Most of the world knows by now that many of us in the southern region have been experiencing some interesting (for lack of a better word) weather as of late. For instance, the state of Florida alone was rocked by Hurricane Irma just a few days ago and people in Texas are still trying to recover from Hurricane Harvey. As a Floridian, I was born expecting hurricanes and some ‘weather’ every now and again. It comes with the territory. I knew that with a category 4 hurricane coming ashore there would be some devastation in certain areas across the state. What caught me off guard was everything that Irma brought with her. So let me go ahead and share with you what Hurricane Irma taught me… or at least confirmed.

Global Warming is real.

Just kidding (I won’t be that petty), but, one thing I realized is that you shouldn’t even try to get any sleep during a hurricane. It’s just not going to happen. Not if you’re recovering worry-wort like me. When the power went, everyone else in the house was knocked out (until it got too hot). I, on the other hand was wide-awake in both awe and paranoia at the amount of rain and wind we were being subjected to. Worried about flying objects hitting our house, I even grabbed a flashlight at one point to check the backyard and make sure things we couldn’t bring inside were still tied up and secure. To say it was a long night, would be an understatement.

No matter how much you try to prepare, you really aren’t prepared. 

You are not in control. All you can really do is pray and hope for the best. Yes, you know the storm is a category 4 but you have no way of predicting what Irma was going to do until she left and skipped town into another state (Hey, Georgia). Hurricane Irma did a little more damage in terms of flooding in my city than I thought she would but once again, you can’t predict the unpredictable.

The Winged Victory at Memorial Park
Credit: Shot By Doug

People are People.

You have the good ones and then you have ‘others’. Let’s start with the basics; water. It’s one thing to get some water for you and your family in the event of a hurricane or other natural disaster. It’s another thing for you to load of carts full of water and other vital supplies contributing to unnecessary shortages. Other people have families as well. A little bit of consideration goes a long way. I know we live in a world of excess but there is nothing wrong with having ‘just enough’ sometimes.

Now that we’ve gotten that out the way, let’s talk about how some people love themselves a little madness and mayhem. Is there a particular reason some folks like to cause traffic on the roads and sit in line for who knows how long, to get some fuel at these big-name gas stations? Why do this to yourself when you can drive a few miles out the way and pull up to an empty pump at a smaller station off the beaten path or the expressway like I did. You see, I learned my lesson last year during Hurricane Matthew. There is no need to play musical chairs with your car for a more than likely empty gas pump at your local RaceTrac or Gate gas station if you don’t have to.

C.R.E.A.M.

Cash seems to be a big motivator for many. I get it. We all have to survive. However, I saw way too many posts on social media about people required to work too close to the expected arrival of Hurricane Irma. Honestly, I was pissed when my family member told me that their job was going to be open the Sunday Irma was going to be in our part of the state. And I really shook my head in disbelief when I found out they were going to open the following day. I mean is it ever that serious? Can a company set aside a day or two for their employees to spend time with their family, finish preparing and making arrangements or doing whatever they need to do. Were they even given the option as to whether they wanted to come in or not? Seriously, profits over people has never been a good look.

It’s not all bad.

Now while Hurricane Irma brought about some foolishness, she did give us the opportunity to do what we do best as a people and that is come together. Neighbors gave each other a helping hand out of their flooded homes and helped clear out debris. Churches, private chefs, and everyday people prepared meals and gave out food and supplies to people still feeling the effects of Hurricane Irma long after she passed. It’s not always crazy down here in Florida. We come together and come through. Until next time, I’m sending much love and prayers to everyone affected by the storm.

Take care.

16 comments on “What Hurricane Irma Taught Me”

  1. You guys will definitely be in our thoughts and prayers. And you are right nothing is really in our control, once we can fathom that we can them begin the process of gaining what little control we do have.

  2. Hurricane Irma was awful. I’m glad it didn’t result in the amount of lives lost like Katrina. I feel like we’ve learned from the past and Florida did a great job of evacuating and preparing for the worst. My heart goes out to the families who have suffered misfortune after all this mess.

  3. This is why I live on the east coast. The way my anxiety is set up I would be a walking zombie the entire time.

    I hate when businesses forget that their employees are actual people. People that need to be home preparing their homes and being with their family.

  4. I know a lot of people living in areas in Irma’s path did not leave because their job told them that they would not give them the day off and if they did not come in they would get fired. That is crazy. People could have died, but all you care about is your bottom line?

  5. Born in the Virgin Islands and grew up in Florida. I know all about that hurricane life. Lol. Although now I live in the midwest, I learned a few things from Irma too. You can’t prepare for everything and live your best life now. Praying that you continue to stay safe.

  6. I love reading your perspective on hurricane Irma. I really hope people take note of some of these companies that required people to stay in harms way just to keep the doors open at their businesses. It’s one thing to require essential personnel for things like hospitals, nursing homes, power companies etc. But for some other businesses, it’s just downright wrong and screams “we don’t care”. I also agree with people taking too much. I’m originally from upstate NY, where it snows feet at a time. I’m used to huge snow storms. But now that I’m in Tennessee, I see people doing this all the time. They’ll buy up all of the bread and water. Load up their carts and before you know it, the shelves are empty. People need to learn to take only what you need.

    • Thanks Candice! I know you had to deal with this type of stuff during impending snow storms. It’s sad companies do this stuff though. Maybe things would change if people collectively stood up to these companies. Who knows.

  7. Thank you for sharing and I am glad you and your family are ok! I My mom is from Florida, so we have family down there and my brother is going to school in Orlando. I know he didn’t sleep at all either! And you’re right, you really have no control! Weather is really amazing to me!

  8. First I’m happy to hear that you are your family are doing ok. I always myself would I rather be in a hurricane, tornado or earthquake. I always respond earthquake because that is all I know (California Native). Scary part about in natural disaster you just never know what type of danger it has caused until it is finished and your right you can never be fully prepared for destruction, I think its absolutely crazy to require people to work when people have families to think about it. I agree with the water (share so that the community can all thrive. It was sad to see that some people was price gauging water prices (just ridiculous)

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