Hurricane Matthew 2016
From Haiti, to the Bahamas and right through Florida then up the coast with intention of total destruction.
I was on Facebook when the announcement came through of this Matthew thing brewing, ready to alter so many lives; If they made it through it.
A hurricane in Florida isn’t the same as in Boston, Ma.
Now I have been through a few hurricanes as a child. My hometown of Boston had a couple of big ones. I remember there was a huge tree that had some roots so large they spanned a big distance and some were covered in concrete. This tree was uprooted completely out. Other hurricanes and winter storms couldn’t do that. That was just one memory and experience with hurricanes.
Have you been through a hurricane or other natural disaster in different climates? I would like to hear about it and add it to this post, you can do that here: Hurricane Matthew Story, Tips, Tricks, etc., Submission Form
Knowing about and understanding basics of hurricanes helps you prepare for it
I knew what a hurricane was capable of because of a few personal experiences. I also did research about hurricanes here in Florida. I knew moving here, there were bound to be a few in my lifetime. I think researching, asking questions to natives and educating myself helped me and my family stay calm. I was calm and collected from prep to finish. Though others anxiety and nerves were on edge, mine were too but keeping in control as much as possible means a world of difference.
My family stayed glued to the news while we watched this massive hurricane brew and grow all while coming right for us; as a direct hit at a category 4! I have been through a category 4, up north, never in Florida. Hurricanes here are different for sure.
[clicktotweet]Families are really a team that relies on one another; Like a puzzle piece[/clicktotweet]
We all had a job in the family, same as a puzzle piece. Some of mine were to ensure we were stocked with food, water, supplies, keep everyone calm, make foods that were healthy but can last on ice for a day or two, get the inside of the house ready, get the kids ready and informed of what to expect. My children have never been through any storm such as a hurricane, just a few minor snowstorms.
Location is important when it comes to a hurricane; Knowing where all bodies of water and how they react is a factor in hurricane preparation
We live fifteen maybe twenty minutes from the beach. It depends on which parking lot you can find parking. We also have a canal that is about two feet from our backyard, it is a really huge one at that. I already knew that the canal and streets flood very quickly. So it was a huge concern. It is filthy water that would be coming into the house, depending on how flooded it got.
This is what I was preparing for:
Just seeing and knowing this occurred on a normal and typical rainy day made me quite nervous. If three hours of rain did this, imagine what a hurricane can do?
It was very upsetting that sandbags were not at all available to residents in my city who had this issue. We were told last-minute to go to the beach and get sand from there! Except we didn’t even have time to do that.
At that point I decided to come to terms with filthy water in the house, brace for two of the children to get really sick. The baby and my other one with a very weak immune system. It would mean life or death for them.
I also began to come to terms with two of our cars being a total loss. They are project cats and currently can’t be moved as they are in the middle of modifications. Though I know my husband and children wouldn’t agree with me. It would be more of a greater loss to them.
It was a really huge struggle getting things prepared for something that we were never prepared for!
As this massive Hurricane Matthew started to completely demolish Haiti and moved towards the Bahamas all we could do was get prepared as fast and as much as we could. We each had so many thoughts and emotions going on.
We all stood there at one point staring at the screen watching this thing destroy hundreds of peoples lives, not knowing if they would even make it.
Humanity For All:
It did bring tears to my eyes knowing people weren’t just going to die from it, it is the WAY they were going to die from it that intensified emotional reactions. None of them deserved that way to die, at all.
They were innocent people, who didn’t have a chance. They couldn’t fight back, they had no say, they didn’t provoke it and they could never prevent it!
Hurricane Matthew Preparation:
As Hurricane Matthew moved along in its intentional and purposeful tear-down we continued to prepare. We were emotionally preparing, mentally preparing and physically preparing, not just ourselves, but the children too. The dogs were a mess as they knew something was about to happen, they just didn’t know what.
I gave each person specific instructions on certain things to do in case of random scenarios as we prepared. I had them repeat it back to me to make sure they understood.
Then came this particular instruction to my two older sons aged twenty and sixteen: They each were given the responsibility of taking a dog each. We immensely LOVE our dogs. But it came to this:
[clicktotweet]That gut-tearing moment when I told my kids to use their weapon to swiftly euthanize a dog.[/clicktotweet]
Our female dog is an American Bulldog, she came to us with the original intention of being my sons aid as he is partially deaf. She is now seven years old and still hasn’t gone through any medical aid training’s, so we can’t officially consider her a service dog.
But she really is to us. She is not just my sons second set of ears, but she protects Her (my) Children 100%. She also signals me when my blood sugar is not right as well as when I am even having the slightest tremor or small seizure coming. She is a life saver, she is also a huge emotional support for each of us.
My male dog is a Pit-bull (blue nose type). Though he has issues from being beaten multiple times nearly to death as a bait dog. I rescued and adopted him, he is four years old. He has learned lots from his female friend about protection and what he should and shouldn’t be doing.
So when I moved onto talking with my older boys about their roles and what I’d like from them. It was one of the most hardest things I think I have ever said to my children.
I told them, the knives they had on their person weren’t just for protecting them or helping them.The weapon can also be used to euthanize the dog swiftly so they don’t feel it.
