Friday, August 26, 2011

The Calm Before the Storm...and Then the Aftermath

I lived in West Palm Beach, Florida, when Hurricane Andrew hit. We were spared any damage fortunately but I had prepared for the storm just in case. What struck me most was the night before the storm I was outside looking at the sky. The clouds were in a gigantic, beautiful pinwheel formation that I had never seen before or since.

Also my dogs were quite agitated before the storm. Of course, Levi, would have been agitated anyway because he was terrorized by even a small rain storm. But this time my other 2 dogs did nothing to console him, they just joined him in his panting frenzy. I ended up medicating all of them instead of just him.

I didn't evacuate because traffic was bumper to bumper on all roads leading from the storm. In retrospect that was a mistake. I figured that someone would inevitably breakdown or wreck and I didn't want to be trapped in my car during the storm. I also had a kennel full of greyhounds that I had to tend as well. What I observed after Andrew was that even though all the homes were in splinters scattered across South Florida, all the cars were intact. They may have been tossed into trees or completely battered and beaten but they were at least still whole and a person could survive if they hunkered down in the floor board.

I actually slept through the storm. I went to sleep before it started and I woke up to a bright sunshiny day. Unfortunately I also woke up to a devastating migraine. I went to get out of bed so I could get to my kennel and I could not raise my head off the pillow the pain was so bad. I suppose it was due to the drop and rise in the barometric pressure. This is probably what also cause the can of biscuits to explode in my refrigerator - my worst and funniest casualty of the whole storm.

When I turned on the television I was surprised to see that Miami (specifically Homestead)had turned into a war zone. It was completely razed.

I would also like to point out that all of my major credit card companies (i.e. Sears, Penny's and various Visa's and Mastercards) all extended an automatic grace period for hurricane victims so they could use their money to get back on their feet. In many cases people didn't have jobs to return to, so this was a huge help.

I sent all my hurricane supplies to Miami on the 3rd. day when they started begging for help saying the government was not responding. They were on television begging for food, water and even tampons and toilet paper - they had nothing. I was tempted not to help because as some of you know I had an absolutely horrid experience when I lived in Miami when I couldn't get medical help that I desperately needed. I kept thinking about the one woman who did try to help me though. I like to think that the stuff I sent down there got to her.

I also donated my Teddy Ruxpin and Grubby the Worm dolls. After the hurricane the children were being housed in tents provided by the military once they finally stepped in to help. The kids weren't allowed out to play because the grounds were too dangerous for them with so much debris.

Also it was said that many of the animals escaped from the Miami Zoo. Some of them were recovered. Many more went into the Everglades and now you hear about giant anacondas and such roaming the swamps and reproducing there as well.

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