We are in North Central Florida. Our area is deemed a low flood zone and has a very rare history of hurricane impact. The long term residents here chuckle at the overly long lines at Walmart and complain that they simply cannot get through to get their basics without regard to the storm. However, the number of different projections are flagging a bit of concern even among these individuals. So we all sit and watch, wait for updates, and consider the levels of our stockpiles of water and canned food.
Last night, my mother and I ran out to Walmart for diapers as our attempts to potty train are still an ongoing process. The shelves were nearly empty. We found one pack of diapers that would fit the children and two packs of wipes! SERIOUSLY PEOPLE? The governor, in his statement to call the entire state under a state of emergency, said to take what you need for three days and no more. This is what the long term residents were talking about.
We get so caught up in what could happen to us that we forget about other people. Irma is still days away and yet we are already feeling its effects. It is not the wind or the rain that we must fear, it is the reckless behaviors of others.
Granted, I am not saying that the storm is not scary. Irma is HUGE and will bring destruction wherever it hits. I am not saying that we are not worried. But we have enough water and food. We have three vehicles filled with gas and car seats secured in each. We have our hurricane kits and candles. But those things are not for our everyday use. Those things stay put away for an emergency. Going to Walmart for our basic needs should not leave us realizing just how little others think about other people in such a time.
With that said, I met a man yesterday while picking up pool noodles at the Dollar Store. He was purchasing two cases of water and asked me if I needed one of them. I was floored! Of course, I told him that we had plenty and thanked him for the gesture. He continued to tell me that he was on his way to Okeechobee Fl to pick up his camper but he knew many of the people there were not going to evacuate so he was taking as much water to them as he could but did not want to leave anyone without. What a concept!
When I asked him about his plans, he stated that he would return to this area and use well water. When he saw that I had pool noodles, he realized that I had children under my care and said it is different with children though. With children, you do not consider a stockpile at home but rather consider a place to go. He said if you need to use a stockpile, then it is not safe for children. If there is a risk that you will not be able to get out, then do so before that risk manifests.
Tomorrow, we will cross over into Georgia to buy our basic needs such as diapers and wipes. Then, as Irma makes landfall, we will make a decision based on her path. If there is any concern, we will make it an adventure and let you all know where we head.
Stay safe and look out for one another. We are all we got!