Hurricane Irma essay

The current event chosen for this project is Hurricane Irma, which occurred in the United States and neighboring islands. On September 10, 2017, at ten in the morning, a coast-to-coast battering with gusts reaching 130 mph started in Florida. The wind flips boats and houses, destroys power and communication, and topples building cranes above Miami’s skyline. The hurricane, which was 400 miles wide, made landfall in the Florida Keys, a region that has mostly recovered. It then moved on to the western coast (Graham and Alexander, 2017). The stormy wind which was much destructive extended to Miami and West Palm Beach on the side of Atlantic. The hurricane almost reached Tampa-St. Petersburg, an area which is highly populated late on Sunday but the wind had already weakened. The residents of Tampa were bracing for a weaker storm. Though the speed reduced on Monday morning as it reached Tampa, the winds were traveling at about 100 miles per hour. The storm had downgraded from category five hurricanes as it pushed in the inland to category one as it’s extended to South Florida and Jacksonville (Graham and Alexander, 2017).
The Telegraph and CNN report that the occurrence of Hurricane is an ongoing event in the United States and some other islands along its path. Experts have estimated the season of the hurricane to have begun on June 1st and might run up to November 30. During this period, the ocean waters are usually warm, and other conditions of the weather are conducive for the formation of the storm. It is noted that for the hurricane to start, water needs to heat to around 79 degrees. The peak of hurricane term is from mid-August ending in mid-October with the highest peak of the season being reported on September 10. An average season of the storm usually produces an approximately 12 known storms according to the National Weather Service (Graham and Alexander, 2017). The storms are named after the wind reaches 39 mph. The average season of hurricane produces about six hurricanes. Three are categorized under the strong tornadoes with an average of about 111 mph or higher while the remaining three have an average speed of 110 mph and below (Graham and Alexander, 2017).
Hurricane Irma has resulted in a lot of destruction along its path thereby attracting the involvement of different institutions which come in to help the people affected by it. For instance, the storm has led to the destruction of businesses, homes, and roads in Florida. As a result, more than 25 deaths have been reported to different agencies since its start. The National Weather Service has gotten involved in updating the country about the strength and the direction of Irma. The department also plays a key role during the evacuation as they advise the Red Cross and other agencies used to evacuate people on how they would proceed to avoid being caught up in the storm. Humanitarian groups have been on the ground to try and help the affected families as much as they could. In Florida where the storm hit with the highest category, residents lost almost everything as houses got blown up. Government institutions such as communication networks worked hard to ensure that people got updated (Graham and Alexander, 2017).
Reporters have analyzed hurricane Irma to be the most powerful Atlantic hurricane. The hurricane got ranked as category five on the scale of Saffir Simpson as it sustained wind of above 185 miles per hour for more than 24 hours. The reporters from various bodies covered Hurricane Irma before it began as the National Weather Service had issued an early warning about the hurricane. Both local and international reporters waited from as early as Sunday morning and got helped with weather practitioners to analyze strength and effect of the storm. The storm got termed as a superstorm due to its high speed, and the reporters ranked it alongside storms such as Andrew, Katrina, Mitch, and Rita (Cullinane and Yan, 2017).
Analysis of the Sociological Concepts of the Hurricane Irma
Social Construction and Hurricane
According to Smith (2014), social construction is defined as the knowledge theory in sociology concept that examines the understanding of a joint development of the society and forms the basis of reality through a shared assumption. Though Hurricane Irma is defined as a natural disaster, examination of social construction indicates that it has historical, political and environmental effects. Hurricane Irma is a catastrophic event which results in extensive loss of life, property, and deaths. This is contributed to by the political factors such as un-preparedness of the government to be able to respond to all levels of natural disasters irrespective of warnings from National Weather Service. Furthermore, a historical examination of social construction indicates that hurricane has a history of occurrence in the United States. In the country, tornadoes usually get expected between June 1 and November 30th. There is a clear indication that the government and people need to be prepared and ready to deal with them. However, ignorance of either the people or government has resulted in the loss of life and properties as it has been the case in the last two weeks. Environmental factors also play a significant role in the occurrence of the hurricane. Hurricanes originate from the ocean. Also, water needs to have been heated up to about 79 degrees for the ice to melt into water. Wetlands can act as barriers for the hurricane though this cannot get controlled as it is an environmental factor.
Social Stratification and Hurricane
Social stratification is defined as the system in which individuals in the society get ranked into different classes. In these groups, some people are said to have more power, greater status and wealth than others (Smith, 2014). During the hurricane, the less fortunate class in the society are affected. This as a result of getting ignored by various groups. For example, the National Weather Service had announced that the hurricane would hit Florida. However, no government agency took the initiative of ensuring that all people residing in the said areas got evacuated before the storm began. The possible indication is that the group of individuals who waited till the hurricane hit belonged to an inferior social class. Also, the government or other agencies would have swung into action earlier to evacuate the people had they come from a higher social class in society.
Socioeconomic Status and Hurricane
As postulated by Smith (2014), socioeconomic status is defined as the class or standing of an individual. It is measured based on income, education, and occupation. Hurricane affects the social and economic status of the people that got hit by the storm. Nevertheless, it affects more those from low-status backgrounds. In Florida, hurricane Irma has destroyed business premises, houses and other properties of the people. When the storm comes down, the people have to go back and start investing in their businesses, households and other properties. This significantly affects the people of low class as they take long before being able to invest. However, the hurricanes are expected every year. This means that the economy of the areas affected by the storm may not be stable as they anticipate the occurrence of the storm each season.
Social Control and Hurricane
Social control can be defined as the action of the organization intended to change the behavior of the people. The underlying objective is to maintain social order on which the social members base their daily lives (Smith, 2014). Social control is necessary for educating the people living in the areas which are prone to storms like Hurricane Irma that they should consider relocating when the alarm gets raised as the storms get expected. This would help save many lives and properties. People in these regions will be aware of when the storms strike and how they are expected to act.

Cullinane, S. and Yan, H. (September 18, 2017). CNN: Hurricane Maria is following Irma’s path and getting stronger. CNN. Retrieved on September 18, 2017 from
Smith, C. (2014). The Sacred Project of American Sociology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Graham, C. and Alexander, H. (September 11, 2017). Hurricane Irma bears down on Tampa after leaving trail of devastation across Florida – latest news. The Telegraph. Retrieved on September 18, 2017 from

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