the recent natural disasters that rocked southern Florida and Texas cannot be ignored.
Since August 31, there have been a plethora of natural disasters that have caused numerous fatalities in different pockets of the world. Including Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma which caused about $200 billion in damages to Texas and Florida combined.
A record breaking earthquake in Mexico took the lives of 225 innocent people. These disasters have not only impacted those whose houses and belongings were destroyed, the effects of decimated homes, neighborhoods and entire cities and villages are felt everywhere.
Isabella Feltenstein has (11) distant family in Dallas. Northern Texas was directly impacted by Hurricane Harvey. Her family’s entire house, along with all of their belongings, were destroyed and they were left with nothing.
“We can not pretend like nothing is affecting the environment with the way we are burning fossil fuels, and living unsustainably every single day,” Feltenstein said.
No one fully realizes the effect of these storms on the environment, but it is something that cannot be disregarded. Nearly every week, there are unexpected natural disasters that are affecting many people from different parts all over the world, including some that walk the halls with us everyday at LHS.
Simply put, we as students never truly know whose lives have changed directly or indirectly each time we hear or learn of gruesome news happening elsewhere.
Natural disasters are not new, but their level of severity is. Researchers found that storms attain Category Three wind speeds nearly nine hours faster than they did in the 1980s.
Another study was conducted by the Earth Observatory and it was found that storms now produce 10 times more precipitation. Increases in global temperature have raised atmospheric humidity which results in stronger storms.
Year after year, the amount and level of these disasters, such as wild forest fires, earthquakes, and hurricanes rise due to the human impacts on the environment. Barry Marquart (Science Department) teaches AP Environmental Science here at LHS and has a strong insight on the topic of natural disasters.
“With regards to hurricanes, any measure that we can take to try to limit global warming could potentially help in the future. Being ready and prepared as well. A lot of the communities that get hurt are these island communities where they really don’t have a lot of protection, or anywhere to escape to” Marquart said.
So what can we do to help prevent these tragedies from happening? We need to educate all people about the precautions to take before a hurricane, earthquake, or any other disaster, because these are all episodes and events that are are currently affecting the families of students here at LHS and their carnage can be limited.
“My uncle had to set up a GoFundMe page as a last resort because they didn’t have anything left. No house, no personal belongings, no nothing,” Feltenstein said.
It is so devastating to think that the effect of hurricanes in Texas and Florida are felt here at LHS as some families are left helpless, with little to no resources, waning hope and limited finances to recover.
In light of the recent events, the Lindbergh community has decided to do something to help out the helpless families. The Key Club began to ask for generous donations to help those suffering.
These families are being torn apart from their homes with no sense of hope for the future. Alex Eichenlaub (12)’s family had thousands of dollars worth of water damage to their home.
“I was nervous, sad, and heartbroken about what our family was going to do next,” Eichenlaub said.
Natural disasters are becoming more common, but why is that? According to the Geophysical Fluids Dynamic Laboratory, the Earth’s temperature is increasing and making the oceans and atmosphere much warmer, which leads to more intense and more frequent storms of all kinds.
The period of 2001-2010 has been the warmest decade since modern meteorological times. There is a direct correlation between the temperature increase and the severity of these storms.
The weather patterns are no longer stable, and it is a problem that will not likely improve anytime soon without a change in people’s everyday lives. No one really thinks about how drastic these issues are and how it is currently affecting our fellow peers family’s.
We need to reach out to those being affected by these horrific tragedies and make sure to give them and their families the support and comfort that they terribly need.

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