Hope Sustains Retired Couple – Hurricanes in Florida Survival Story
Living in Florida, we experience hurricanes in the summer months through November. Some years it is quiet with no hurricane. Orlando is in the middle of the state of Florida, USA and it is usually the Caribbean and the coasts of Florida that get the hurricanes.
Three Hurricanes in Florida in 2004
However, in the summer of 2004, Orlando experienced not just one but three hurricanes. One of the three is called hurricane Charley and winds gust up to 240 km/hr.
It was my first experience of a hurricane.
We learned that hurricane Charley had strengthened into a Category 4 storm and was now headed straight toward our home.
There was nothing we could do but prepare by securing outdoor furniture, etc. so nothing is loose and get blown away.
Some people boarded their windows, but we did not. We watch on the tv, monitoring weather reports. Hurricane Charley was getting to our location and the wind speed was increasing rapidly.
There is nothing else to do but hunker down inside the house and pray.
We can hear the wind and hope it passes by us quickly. The longer it hangs around, it increases speed.
We can only pray and hope it goes by fast and no damage is done to our home and those in our neighborhood.
After about 45 minutes, everything went silent.
The wind was gone.
All I saw was just a blue sky.
How Often Do Hurricanes in Florida Occur?
We survived Hurricane Charley with no house or property damage. Then two more hurricanes came through Orlando that summer.
Each time that happened we had the faith we will be fine. We expected everything to be okay and it was. Worrying would not help as it was beyond our control.
Some people were not as lucky as us.
Homes were damaged, roofs are gone, and water got into the interior. They lost hope but there is always a light at the end of the tunnel.
They got help and aid from the government and insurance companies.
A great storm is like a sunny day to a person of great faith. A gentle wind is like a great storm to a person of great fear. – Matshona Dhliwayo
In the face of Hurricanes in Florida – What is Hope?
Wishing and praying for tangible things. When that happens, faith arises!
Faith is believing in things not seen nor proven. Faith attracts positive but fear, on the other hand, attracts negative and bad stuff.
You cannot have faith and fear at the same time!
We did not feel any fear nor worry during the whole ordeal as we had done all the preparations like having enough non-perishables in case we lose power and no use of a fridge.
We could sleep at night when the winds were blowing through our neighborhood as we knew worrying does not help the situation. We placed it in God’s hands. We had faith everything will be ok.
So, we have to have hope and faith in bad situations we cannot control. There is always a solution and help.
What to do During a Hurricane?
Stay away from low-lying and flood-prone areas.
Always stay indoors during a hurricane, because strong winds will blow things around.
Stay inside and keep away from all windows, skylights, and glass doors.
Go to a safe area, such as an interior room, closet, or downstairs bathroom.
Never go outside the protection of your home or shelter before there is confirmation that the storm has passed the area.
Leave mobile homes and to go to a shelter. If your home isn’t on higher ground, go to a shelter.
If emergency managers say to evacuate, then do so immediately.
Cecelia Lee is a retired tennis coach from Florida.