So, obviously a lot of us are scrambling to prepare ourselves for the hurricane and adjusting our plans to fit its needs. I think this is relevant to our recent conversations and that unpacking this might be interesting.
I experienced this less when I lived in a tropical climate prone to hurricanes, but people around here are either extremely apprehensive or extremely excited about the idea of the hurricane hitting Bryn Mawr. Either way, we are reacting to something that we do not understand in very typical and very human ways. That is absolutely acceptable, but sometimes it looks like we are trying to comfort ourselves by turning the storms into something campy, familiar, and non-threatening, even though a lot of times they are a lot more damaging than the way they are portrayed. For instance, we give hurricanes names. This potentially dangerous and uncontrollable storm has been given the name "Sandy."
Naming hurricanes has always bothered me. Giving something a gendered name to familiarize us with something we don't understand and to potentially decrease the feeling of a threat is unsettling. Does a hurricane need a name? Does a hurricane need a gender? Weather forecasters refer to hurricanes as "she" or "he" depending on their given name, and I have previously seen yet-unnamed tropical storms or depressions referred to as "she" as a default (I'm not even sure what this implies).
Are we not scared enough of the idea of a storm this size? Are we too scared? Is it okay to comfort ourselves by humanizing storms or is that wrong or dangerous to us? I don't know.