The proverbial “calm before the storm” saying is not quite accurate for Hurricane Irma. Today I am not just a political writer or a fan of President Trump, I am a Floridian. Living and dying by the National Hurricane Center’s 5 a.m., 11 a.m., 5 p.m., and 11 p.m. forecasts is the new normal. Just two weeks ago, I was praying for Texans during Hurricane Harvey.This weekend, it is Florida, it’s me, that needs the prayers.
At 2 p.m. on Thursday, I watched as thousands of motorists inched their way North on Interstates 75 and 95 respectively. Endless streams of cars and trucks, packed with families, and what I suspect are irreplaceable memories, were heading for safety. Like me, they are all wondering what will be left when the storm is over.
As of Friday morning, Hurricane Irma is packing winds upwards of 155mph. She is a strong and seemingly relentless storm, leaving widespread destruction in her wake. What I’ve seen so far has left me heartbroken, and fearful. Nonetheless, it has also left me full of hope.
That may sound strange, but it isn’t really.
In times like these, there are no political sides. There is human nature- at its best. Sure, there are people who will try to take advantage of the situation, and shame on them. Nevertheless, the “cream of the crop,” the “best of the best,” are rising to the occasion. We are all just human beings trying to survive. It is humbling, to say the least.
President Trump is on top of the storm, as I knew he would be. Florida Governor, Rick Scott, spoke with the president on Labor Day requesting the president declare a “pre-landfall emergency” for the State of Florida. The declaration helps preposition necessary resources and supports emergency protective measures across the state.
Not only did President Trump approve the request, but he also sent Federal Emergency Management personnel to the state. The governor is providing police escorts to gas tankers, to ensure Floridians have what they need when they need it. Local, state, and federal officials are working together to fill the needs of residents throughout the state.
Companies like U-Haul are providing free storage units for 30 days and Chick-Fil-A is offering to fill water containers. Families are helping neighbors and strangers are becoming friends. Even more, awe inspiring than the strength of Hurricane Irma is the power of the human spirit.
P.S. We don’t care what shoes First Lady Melania Trump is wearing when she comes to visit.