Hurricane Irma and Her Wake
Preparing for the Worst
It seems like twenty years ago when Hurricane Irma was heading our way and everyone’s social channel feeds were filled of images of radar screens and the comparison of Hurricane Irma to the size of Hurricane Andrew. We live in a 1950’s home that needs a new roof so I remember my husband and I walking around the house like zombies trying to figure out what to do to prepare for the worst. After doing what we could, we decided to travel a couple hours upstate to my parent’s place to help them get their house prepared.
It is so surreal how the weather before a huge storm is tranquil and appears downright happy. It’s so peaceful which is a blessing at that time when the world around you seems to be losing their mind. After a fun day of being with my mom and watching the kids run around in a wide open yard it was time to get ready for bed. My parents had no intention of leaving their home because they help lead their nearby shelter and well my Dad can be a bit stubborn. However, that night after hearing that all of Okeechobee County had a mandatory evacuation before noon the next morning he changed his tune.
We decided to head to a friend’s house, a wonderful friend that opened their house to us and our two kids under six as well as our two four legged children, Dexter and Ruby. My parents headed to my sister Melanie’s in Apopka.
I hope no one is offended by that title, I get that it was an incredibly stressful time for most South Floridians, our family included. However, for two business owners that don’t get to see their kids as often as they would like and who have a hard time leaving the office early, this time spent together hunkered down was pretty special. If anything, it helped us both realign our priorities and realize that we are not promised tomorrow and need to cherish each and every moment. You’ll never have another today.
Yes, we survived although as I wouldn’t necessarily say we “dodged a bullet” as we have heard from many people in the days after Irma’s wake. Our office building took on a significant amount of water and the Wednesday after IRMA we had to move everything to a remote location for the carpet to be ripped up and replaced. With the readiness of our landlord paired with the kindness of Bruce Sinclair from Floors with Distinction we were back up and running with brand new carpet within a week’s time. However, the following weekend, just two weeks after Hurricane Irma had visited our town, our building took on even more water yet again and our entire workspace was covered in 2” of flooding. By the grace of God our machines were able to be dried out and did not show any signs of damage.
So, after all this madness and given that our team is growing, we have decided to look for a new office. We can say with total confidence that nothing can bring us down. I am so lucky to work with such “hands-on” strong women, and together we will always face adversity head on.