How Hurricanes Affect Us

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Bergen Cornelius, Staff Writer

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What does it mean for the people that were not physically damaged by the hurricane?  In the year of 2017 and the months of August and September, hurricanes have dominated the news.  The hurricane effects started with Hurricane Harvey and then less than a week later Hurricane Irma hit. Currently, Hurricane Maria is threatening the Atlantic. The damage is multiplying every day and there is still so much more to do in preparation.

The loss and economic effect  from a hurricane is tremendous and that is not only true for the people directly affected, but also for the people in the rest of the country. Gas prices spiked on labor day weekend, the very week of Hurricane Harvey. Still, gas prices have been higher than ever because of the gas refineries in the southern states that were damaged heavily. Average gas prices are now reaching anywhere from two and half dollars to just over three dollars a gallon across the nation.

There are many more costs that come with hurricanes, and those can include insurance rates, gas prices, and taxes increasing for the people directly affected by the hurricane but also for those with seemingly no relation at all to the hurricanes. When insurance groups are handing out huge amounts of money, they are not going to let it come out of their own pockets.

Via eia.gov

MCHS Economics teacher Tim Whitaker says, “Insurance is sold all across the nation and if one area is hit by a disaster, then it is going to increase everyone’s rates.” Insurance companies exist for the sole purpose of profit and it just so happens that it help the consumers in hard times. Therefore, the insurance companies will increase rates overall to get back the money they are lending out for those affected by the hurricane and other natural disasters that happen. Taxes are projected to raise over the next year to pay for the relief provided for the hurricane victims.

“Because of gas prices and the fact that my insurance rate will most likely go up because of the hurricane, I have not been able to spend as much money when I am hanging out with my friends,” says Junior Emma Lostutter.

Car insurance companies projected that there would be 500,000 claims just after Hurricane Harvey. This number has grown steadily over the course of the last couple weeks now that more hurricanes have hit and are on their way. In the state of Florida, wind damage alone is estimated to cost a total of $14 billion just from Hurricane Irma. Hurricanes wrap up major debt and money from all parties including the Federal Flood Insurance Program that was $25 billion in debt even before this year’s train of events.

 

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