Opinion

Hurricane Irma relief not proactive enough for elderly Floridians

It looks as though America cannot get a break from the devastating tropical storms as Hurricane Irma barrels towards Florida and the coasts of Georgia and the Carolinas.

Civilians are trying to deal with the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey as Hurricane Irma gets closer to Florida by the minute.

In one of the country’s hours of need, it is difficult to not be frustrated and disappointed in the Trump administration’s lack of initiative to handle these national disasters. A few days ago, the House passed a bill that gave over $15 billion to the Federal Emergency Management Agency to provide aid for those who were affected by Hurricane Harvey, leaving little funds to the citizens who are just beginning to deal with Irma.

Rick Scott, Florida’s governor, called for people to evacuate their homes on Saturday evening, but leaving their houses in dangerous weather is not possible for the majority of retired citizens who live on the coasts of Florida.

Many older Floridians, like my grandparents, have chosen to wait out the hurricane in their homes. The sad reality for older residents is that there is no feasible way for them to leave the state. Flights arriving and leaving Florida have been canceled and driving in a vicious storm would be more unsafe than staying in their homes.

Having many citizens stay in their houses is not an acceptable option when they have no access to food and clean water once the storms hits. The passivity of the President’s actions is best exemplified by his tweet: “Hurricane looks like largest ever recorded in the Atlantic!” The tweet has an oddly positive tone when people are fearing for their lives and homes.

This tweet has been followed by other tweets with weather updates and telling citizens to listen to their government officials for guidance, when the president himself should be the one leading the effort to protect people from the hurricane.

One would think there would be a greater sense of urgency from the government to help evacuate people from Florida after the flooding destroyed people’s homes in Texas and left thousands stranded in water, but once again their actions are passive.

More resources should be allocated to getting people out of their homes before the storm hits rather than waiting for the storm to reach its peak.

People who are stuck in their homes need to be rescued and more government funding has to go to setting up shelters for displaced Floridians to stay. It is upsetting to me that our taxes have gone to transporting Trump to his various private golf courses and campaign rallies when this money could be put to better use in times of crisis. Once again while people are in states of disaster, Trump, his cabinet members and their spouses have retreated to Camp David in Maryland to deal with the hurricane.

There is a sense of uneasiness among the American people as our President is unable to take action and help those who are struggling to survive the storm.

Trump is the nation’s leader, and in times of despair, we need guidance the most. The president is supposed to be a beacon of light guiding us out of the dark, but Trump has left citizens in the dark with no way out.

Our only hope to get through this difficult time is to rely on each other as American citizens and light our own path through the dark.

Hannah is a junior majoring in communication arts. What are your thoughts on the way Trump and his administration have handled Hurricane Irma? Please send any and all questions, comments and concerns to opinion@dailycardinal.com.

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