Surviving Hurricane Harvey: A Real-Life Story
Imagine hearing a name, just a week ago, that would soon change your life and the lives of your community forever. This is the reality of surviving Hurricane Harvey.
Preparation for the Storm
Just a week and a half ago, we heard the name Harvey, a depression coming across the Yucatan and into the gulf. We prepared for wind and rain, stocking up on water, bread, peanut butter, and burgers and hot dogs to grill if the electricity went out. However, it wasn’t until the following Thursday that our lives started to change drastically.
My husband decided it would be best to take the kids to my mom’s in Austin, but I was hesitant. Then, the announcement came; Harvey was now a Category 3 hurricane. This prompted us to pack our essentials and evacuate. The look on my husband’s face was panic and confusion. We packed clothes for the weekend, moved electronics upstairs, and left some belongings to ride out in case of flooding.
Before leaving, I looked at our home with everything we had worked so hard for and felt an overwhelming sense of loss. After a two-hour rush to pack, we started our drive to Austin. The journey, usually a breeze, took us about 4-5 hours due to the heavy traffic of others also fleeing the storm.
Upon arrival, rather than relief, we felt a heavy sense of uncertainty. We spent the evening scrolling through social media for updates on our town. The feeling of watching our home get hit by a Category 4 hurricane on TV was surreal. Images and videos of roofs being ripped off and the loss of connection with first responders were terrifying.
Waking up the next morning, we were eager for updates. We were lucky to hear that our friends were safe in Corpus Christi. However, the photos that followed were heart-wrenching. Images of complete devastation in Rockport and our town hit hard with responders unable to reach due to flooding and downed power lines.
As the weekend progressed, photos and updates trickled in. Many businesses and homes were gone, lives were changed, and most lost everything. Our school announced a two-week delay and estimated 2-4 weeks before power could be restored.
The Community’s Response
Despite the devastation, there was a glimmer of hope. Our district decided to continue the football season, providing some normalcy and excitement to our boys. We were also thankful for the help our community received from outsiders offering hot food, water, and hope.
However, it was devastating to hear that Aransas County schools would not be opening that year and students were to enroll where they evacuated to. My heart broke for every community affected by Hurricane Harvey. So many lives changed forever, either hit directly by the storm or flooded out like Houston.
We plan to return to our hometown tomorrow to assess the damages to our home and get an idea of when we can return. We continue to ask for prayers and assistance. Our towns desperately need volunteers to help clean up debris.
Surviving Hurricane Harvey was a life-changing event that tested our resilience and highlighted the importance of community. It’s a reminder of the power of nature and the strength of humanity.
Note: This post may contain affiliate links which fund the My Sparkling Life blog.
| Event | Description |
| — | — |
| A week ago | Heard about an upcoming depression named Harvey |
| A week and a half ago | Prepared for the storm by stocking up on essentials |
| Thursday | Realized the gravity of the situation and started packing |
| Announcement of CAT 3 | Decided to evacuate and received mandatory evac order |
| Evacuation | Packed necessities and left home |
| Arrival in Austin | Followed news updates about the storm |
| Friday morning | Anticipated landfall and worried about the fate of the town |
| Announcement of CAT 4 | Felt despair knowing that home is in the direct path |
| Aftermath | Saw devastation on social media and news |
| Weekend | Slowly received updates and pictures of the damage |
| School announcement | Delay in school start and estimated power restoration in 2-4 weeks |
| Following week | Awaited return to hometown |
| School football season | Announcement that it will continue as planned |
| News about Aransas County schools | They will not be opening; students to enroll where they evacuated |
| Return to hometown | Planned to assess damages to own home |
Understanding the Magnitude of Hurricane Harvey
Before delving into the details of surviving Hurricane Harvey, it is crucial to understand the magnitude of the storm. The hurricane was a Category 4 storm, which made its landfall near Rockport, Texas. With winds reaching up to 130 mph, it was one of the most powerful hurricanes to hit the United States. The hurricane’s strength and size caused widespread devastation, affecting millions of people.
