Hurricane Florence

I was watching the news tonight, including coverage of the hurricane that is starting to batter the Carolinas.  This time last year we were recovering from hurricane Irma, and Puerto Rico was bracing for Maria.  If you have never been through a hurricane, the anticipation is worse than the event, at times.  But make no mistake, it’s nerve racking and scary.  When you go to bed, after watching television, or cooking dinner, remember the people in the Carolina’s.  They will likely be without power, and preparing to recover from a storm that will continue to beat the coast even into tomorrow.

I remember last year, watching teams of first responders and assistance getting ready to help.  It was comforting to know that there were people getting ready to help.  We were lucky in the hurricane, but many people were not.  Across Florida, there was flooding and damage, and so many other issues in Texas and Puerto Rico.  We got out easily, compared to Puerto Rico.  They are still struggling with multiple issues.  I have patients with family there, and although things have improved, there are still improvements to be made, and things to be done.

Have you ever thought about what you would do in an emergency.  Would you volunteer to help?  Would you house people who may have lost everything?  Our VA hospital functioned as a shelter, and the other VA in the area had to evacuate.  Other places in Florida were under water.  In Texas, the flooding was extensive, and in Puerto Rico, people died when they couldn’t get medical care that they needed.  Devastation can bring out the best in people, or the worst.  It can put people on edge to the point they don’t respond the same way they would under less stress.  It’s not uncommon for people have trouble sleeping, or nightmares, or trouble with concentration.  It’s interesting that this time of year is a time of significant trauma, and the events keep happening.  With 9/11 memorials still in short term memory, the Carolinas are facing the next trauma.

Hurricanes happen every year, but they hit different places.  Last year, hurricanes hit many places.  This year, it’s the Carolinas.  Many well wishers sent support to the areas affected by last years hurricane season.  This year, we need to send out wishes, and prayers, to the people living through another of Mother Nature’s wrath.  The hope is that it will be less intense than predicted, but we won’t know the full extent of the damage for a while.  In the mean time, send well wishes to the residents, workers, and relief workers that will be available to help recover after the storm.

Part of being happy for life, is being humble.  I am very aware that as I see people going through trauma events, it could be me.  I have been blessed, but that doesn’t mean it will stay that way.  I understand that it could easily be gone tomorrow.  As the Carolinas take it on the chin for us this year, think of them, and appreciate all the your have.  If you have family, friends, and help when you need it, you too are blessed.  This is part of what makes you, happy for life.