This week, we were some of the displaced citizens of Florida due to Hurricane Ivan and learned some great lessons.
Due to us being on the west coast of Florida and in Zone A, we had to evacuate our house. Then when it looked like it was going to hit us head-on as a Category 3, we decided to head out of town on Friday night. We had no house to go to in our town that hurricane windows, and we knew the whole area would be without electricity, so we thought we might as well be comfortable while sitting out the storm. As you well know, the storm lost strength and veered to the east on Sunday, so we were not hit head-on. Our house is still without electricity as I type this on Wednesday, and we are heading back today — electricity or no electricity.
Here are some lessons I learned from going through Hurricane Ivan:
Don’t give advice on what others should do unless you are in their shoes or have been in their shoes.
Well-meaning people who love us told us what we should do and where we should go even though we also were very concerned and listening to our local weather — not just the national news. I downloaded 2 local weather apps and was listening to them religiously. We did not want to put our children in harm and would try to use as good judgment as we could. My brother-in-law in South Africa would get so frustrated when well-meaning Americans would give him advice on what he should do in South Africa. He would say, “They have no idea of the culture or of the difficulties, yet they think they know how we should minister.” I know can empathize with him just a little bit.
Don’t pass judgment on others and their decisions.
One of my friends put me in a Hurricane Irma safe group on Facebook. It was very helpful as others could share tips and share if they had electricity and if the roads were safe. However, you also had people who were making fun of those who had evacuated and saying they were not true Floridians and other such talk. I don’t really care what they said because I don’t know them, but I did think again that their situations may be very different than other people’s situations. Some were inland with no danger of flooding. Some had better houses — all people who lived in mobile homes had to evacuate. Some had medical needs and had to have electricity. Some had little babies. Others had generators and tons of gas to keep them going until they could get power. Some people had to stay for work. Everyone’s situation is different so extend a little grace and let others make their own decisions.
Trust your gut and work together as a team — if you are married or have other adults in your household.
We went back and forth. The beginning of the weather forecasts showed the hurricane coming right at us and we wondered what to do. Then it showed the east coast, and we thought we could hang tight. Then it showed the middle of the state, and we thought we could evacuate to higher ground a couple of miles away. Then it showed the hurricane hitting us straight on. At that point, we decided to stop second guessing ourselves and to go to family that was out of the area. We worked together and got out of town. We ignored the doubters and did what was best for our family. In the end, we were so glad that we left when we did. By that time, the forecast showed that it would go up into Georgia, and so we went east and missed all of the storm all together. Since we left later than others, roads were not a problem at all. We were able to be home for a longer period of time to get some things done. We were wise and everything with our evacuation worked out.
Be prepared and do what authorities tell you to do.
When they told us to fill up our tanks with gas and to get extra gas, we did it right away. Then when we decided to evacuate 4 days later, we had gas and gas in a gas tank in case we ran out on the highway. Many others could not leave as they did not have gas or anyplace to get it. They told us to get gas — so we listened. We will probably buy a generator as we will be hit by at the very minimum tropical storms in the future. We also plan on trying to get some hurricane shutters for the house and church. Our house and church are in flood zone, so no flood insurance is available, but we can protect our house and church more than what we did in this storm.
There are so many things for which we could be thankful for.
- We had the finances and a safe car so could get out. Some people did not.
- We had family to go to that could put us up and we did not have to find a hotel.
- My husband’s work gave him the flexibility to get out.
- Even without electricity, we have so much more than others in this world. I will have to remember this if my house still does not have electricity when I get back tonight.
- We have family and friends who care for our safety.
- Losing all my freezer meat is much better than losing my house and belongings.
- I have 5 wonderful children and a wonderful husband — so even if I lost my house, I still had what is most important.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.
Pray and ask wisdom from above when you are not for sure what to do. He will lead you. He will guide you with His eye.
Here are some posts I enjoyed from last week’s party:
Here are the rules for this linky:
The thoughtful topics for your posts could be related to but not limited to the following topics:
* homemaking * homeschooling * devotional or Biblical posts * Christian in nature * family/marriage * inspirational *
- Do NOT link up recipes, reviews, giveaways, diy, or crafts.
- Link up to three posts that have not been linked up to this linky previously!
- We would love it if you visited a couple other posts and left a comment or shared/pinned the post!
- If you include your e-mail in the linky form below you will be added to a weekly reminder e-mail when the link party goes live. Your e-mail will not to added to any other lists or given out.
- If you wish, please follow Creative K Kids by subscribing to our newsletter or following us on social media.
If you link up, we would love if you put this button somewhere on your blog (sidebar, post, or party page) or provide a text link so that others can also find these great posts.