I need to let that soak in just a bit. Hurricane Irma was not the catastrophic hurricane that was originally predicted for our area, but it still brought us plenty of strong winds, power outages, and down trees in South Florida.
I was born and raised in the Northeast. My “natural disaster” experience consisted of blizzards dumping three feet of snow in February on our town and painting everything white. Not quite the same scale of initial fear or eventual destruction brought on by a hurricane.
Thankfully, my in-laws have lived in South Florida for almost 40 years and know a thing about hurricanes and the preparation that is required for them. They knew what to do, and they knew how to coach this New Yorker on how to be calm and feel in control of an otherwise out of control situation.
What to do:
Here is what we did and what you should consider doing if you are ever in a similar situation:
We enjoyed the sun as long as we could.
We partied as if there was no hurricane, but watched the news to know when the fun needed to end (see the TV in the background? We were watching the Weather Channel…I promise).
We walked around the neighborhood before the hurricane struck to see what the houses looked like all boarded up.
We went to the beach to check out the waves as the storm moved in.
We enjoyed the time together as a family once the power went out.
We inspected the damage once the hurricane was over.
We were prepared – expecting the worst, but hoping for the best. For us, we ended up fortunate. No lasting damage to any of our structures or vehicles. The power was out for the better part of three days, but we were otherwise spared from any lasting effects.
Others were not as fortunate. You have likely seen some of the devastation not only in the United States but in other territories and countries within the region. Please consider donating to the main legitimate relief efforts that are underway. The rebuilding process for those impacted will take months and in some cases even years. If you are thinking about how you can help but don’t know exactly what to do, here are a few suggestions: