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Life After Irene

As Hurricane Irene has moved on and is now just a memory, no one can vouch more than I of the mark that Irene has left on so many people.

When Irene first came into focus as a possible threat, I don’t believe that people took Irene seriously. I, for one, didn’t think that it would be the Hurricane that it became. As the days of rain and wind started to get worse, my family and I decided to escape it if we could. My husband initially wanted to stay and see how we would fare, but my daughter and I thought that it would be unwise to do so. We did have a sump pump that would pump out any water that may come into our basement, but if the power went out as we were being advised by numerous news forecasts, it wouldn’t make a difference.

By Saturday 8/27, after my husband and daughter secured our outdoor furniture to make sure that nothing would be flying through the windows, we packed our bags, two dogs and headed for Carlisle, Pennsylvania. My husband was able to find a hotel that was far away from the path of the storm and was pet-friendly. We waited out the storm for two days with other friends who came along with us and it was a comfort to know that we were safe. What made that trip interesting was not that we were away from our home and our loved ones, but that we were able to have a good time being with friends, all safe from harm.We made the most of being together with our friends by playing board games and watching movies. We all felt nervous about the predicted outcome of Irene’s wrath on New York and the other states, but we were glad to be away from it, even for a day or two.

By the time we got home on Monday afternoon, we had no electricity for 48 hrs and once again, had to find a place to stay. Calling upon friends who had electricity, I asked if we could stay with them, along with our dogs for a night or two. While it was an imposition to ask if our friends could let us stay with them, I felt relieved and safe. Never underestimate the power of friendship.

By the time our electricity came on, I was never so happy to be home. We did get a little water in the unfinished part of our basement and a lot of food from our freezer had to be thrown out, but in, all, our house was spared major damage and we were able to come back unscathed.

If there is one thing I have learned from this experience, it is that no matter what, keep your family safe and close and humility is a valuable virtue to have during these times. I’m certain that if we had stayed behind throughout the whole storm, we would have been fine, but knowing that we have wonderful friends that were willing to open their home to us in our time of need is a blessing. Irene wreaked havoc throughout the whole Eastern seaboard, but through it all, people found that they could count on each other when needed.

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