Outline for Informative Speech on Galveston Hurricane of 1900

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Attention-getter: How many of you feel safe in your homes or know that if a natural disaster struck you would be able to make it out alive? Audience Relevance: Due in large part to the early warning systems we have in place today, we can avoid the vast majority of natural disasters in a way that previous generations could not. C.Speaker Credibility: As a resident of Houston, Texas, I grew up hearing the tales of some of the major Hurricanes that had zeroed in on our coastal region and left it in shambles. In 2008, Hurricane Ike, one of the most destructive hurricanes in Texas history, knocked out power to over 2.6 million people. The storm caused a 14-foot surge and over 18 inches of rainfall. Before the day was over Ike had claimed 84 lives and 19.3 billion dollars in damage. That storm was one of the most terrifying experiences in my life. Life after the storm was no better. The heat was oppressive, the cleanup monstrous, and the weeklong lack of electricity humbling.

Thesis/Preview: Hurricanes like Audrey, who hit the Texas coast on June 27, 1957; killing over 350 people and costing over 700 million dollars in damage. Hurricane Gilbert, who hit the coast on September 16, 1988, spawned 29 tornadoes, killed over 318, and cost between 40-50 million dollars to clean-up. These types of storms are commonplace for those of us that have lived in the warm coastal regions along the Southern United States. Though these statistics may seem astounding, none quite measure up to what the Island experienced on September 8, 1900. Transition Statement- Known as the Great Galveston Hurricane, this storm would become known as the worst natural disaster to strike America in recorded history.

Main Point #1: In another time, in another place the storm of 1900 might just have been something else altogether. In fact it may not have been news worthy at all. Instead, the precise combination of conditions became the ingredients that would rip the people of Galveston’s...
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