Surviving Hurricane Irma

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To say Hurricane Irma was devastating is an understatement. Florida residents were urged to evacuate in all parts of the state. Some people were unable to leave, living a nightmare while they were forced to stay and “wait it out.”

“The first thing that was depleted was gas and water,” said Laura Marie, a resident of Pompano Beach near Fort Lauderdale. “So, no gas, no water, at least eight days prior [to thehurricane].”

“On the seventh day, food was limited, and the hurricane hadn’t even hit yet,” Marie said. Marie had to stay due to work priorities. She had very little gas to make it to work or anywhere else, for that matter. She, like many residents who couldn’t leave, had to buy supplies to barricade herself inside her home. Then, the waiting game began.

The emergency alarm resonated through residents’ ears. Even though she was feeling powerless and frightened, Laura knew she had to protect herself and her dog. Laura recalls hearing the alarms and not knowing what was going to happen next.

“The jolt of panic that came over me each time, thinking, ‘Okay, this is it,’” she said. “I’d jump out of bed, grab the dog, and hide… wait a few minutes, check if the coast was clear, and repeat this all night, never knowing if this was the moment I would get wrecked, and bracing for it.”

The night was over and the hurricane had passed. Laura, like most, felt lucky not to have been hit as hard as they could have been. Electricity was out for over a week in most areas, but Comcast Cable sent in drones to offer free wifi to people, and Verizon Wireless gave free data and unlimited calls to their customers.

Meanwhile, other parts of the state faced a similar situation.

Orlando was out of power in a lot of areas for at least three days after the storm. The McDonald’s there had some items available on their menu, but they were running out of food fast. Orlando made the list for one of the happiest places to live in America, and for good reason. They have Disney World, Seaworld, and more all in close proximity. However, several days after the hurricane, the city didn’t feel like a happy place. There was a sadness over it.

Although they were trying to pick up the pieces, it was obvious the storm had just passed through. Disney World was very overcrowded at the resorts. Lines to check in and out were the longest I had ever seen. Many people I spoke with said they went there because they had no electricity at home. A woman named Serena told me she planned on staying at Disney Resorts for another week until the power was back on in Miami.

All in all, most people felt lucky that the hurricane didn’t hit them as bad as they had anticipated. Most had a positive outlook and wanted to help others get back to their daily lives. These are the survivors of Hurricane Irma.

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