We are all hot, sore and exhausted. It’s been a long week after Hurricane Irma, and though many of us still don’t have power and have extensive clean-up to look forward to, we are feeling very fortunate.
As we sat in our boarded up houses with the wind whistling and strange noises coming from outside, visions of Houston ran through our heads. The constant barrage of dire predictions, windblown reporters, and calls from friends and family from up north saying “get out of there”, were also reverberating through our heads.
But this is home. We are surrounded by people we care for and who care for us. What if they needed us and we weren’t there? Our houses are built for this and if flooding is not a concern, the best thing to do is ride it out. Leave the shelters for the people in low lying areas and on the beach. By the way, my mother did not agree with this philosophy.
Now that the storm is over, it’s an amazing place to live again. Facebooks posts like “I have extra water”, or “who needs ice?” make you proud of your neighbors. Everybody out, pulling branches off cars and houses, and checking on their neighbors. We have a reputation for craziness in Florida but I’ve got to say, I saw none of it the last few days.
So, as you are cleaning up, please don’t get hurt. Wait for help. The emergency is over, so the tree on your garage can wait until someone can assist you. Rake for a while and take a break. Drink lots of water. Clean up in teams. Hire those neighborhood kids who have set up little businesses to make some money while school is out. And for heaven’s sake, send someone young, or a professional, up to clean the gutters. We do not want the business that badly!
Be grateful, be safe, and continue to be wonderful. We will be here if you need us.
PS Also thank you to all who have come to help from other places. You are so appreciated. This tree, with about 20 others the same size, fell in my neighborhood and all were cleared off the road by Monday afternoon.
- Neaves TT, Wachhaus TA, Royer GA. The social construction of disasters in the United States: A historical and cultural phenomenon. J Emerg Manag. 2017 May/Jun;15(3):175-187. PubMed PMID: 28829530