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Picking Up the Pieces After the Hurricanes

Updated on September 11, 2017



Harvey and Irma

Less than a month ago people were having fun, eating dinner with family and friends, and enjoying life. Within the blink of an eye hurricanes came that forever changed the lives of all in the line of fire. Within a short amount of time people gathered a small number of belongings, irreplaceable, to keep on their persons why they evaluated from the city/towns they called home. The world held its’ breathe while Harvey did damage. Then Irma came and caused more damage. The likes of these hurricanes caused damage that shocked the world. What happens when you go from living life as usual to losing everything you’ve worked for, everything you had, with nothing to return to after the weather devastation?


Harvey Harvey

The Situation

Down power lines, electrified water in the streets, no water, no food, no access to medication, and houses collapsed or scattered in pieces across the neighborhood. In no time your apartment/house no longer exists, all your items are flooded due to rising waters, and all one can do is walk around in a state of disbelief at the condition of your residence. Your things are gone. Your life as you know it will never be the same. While one remains grateful to live another day, because others were not so fortunate, you still have no idea how you will pick up the pieces.

To go from a normal life to now scrambling to find a shelter that has room for you and your family. To go from a normal life to now wondering if other family members and friends are safe/alive. To go from going to dinner and watching tv to realizing your life will never be the same. To go from a normal day to scrambling with your most prized possessions to anywhere stable while the winds and rains are pushing you forward is mind-blowing to say the least. To go from a normal life of work day and home to the family to wondering how you will get water and food is difficult to comprehend.


The Aftermath

What Matters Most


How To Pick Up The Pieces

You spend time grieving for everything you have lost. You are not materialistic to mourn the things you worked hard to acquire lost in the hurricane. For your house to sit under water or fall to pieces tossed over an area of land is devastating. Don’t allow others to make you feel bad about your feeling of material loss. No doubt it is heartbreaking to no longer see your child’s room in one piece or to have everything washed away including the foundation of your property. Family photographs, heirlooms, and the irreplaceable - a distant memory. The reality is crushing. You have a right to feel the way you feel about this serious of events that have thrown your life off course. Grieve for your uncertainty and need for any assistance you can obtain. Homes, apartment buildings, etc. are gone along with the life you once had. Some have the means and resources to rebuild, others have no insurance to cover losses, and more importantly people are without the basics required to sustain life. You have the right to feel the weight of your situation but light will come in the morning.

For those of you that have lost family or friends, words cannot convey the amount of sympathy everyone has for the loss of loved ones. For those of you that can’t locate loved ones and have no idea if they are safe/alive, the world also shares your hope that your loved ones are safe. In the shelter, you are surrounded by those that survived deadly hurricanes so around you there is hope, comradery, and people that share a common situation which shows you are not alone. In this moment, for those that have survived, you must find the beauty in the face of your spouse, neighbor, friends, and children. As long as you have breath in your lungs you have lived to fight on another day, that in and of itself is triumph. Help is on the way and as time passes you will have the opportunity to begin the process of rebuilding.


United Way

Red Cross

Hurricane Sandy - A Reminder From The Past

Inhale / Exhale

Do not overwhelm yourself with figuring out everything all at once. Think logically and table your emotions for the night. You have to think logically; your first need is water/food/shelter/clothing. Find your loved ones via social media, apps, or websites if you have any type of access to internet at the shelter or still have a cell phone you can use. If you have auto insurance, home insurance, or renter’s insurance notify your insurance carrier and file a claim. Reach out to government agencies regarding catastrophic relief help to assist you with rebuilding once things change. If you work for a large company, or have access to your manager’s cell phone, call and leave a message letting him/her know you hope they are safe, reveal what shelter you’re in and inform them that you will be in touch when you are in a different situation. Yes, the businesses are closed and under but you want to let your company/manager know you’ll be there once the situation changes. If you have any access to books, read to pass the time and quiet your mind from constantly circling your panicky situation. When you get overwhelmed…………sit down, inhale slowly and exhale slowly until you can get a hold of your emotions and anxiety. You will survive this and you will move forward rebuilding your life. Your community will help you and have compassion for your situation because they share similar experiences. Be understanding and accommodating with others because in bad situations, cramped situation full of stress, being human we can allow the situation to cause tempers run short-have compassion. You are alive, you are alive, and you will survive this! You will be ok!


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