It seems those of us that dare to live on the ocean’s coastlines are a different breed. It may seem to outsiders that we live in a perpetual vacation-location. Changing seasons however, reap many harvests and Hurricanes can be a devastating crop. The range of Atlantic activity is from June 1st to November 30th, Hurricane Season.
As awareness spreads that there is a tropical storm of interest, you begin listening to the weather reports. As focus is placed on the projected path, there is that moment of denial. Reality may come too late to some who refuse to heed the warnings. Boarding up windows and gathering supplies we currently don’t have around the house, are just some of the steps needed to weather the blast Mother Nature is about to provide. You brace as the time nears for the infamous “landfall”. The incoming monster may be growing in size and strength, or there is a chance it will collide with another of its kind to literally rip innocence apart. A sense of horror kicks in. Some of us in the fanned out path will be safe; experiencing only high wind gusts, maybe heavy thunderstorms. Others will get the sheer brunt of the shore sweep or tornadoes spun off from the destructive giant. Then there are those that get the ‘hit’. Storm surge can totally take out your travel route to work for a week or more. Familiar structures may be displaced or simply disappear. Boats seek new port on the highway, lofted out of the ocean like a child’s toy. Cars migrate without drivers to other districts. Pets and livestock are abandoned as unprepared people flee to higher ground. Highways are jammed with urgent motorists on paralyzed escape routes…some losing their lives in the process. Others simply losing their minds. Power outages for 7 to 10 days mean that you are not only without electricity but there is no sanitary water either. Batteries, canned goods and fresh water become gold. Your city transforms into a different planet.
A kind of quiet sets in as you now wonder how you are going to pay your bills since you can’t even get to work. Entire neighborhoods may be wiped off the map with the deadly combination of wind, surf, flooding and erosion. Inevitably, there will be those that suffer the ultimate loss of loved ones. Material objects are washed away, gone forever. Somehow, though the cost is high, these notorious storms seem to bring humanity back in check. Neighbors that never even met each other before are now helping one another to survive, rebuild, regroup. Memories are literally history in the making.
Granted, there are other acts of nature that can be just as cataclysmic. The aftermath not only exposes the open nerve of a flattened landscape but the compassion of humanity as well, for it will be needed to create, improve and build again.
Though impact from any storm is tragic in many diverse and serious ways, we have no choice but to regard the time of disaster as a chance to share the best of what we have to offer…Ourselves.