The Importance of Emergency Preparedness
Surviving Hurricane Harvey was not just about the physical survival during the storm, but also about the mental and emotional resilience in its aftermath. One thing that stood out during this disaster was the importance of emergency preparedness. Having a plan and being ready to execute it in the face of a disaster can make a significant difference. This includes having an evacuation plan, storing essential supplies, and staying informed about the situation.
One of the most crucial aspects of emergency preparedness is staying informed. During Harvey, local news outlets, social media, and weather apps provided critical updates about the storm’s progress. Keeping abreast of the situation enabled us to make informed decisions about evacuation and safety measures.
Another significant aspect of preparedness is stocking up on emergency supplies. These include non-perishable food items, bottled water, medications, flashlights, batteries, and other essentials. These provisions can become lifelines during a disaster when access to stores and utilities may be cut off.
Evacuation: A Difficult Decision
Deciding to evacuate is never easy. It involves leaving behind your home and belongings, not knowing what you will return to. However, during Hurricane Harvey, the decision to evacuate undoubtedly saved many lives. The importance of heeding evacuation orders cannot be overstated.
The Role of Community and Assistance
One of the most inspiring aspects of surviving Hurricane Harvey was witnessing the strength and resilience of the community. Neighbors helped each other evacuate, provided shelter to those in need, and worked together to clean up after the storm. Additionally, assistance poured in from across the country, providing much-needed relief to the affected communities.
Volunteers played a significant role in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. They helped with rescue operations, provided food and water, and assisted with cleaning up debris. These efforts were instrumental in helping communities start the process of recovery and rebuilding.
Donations and Aid
Donations and aid from individuals, organizations, and government entities provided much-needed support to the affected communities. They helped meet immediate needs like food, water, and shelter, and also supported long-term recovery efforts.
Rebuilding and Recovery
Surviving Hurricane Harvey was just the first step. The process of recovery and rebuilding after the storm was a long and challenging journey. It involved not just repairing and rebuilding physical structures, but also dealing with the emotional and psychological impact of the disaster.
The emotional toll of surviving a disaster like Hurricane Harvey can be overwhelming. It’s important to seek support and counseling to deal with the trauma and stress. Many organizations offered mental health services to survivors, helping them cope with the aftermath.
Rebuilding Homes and Lives
Rebuilding after Harvey involved repairing damaged homes, reopening businesses, and getting life back to normal. This process was slow and arduous, but the resilience and determination of the communities affected by Harvey was truly inspiring.
Lessons from Hurricane Harvey
Surviving Hurricane Harvey taught us many lessons. The importance of preparedness, the power of community, the necessity of resilience, and the value of human life. These lessons will continue to guide us as we face future challenges and disasters.
As we look back on the experience of surviving Hurricane Harvey, we are reminded of the strength and resilience of our communities. The storm tested us in unimaginable ways, but it also brought out the best in us. We came together as a community, helped each other, and emerged stronger. And that’s the real story of surviving Hurricane Harvey.
1. What is Hurricane Harvey?
– Hurricane Harvey was a Category 4 storm that hit Texas on August 25, 2017. It caused devastating flooding and is considered one of the costliest natural disasters in U.S history.
2. How did the writer prepare for the storm?
– The writer prepared by stocking up on essentials such as water, bread, and items that could be grilled if electricity went out. They also evacuated their home and moved electronics upstairs to protect them from potential flooding.
3. What was the evacuation process like?
– The writer described the evacuation process as hurried and stressful, with a drive that usually took a few hours extending to 4-5 hours due to heavy traffic.
4. What was the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey?
– The aftermath was severe, with many homes and businesses destroyed, power lines down, and a delay in restoring power. Schools were also affected, with some not opening that year.
5. How did the community respond to the disaster?
– The community rallied together, with people from outside offering hot food, water, and hope. The local football season continued, providing a sense of normalcy.
6. What happened when the writer returned home?
– The writer was planning to return home to assess the damage and determine when they could move back in. They mentioned the need for volunteers to help with cleanup.
7. What is the main message the writer wants to convey?
– The writer emphasizes the importance of community and resilience in the face of a life-changing event like Hurricane Harvey. They also highlight the power of nature and the strength of humanity.
8. Are there any affiliate links in the blog?
– Yes, the blog may contain affiliate links which fund the My Sparkling Life blog.