The image I have attached to this blog is the size comparison between Irma (lower right) and Andrew in 1992 (upper left) to gauge an idea of the size comparison of the two.
I’ve been through several hurricanes in my lifetime. I’m a native Floridian and I’ve lived here practically my whole life. Two of my biggest experiences were with Wilma in 2005 and Andrew in 1992.
Although Irma was massive and destructive, I watched people take full caution for the first time ever. People were planning days (not a day) in advance. They were boarding up, filling up on gas, water, batteries, flashlights, etc. five to six days before Irma hit land. I had friends of mine who left the state, traveling northward to get far away to be as safe as possible. People were making sure they prepared for this one.
Now, it is my partial belief that if Hurricane Harvey hadn’t impacted Texas and caused the mass destruction it caused, then people may not have prepared as heavily early on as should be expected. Regardless, people were not taking a chance on this one as the entire state was affected.
As I drove around this afternoon, I watched neighbors helping each other get cleaned up. People tend to be more kind, at ease, and less stressed realizing it is over and cleanup efforts are in full effect.
If I had to make a criticism of the event, I just find it sad that it takes a natural disaster – or any disaster for that matter – to ignite a windstorm of human kindness. I wish we could see more of this “just because” rather than “because of.”
However, it’s nice to see all my friends and family were safe. I thank God that so many listened, paid attention, and took action versus making light of a situation that was severe. My heart and prayers go out to the people in the Florida Keys. They are still searching for survivors. So I pray they are found and well. I pray for a speedy recovery and the return to normalcy.
The good thing about hurricanes is that you always have time to prepare. Tornadoes come without warning. Earthquakes come without warning. Tsunamis. Volcanoes. But we always know when a hurricane is coming and that provides plenty of time for us to prepare and ensure our safety.
I hope those that experienced Irma, you are well and in full recovery mode. May God bless us and keep us well!