They were told and given permission that if anything were to take down the dog, and hurt it to the point where it can’t be saved and will die a slow death. (I cried while telling them) To euthanize the dog with which ever method did it so quick they couldn’t feel it with whichever weapon that wouldn’t allow the dog to further suffer.
My sons have guns, knives of various types, swords etc. They are extremely informed about the as well. (Just in case you are wondering).
This was one of the most heart wrenching things I have ever did or told anyone to do. I don’t regret saying it. As hard as it was, it really was the right actions to do. The boys agreed and told me I didn’t have to struggle with telling them it; They already knew and made those decisions well before I could even approach them about it.
The boys all helped their dad prepare the outside of the house and other things I can’t physically do, due to a car accident.
As we prepared things, we all spoke about what to do in case of this scenario and that scenario. We talked about separation and what to do. My job is to attach my toddler to me if possible and also have my eight year old as well. Why I had two children assigned to me and dad had one. The one he was assigned meant he had a bigger responsibility, that child has a weak immune system, juvenile arthritis, compromised lungs and some other medical issues. Dad may have to carry him everywhere as a preteen, he is large (ha-ha) along with his medicines.
Some factors that you also should consider when preparing for a hurricane.
Who is capable of what? Who has medical issues and all those different things.
See why it is extremely important to know and understand your strengths, weakness, talents, gifts and abilities. If you have a family, it is also important to know these things for each member too.
We were told to prepare for the worst, so we did. We prepared for things like
- Asthma attacks
- Flooding that meant we swam with whatever is in the water (like snakes and gators)
- Falling Trees
- Falling and flying street signs
- Anxiety attacks
- Panick Attacks
- Possible tornadoes (which we have absolutely no experience with)
- Whole host of other possibilities
Preparing and giving each person a job to do, give them instructions for various types of scenarios was very important. I think also informing them about different actions and reactions leads to this or that, we talked about emotions, tensions etc coming up too.
I now feel way more confident that my boys are more prepared for the hurricane that was about to be a direct hit as a category 4. They quickly moved into action. Everything moved along like gears in a town clock building.
We were not financially prepared! This was our biggest weakness. Coming soon in a few days is a post I am putting together to help you get financially prepared for a natural disaster on my other blog Financially Shopping.
We used up our savings in order to prepare for Hurricane Matthew.
In hindsight, I really do not recommend having to resort to this behavior, action and reaction.
We spent not just savings for preparing and repairs, but also money for our vacation as well as money saved for the children for the holidays. I do not know how long it would take for us to recover from it and if it would be in time for the holidays. My only hope is to work with more events and companies to recoup the loss plus get started with a financial plan and budget just for disasters and emergencies such as a hurricane appearance.
How Social Media Helped During a Hurricane
Sometimes I am in various forums, networking events and in random conversations talking about social media being useless always comes up.
Even on Facebook the topic will make its appearance. I see and hear people say they refuse to use social media, say it “ruins” a relationship therefore social media needs to be abolished, or that social media leaves us completely vulnerable and possible targets.
Others decide to close all their social media accounts for various reasons.
What happens when it doesn’t do any of those things? What happens when you created a pocket on social media that is full of helpful and useful tools to help you in your life?
I am very grateful and really appreciative of social media! It helped humanity come together in real time, across the entire USA!
[clicktotweet]It’s true, social media can assist during a crisis![/clicktotweet]
I really liked the Facebook feature for us to be able to “check-in” and mark our-self SAFE. With each notification that came through it was relieving. This isn’t the first time I have stalked the Check-In notifications. I look for them during other events too.
How did social media help you during the hurricane? How did you use it? Did your local news station use it and what are your thoughts about it? I would like to hear about it and add it to this post, you can do that here: Hurricane Matthew Story, Tips, Tricks, etc., Submission Form
Facebook has recently activated the Go Live option. I have seen others express dissatisfaction and call it annoying. While I have seen others really take advantage of it and many others who expressed benefits they have received from watching them. Personally, I do like them, it is almost like Face-Time, just a little different.
I really liked how many people of all kinds used their Go Live option to give a glimpse of what was happening at that exact moment, in real time. Thank you to everyone who used this to show others what you were experiencing and how you were doing.
It was very helpful and beneficial that news stations, our local sheriff and the mayor all used the Go Live option to clearly get very important information out there to us. They knew and understood that not everyone has access to cable and most people were probably on Facebook anyways to keep their family updated on their status.
I used social media during the hurricane to keep others informed, sorry to all those on my friend list whom were out of state and not affected at all by the hurricane. For me, it was more important to help others with valuable information for their needs, or even their loved ones needs. I did get messages asking about various locations around Florida wondering the condition because they still have not heard from their loved ones.
I was also able to find options to receive very valuable information sent by text right to my cell phone.
A Full View Into Hurricane Matthew 2016
A compilation of contributions from those who went through it all.
Here are some very helpful tips, tricks, pictures, videos and other things related to Hurricane Matthew 2016. I would love to add yours as well! I would like to hear about it and add it to this post, you can do that here: Hurricane Matthew Story, Tips, Tricks, etc., Submission Form
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