Hurricane, Opinion

To create lasting hurricane relief, think short-term and long-term

Following the devastation from three major hurricanes in the past two months, it isn’t surprising to see a number of relief efforts cropping up around our city.

University of Miami held the Hurricane Irma Relief Day of Service Sept. 22, sending volunteers to various locations in need of cleanup. My group went to a local food stock and spent the day bagging nonperishables for people in need.

Though I will not discredit the positive impact of providing food to hurricane victims, I couldn’t help but cringe when I saw the stack of plastic bags to be filled. With each bag I tied, a twinge of guilt ran through me.

Every plastic bag that feeds a hungry man, woman or child will later be discarded into a waste bin and end up in a landfill, in the ocean or wrapped around a tree branch.

Is this lack of environmental consciousness not what intensifies natural disasters? As impressively supportive and cooperative as our communities prove to be in crisis, we tend to offer temporary solutions that only exacerbate the problems at hand.

We should display the same support and cooperation to prevent the next crisis, but the general public forgets all too quickly the long-term results of environmental neglect, until, of course, the next disaster strikes.

The key word here is cooperation. We will accomplish very little if the environmentalists and nonprofit organizations do not work together. We need to recognize the connection between communities and the world in which they reside.

No one likes disasters, but we cannot expect to prevent them if one group focuses solely on instant, cheap and convenient relief while the other focuses solely on long-term, grand-impact policy implementation. It begins with small improvements that are surprisingly difficult to consider. Though I am certain that with patience, combined brainpower and consideration of diplomatic differences, we are more than capable of finding a means of transporting food that satisfies both immediate community needs and long-term preventative care.

Sophia Constantino is a freshman majoring in journalism.

Featured photo courtesy of pixabay user 9355.

September 25, 2017

Reporters

Sophia Constantino


Around the Web
  • Error
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

RSS Error: WP HTTP Error: fsocket timed out

Talula Thibault, a senior at the University of Miami and chair of the ECO Agency, will participate i ...

Overturning a widely accepted fact, University of Miami researchers discover that fruit flies hate b ...

The Miami Business School this fall launched a unique and forward-thinking Master of Science in Sust ...

The United States can handle its growing debt a lot better than other countries, such as Argentina, ...

A University of Miami materials engineer is developing a method that will help the aviation industry ...

Miami evened its record with a win over Central Michigan. Now, a quarter of the way through the seas ...

The Hurricanes forced three turnovers and held off a hard-fought effort from Central Michigan, defea ...

Daevenia Achong of the Miami women's tennis team won a pair of matches Sunday to reach the Milw ...

The Hurricanes hung on for a 17-12 win over Central Michigan, but acknowledged there are things they ...

The Miami women's tennis team wrapped up action Sunday at the Miami Fall Invite, posting a 3-1 ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.