Some of you may not know that I live in Southwest Florida, where we recently had a massive hurricane devastate our area. As this hurricane was approaching our coastline it had so much energy attached and unexpected level of intensity, many people did not have time to evacuate it’s wrath.
Hurricane Ian hit Ft. Meyers and the surrounding area with such impact that it left many residents stunned with the amount of loss that they suffered. After days of high winds, rain, and unbelievable amounts of storm surge, it left many without homes, power, water and loss of their livelihood and some their lives.
I cannot begin to express the sadness and feeling of helplessness that I have for the sudden development of events. My heart and soul breaks for friends, co-workers and everyone who suffered great loss as a result of hurricane Ian.
As with any natural disaster, one questions why some people are touched with great disaster and others left untouched. I have heard heartbreaking stories of people who had unbearable losses and others saved by some stroke of luck from terrible peril. The waves of emotions that I have felt in the past week are difficult to describe and the situations that people found themselves in hard to even imagine.
Typically, my husband and I would evacuate in preparation for such a hurricane in the making. I don’t know why we did not make the decision to do so this time. We always told ourselves that we would get out if a big one was on the way. Especially when we were so highly concerned about losing our roof as it was not in a good place. Our community was in the process of having all of the roofs replaced. The day prior to and the morning of the hurricane, the roofing company was frantically working to put the second layer down on top of our roof in preparation for Ian. Just as the path of Ian was uncertain, so were our hurricane plans.
This was the first hurricane that we stayed to experience, I must say, next time we will most certainly evacuate, like we did in 2017 when Irma was headed our way. The winds were extremely strong and thankfully we did not receive the storm surge. I was up all night expecting to see a wall of water headed in our direction. We had a lot of tree damage; we are extremely grateful that we were left with a home and essentials of life. We have a sense of guilt that we survived and others did not.
Even though we had minimal damage, I have such a strong feeling of undeniable loss, I cannot wait to physically see friends and co-workers to confirm that they are safe and doing alright. This event will undoubtedly change lives in ways that God only knows. This disaster already created change, as people bond together as a community. I have already met neighbors that I did not know existed and had lengthy conversations with fellow church goers that I previously acknowledged with a nod and a smile. The sense of community changes for the positive as we all unite to put things back together. Things may not look like they did previously, but we will grow stronger and better than before. We are grateful to all the people that are working hard on rescue and recovery efforts. Coming from everywhere to help us to get back on our feet. Bringing much needed supplies and services. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
If you find it in your heart to help the disaster relief, there are many ways to assist in the form of volunteering your time and resources. There will be plenty of opportunities in the days ahead. Sometimes, it may just be lending an ear or a shoulder to cry upon. Sending love, light and healing to everyone. Godspeed ahead as we recover from this catastrophe.
Kay Kinsley Adams