Looking at Hurricane Patricia

For many people in the northern part of the country, the idea of looking at a Hurricane might seem a little strange but here in Florida we look at the details and damage of any given weather event of magnitude because it’s important for future protection and safety. One storm that was expected to be quite devastating was Hurricane Patricia in late October of 2015. However, it seemed to pass with rather minimal damage across the state.

Despite being the strongest hurricane ever recorded, it seems that for once the services were prepared to deal with it quite effectively. A large amount of the damage obviously is dictated by where the storm hit in the first place, but it happened to fall on a rather unpopulated region instead of somewhere denser in terms of its population.

The storm hit Cuixmala, Mexico, which is an ocean reserve with minimal population. Despite running at 165mph, the storm never got near the closest settlement of Manzanillo. That city has a population of 100,000 so it’s safe to say that the Hurricane was nowhere near as catastrophic as some had feared.

However, the real problem with a hurricane tends to stem from the domino effect that it can potentially cause in the environment. Elevated waters, debris and poor planning (building communities below sea level) are just as important a factor when it comes to managing the damage that a hurricane can cause. From that point of view, Hurricane Patricia was far less damaging to the surrounding area not to mention the economy when compared to the likes of Hurricane Katrina.

This is further backed up by the fact that the storm did actually cause serious environmental damage to the area. However, the old idea of “if a tree falls in the woods…” comes around here. If it was only the environment that was affected by the serious storm, and not people, is it easier to simply look beyond?

The storm may not ever be remembered for its immense damage to the people of the region, but it’s known to have caused serious damage to the region it did hit. The only difference was that nobody was around to be hurt this time, thankfully! The takeaway from a storm like this preparedness for the unknown. Major storms like Patricia are out there and its important to have a plan for: food, water, power. Are you prepared if a major storm comes through your area?