Irene has passed the northeast area for the most part. But now the real work begins. As Floridians, we have gone through this drill many times in our lifetimes. Those from New Jersey and New York are about to discover what life in the aftermath of a hurricane is all about. It isn’t pretty and while the storm itself was exciting for many, what the masses will suffer through during the coming weeks and months will make everyone curse the name Irene forever.
Right now, kids are running around happily playing outside once again. When they become older and start working, and indeed as they age, they will remember the fun times right after the storm. They will not remember the bad times. The sun is now shining on the city and as the community comes out to join the kids, they will find things they probably will wish not to find. Some of what they will find will be troublesome, some will be outright dangerous. The trick is knowing the difference between the two and determining how to live with both the dangers and inconvenience.
For those fit and able, and civic-minded, now is the time to roll up your sleeves, pull on your boots, grab your chain saws and other gear, and go out and fix the problem. You will have help of course, as many power companies from The South have dispatched workers and equipment to assist.
If you are older, and unable to join in those recovery efforts, the best advice for anyone living in the path of the aftermath of the storm is to take a vacation. Leave the area if you can, if your property is secure, and take time off to visit another part of the country. Trying to live without electricity (read air conditioning) and inadequate plumbing and waste facilities is very unpleasant. After your trip, you will return to find things almost back to normal.
There will be some aspects of home that will have changed forever. But as with everything in life, you will learn to live with it and adapt. Keep in mind that while some things you have always cherished will be gone, new things will pop up in their place.
The one thing that a storm such as this brings out is the goodness in people. Oh, there are those moments when some will react terribly. For the most part, however, the greater number of people will be willing to help others. In the end, what we, those of us down here in Florida have discovered, is that success in the wake of a storm is dependent on helping one another.
It is, after all, what is most important.
©2011 J. Clark
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