Today we celebrate those who have survived a natural disaster. Floods, tornados, hurricanes, forest fires, earthquakes – all have the potential to destroy homes and surrounding communities. It takes tremendous strength to pick up the pieces and rebuild after surviving this type of devastation.
I have survived two hurricanes – neither of which I rode out intentionally. In 1989, Hurricane Hugo surprised Charlotte, NC residents when it hit in the middle of the night, spawning tornados, downing trees, and destroying homes. Many of us were without power for more than two weeks, meaning schools were not able to open. Nobody honestly believed that the storm would remain strong enough to wreak havoc on a city a few hours from the coast.
Our home did not sustain as much damage as others, but we lost many beautiful oaks that were more than a hundred years old, we were without power for more than two weeks, and the loss of the trees sent massive wood roaches looking for new nests in our homes.
Others weren’t as lucky as we were, but we all worked together to clean up, spread tarps over roofs, and to feed each other with food from freezers, racing to cook it all as it thawed and before it spoiled. We gathered camp stoves and gas grills to cook the food, ate what we needed at the time, and then stored the rest in the refrigerators in the homes of neighbors with generators.
In 2004, the story was different. We were vacationing with two other families in a beach-front home along the narrowest strip of land on the barrier islands of the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Hurricane Alex was still a tropical storm and it wasn’t expected to come close. There were no evacuation orders issued and by the time it was clear the storm was headed our way, the authorities were not allowing people to leave. The two-lane road could not accommodate the flow of traffic and anyone trying to leave might wind up stranded on a road that is often washed out in big storms.
After several terrifying hours, the category 2 hurricane moved on. Sand filled the floor of front-facing rooms and water continued to drip from skylights. The pool was filled with sand and the dunes were cut away. Even though the house did not belong to us, we helped with as much cleanup as we could. Roads were flooded, but we did not lose power for an extended period, so our refrigerator was stocked and we finished our vacation helping the leasing company identify damage and giving access to repair crews as they showed up.
What is your story?
Please share your story in the form below for a chance to win a 2-ounce bottle of Anolyte F, Nature Unleashed’s first aid spray. It is alcohol-free and provides a sting-free way to rinse impurities from wounds. You can read more about Anolyte F here.
Disclaimer: Nature Unleashed Anolyte D is an EPA-registered disinfectant and is the only Anolyte formula classified as an antimicrobial, antibacterial agent. The EPA does not assign safety claims to products classified as disinfectant agents; however, the EPA recognizes Anolyte D as safe for septic and wastewater treatment systems. Use only as directed.
Photo ©BetsyMuse 2015. Used with permission.