Written by Hunter Terrell, Staff Writer
Hurricane Matthew was initially formed from a tropical wave that pushed off the African coast on Sept. 25 (Weather.com).
Once Matthew reached the eastern Caribbean, it rapidly intensified. Its peak was Oct. 1 when it reached Category 5 with 160 mph winds. Matthew covered over 3,000 miles, reaching past the Florida coast.
On Oct.7 more than two million Americans were instructed to evacuate due to a direct hit to the Florida coastline. Primarily, the hurricane hit Haiti killing at least two dozen individuals then, totaling over 100 deaths.
President Barack Obama stated in a briefing with FEMA, “If there is an evacuation order in your community, you need to take it seriously.”
On a smaller scale, Florida and coastal Georgia government officials expressed common concerns of people not taking the tropical storm serious enough.
Governor Nathan Deal declared a state of emergency in 30 counties and Florida Governor Rick Scott insisted those at risk to evacuate soon, even if orders had not yet officially been made, and to use state shelters if necessary.
“I didn’t think about going home,” said David Swope, sophomore. “I wanted to stay and watch the football game.”
“I’m from Savannah. My mom said not to come home,” said Courtni Mann, freshman. “There are memed images across social media. People really don’t understand the type of damage a natural disaster can cause.”
Empty grocery store tweets, backed up highway shots, and plenty of photo shopped images of Matthew McConaughey flooded the internet. As well as more people were staying rather than going.
People fail to realize what a natural disaster is capable of doing. Making casual jokes on social media and not taking government recommendations seriously can lead to more bad than good. Any natural disaster is a threat to a human’s well-being.