Reach Out to the Community
For days, people constantly watched an image like this one – on their televisions, computers and iPhones. It seemed like the screen was being constantly refreshed with an updated image. Hurricane Ian was on the move.
As somewhat new residents to Florida, albeit each in different cities, my business partners and I readied for the storm in different ways. Early on, it was expected to hit the Sarasota and Tampa/St. Pete areas the hardest; at 27 feet above sea level, I was less worried about flooding than Mary Ellen, who lives closer to the water. Living on the East Coast in the Jacksonville area, Jennifer had a “extra” day to prepare; and, with expectations of the Category 4 diminishing to Category 1, the anxiousness was a bit less than for those on the West Coast. With no mandatory evacuation requirements, all three of us and our spouses decided to hunker down and weather the hurricane in place.
When the hurricane path altered in a way that it seemed to target Sarasota, something interesting happened. Phone calls and texts rapidly increased. People who we hadn’t heard from in a long time, reached out – sending us their well wishes and prayers; family members and close friends seemed to check in on an hourly basis to see if we had electricity and water … and to try to convince us to drive north before it was too late.
As the storm surges hit Ft. Meyers and Naples, we braced for the unexpected. More phone calls and more texts from more people. We were fortunate that we all came out of it with minimal issues. Our hearts go out to those who experienced loss of property, injury and, for some, loss of life.
Reflecting on this experience, a few things about human behavior come quickly to the surface for me:
- In times of tragedy, people pull together
- A simple phone call or text can mean the world to the receiver
- It’s easy to take things, and people, for granted when you have them
- Taking action – no matter how small – can mean something huge to others
This Week’s Challenge: Reflect on who and what you have in your life; express your gratitude. Pray for those less fortunate. And find a way (this week) to reach out to someone in need; give of your time, your talent and/or your treasures.
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