By Emma Pratt
Hurricane Ian may feel a world away here on the West Coast, however, climate change is a problem for humanity and one that affects us all.
Hurricane Ian had devastating impacts in parts of Florida, South Carolina, and Cuba. Classified as a category four storm in Florida, Hurricane Ian was intensified by climate change, an environmental factor that increases coastal flooding during a storm.
In California, the devastation of climate change is also happening, with sea levels rising in the Pacific due to global warming. An increase in sea level makes for a worse hitting storm. Sixty-eight percent of Californians live in coastal areas, making the rising sea levels a threat to most of us, according to a San Francisco news article.
City College’s Latino Network Services said there are currently no resources available to Cuban students who may have been affected by Hurricane Ian. “This semester has been very slow as far as foot traffic in our program,” a member of the Latino Network Services said.
In June the Biden administration made it possible for anyone in the U.S to send unrestricted amounts of money to people in Cuba, wrote Gabriel Pletrorazio for PBS. The policy change comes after a near three-decade-long call from the United Nations General Assembly for the U.S. to end its economic blockade with Cuba, wrote Pletrorazio.
Though the U.S. still has an official ban on trade with Cuba, there is an exception for sending humanitarian aid, wrote Pletrorazio, who mentions these ways to support Cuba with Hurricane Ian:
- Donate to Catholic Relief Services, which is providing Cuba with food, water, shelter, and hygiene supplies.
- Donate to World Help, which is providing Cuba with food and clothing.
- Donate to The Peoples Forum, which is funding roofing materials in Mexico, to be shipped directly to Cuba.
By the time Hurricane Ian made landfall in South Carolina, it lessened to a category one storm, but still caused flooding, power outages, and other damage, wrote Bill Chappell for NPR. To help South Carolina:
- Donate to the American Red Cross, who are providing shelter, meals, and general relief in South Carolina and other states.
- Go to FEMA.org to find out about local resources for South Carolina.
In an official statement by the office of Gov. Gavin Newsom, it said that emergency mass management workers and mass care specialists were deployed from California to Florida. “Our state is too familiar with the impact of natural disasters and we stand ready to provide any needed aid and support to the communities impacted by this horrific storm,” Newsom said.
To help Florida:
- Donate to the Ian Response Fund which will use funds to address urgent needs.
- Donate to the World Central Kitchen, who are providing meals to those in Florida.
- Donate to the Salvation Army Hurricane Relief, which provides food, shelter, and emotional support.
At City College, the earth sciences department teaches an introductory course on climate change, which includes topics such as the basic processes of weather and climate, as well as natural and human-induced processes of climate change.
Amy Coffey, assistant director of student activities at City College, said there is a group of students currently working on starting an Environmental Action and Education Collective on campus.
The impact of Hurricane Ian is being mitigated by collective efforts, which are especially important when enduring climate disasters.