September 15, 2017

In the past couple weeks, two massive hurricanes have ripped through the southeastern United States. First there was Harvey and then there was Irma. Far from the destruction, I watched with horror as homes were swallowed by storm surges and houses battered by extreme winds. I was especially concerned because my family lives directly in the path of Hurricane Irma.



Photo: Anh Nguyen on Unsplash


It’s strange to be hundreds of miles away from my family as they are faced by a massive natural disaster. While I enjoyed the run at a Red Sox game in Boston, they tried to re-enforce all our doors and windows while grabbing valuables. They were not in an evacuation area and so decided to stay when the storm took an unexpected turn towards the Gulf Coast.  They, like many of their neighbors, stayed in their home and “hunkered down”. Thankfully they were fine and our house sustained no damage. Aside from lots of scatted branches, you would never guess a hurricane passed over them last night.  But it’s still terrifying to think how badly the situation could have turned out. My family did not even loose power and I received many updates on their condition, so I knew they were doing fine.


Many people have not been that lucky.  Irma killed at least 37 people, millions are without power, and many communities have sustained massive damages. This is on top of Harvey which killed over 70 people and destroyed many homes. And there are more hurricanes brewing in the Atlantic which may reach the US East Coast by next week.


While most people cannot travel to affected areas, there are many organizations which need donations to help run disaster relief efforts. Here are some organizations which are helping with Harvey and Irma Relief efforts:

The American Red Cross 

Direct Relief 

Oxfam America 

Salvation Army 

Save the Children 


There are many other local and regional organizations which are also helping the victims of these natural disasters. Be sure to leave any other suggestions on ways to help in the comments!


Hi, my name is Kathryn Kuhar and I am a 19-year-old sophomore at Harvard College studying Government. A fun fact about me is that I’ve lived in Hawaii, California, Belgium, and Turkey.


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