The first major hurricane I ever experienced was in 2004. My family and I had just moved to Melbourne, FL from Tampa, and we were greeted by our new friend Charley, a CAT 4 hurricane.
On the night of landfall, we hunkered down inside our 2-story rental while war happened outside. 150mph winds screamed around our home, threatening to shatter our windows. The next day was the first time I ever flew a kite, a true Floridian pastime. The shutters on our windows kept the wind from damaging our home, but the power lines in my neighborhood were not spared.
We spent the next three days without electricity, using propane tanks to heat up cans of ravioli and sitting in the car, turning the A/C on and off for a brief respite from the heat. Our school canceled all classes, a Florida version of a snow day; so my sister and I spent the days building a Publix plaza out of Legos and practicing trust-falls with the wind, leaning into them while they supported the weight of our bodies. Little did we know that those winds were destroying the home of a friend we knew from school. As the eye passed over our town, we sat uneasily on the driveway, fearing what would come next. It felt like normal life had taken a break, and we were waiting to see when it would return.
Imagine a never-ending Hurricane Season. Every day, fearing the worst and wondering if everything you have will be lost. Surviving on canned ravioli heated over a propane tank, and using the A/C in your car for a few minutes every hour because your electricity is out. Struggling to sleep because it’s just so hot, and wondering when life will return to normal again.
For most people, hurricane season is June to November, but for a homeless person, it’s year-round.
You can help change that.