Disasters are often followed by reports of damages to the built environment—the cost of buildings, roads, bridges, electricity lines, stores, schools and hospitals. These of course follow the death toll and economic and social impacts of citizen’s lives. It was not different with Hurricane Ike whose 20 feet surge left one of the hugest damages ever. The stories of how it impacted other things for the benefit do not make much of the well-known histories. For Gene Straatmeyer a resident of Bolivar Peninsula— which was most hit by the storm, the story is not just about how destructive it was:
“When I saw my house three weeks after the storm, I was glad it stood but I knew it was time for change. Now five years later, I have learned that for me to enjoy the beauty of this place, there is a cost to bear. I love this place and am here to stay, but I have to invest more than I had imagined. The hurricane has greatly affected our lives but not only in a bad way.”
Gene understands that the story does not end with just the damages but also what it contributes to the future. It has brought with it new measures in structural development, social relationships and insurance holding. It is a major step to the lessening of the impact of future disasters.
With the winds and waters sweeping away taking away people’s lives and property the storm made it to be one of the costliest in the history of America. According to FEMA:
The combination of surge and high waves were particularly destructive in areas along the
Gulf of Mexico coast and parts of the Galveston Bay shoreline, particularly Bolivar Peninsula, TX (where Gene lives). Preliminary numbers showed that of the 5,900 buildings standing on Bolivar Peninsula before Ike, approximatel...
... middle of paper ...
...uent hurricanes that may come. Elevated homes, Flood resistant materials, Strong wind shields. Five years later, Gene and his family are still recovering, many others still getting to be where they were before the harsh September thirteenth. But what is important now is how they and the future generations will survive future disasters and not merely what they lost. The history of the Ike is still in progress as they think of ways to combat the challenges they face and avoid future ones.
Robert, Siegel. "In Texas, A Search For Hurricane Ike's Victims." All Things Considered
(NPR) (n.d.): Newspaper Source. Web. 1 Apr. 2014.
Texas Department of State Health Services. Select Health Facts. 2002. Print.
United States Federal Emergency Management Agency. The Hurricane Ike Impact
Report. FEMA 2009. Print.
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