by Tom & Kimberly
| Wednesday, September 20, 2017 |
Watching Hurricane Irma crawl up our TV screen like a red crab caused a cramp in the pit of my stomach. I was afraid it would wipe out our house. It didn’t, but what came after was worse.
On Sunday, we sat in our front room behind impact glass and watched all day as wind and rain kept rising in intensity. At one point our street flooded, with small whitecaps in the middle of the road. We went out during the eye of the storm and cleared the drains, and we were lucky that was all we had to do.
After the storm was over we congratulated each other on having survived with our house completely intact and only a couple of trees down. Our satisfaction was premature.
We had no power, but we thought it would be OK to camp out for a couple days. We had a grill and made coffee and breakfast the next morning, and then dinner that night. But slowly, the temperature in the house began to rise. We opened doors and windows at night to cool off, but the heat got worse every day. After a couple days our optimism had faded. After three days I was sitting in a tub of cold water. After four days we were really miserable.
The worst part of the aftermath wasn’t just heat and humidity, but the feeling of isolation. Without power not only is there no food, hot water or air conditioning, but no communication. Cell towers were down. Information was passed by word of mouth. In a day we regressed to the over-the-fence news methods of a hundred or five hundred years ago. What was truly scary was how quickly our culture and conveniences slipped away.
On the morning of the fifth day we made a motel reservation in Bradenton, about a hundred and twenty miles away. We packed a few clothes and left town. We didn’t come back until the power was on.
Not everyone is fortunate enough to be able to do that. To help those who can’t simply drive away, please donate to the charity of your choice. Here are a couple obvious examples, but there are many others:
You can also help by supporting Florida small businesses!
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