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Hurricane Katrina

Created over 8 years ago

Description: Hurricane Katrina was a natural disaster that personally touched many lives across four Southern state lines, the East Coast, and beyond. The family members who watched with horror as they saw Katrina swell in the Gulf of Mexico and make landfall must have endured unbearable pain as all they could do was wait as they watched this unfold on television. My family was not going to evacuate because my husband was on the local volunteer fire department and in the Coast Guard and would need to be back the next day as usual, or sooner if needed. But when I saw the size of Katrina on August 28, a Cat V swelling in the Gulf with a perfect eye I made up my mind that I was evacuating and my husband and son were coming with me, no matter what it took. I often go back to that terrifying day and the months that were to come and think about what I lost and what I gained; it would take a book just to tell you about it. How it felt to bunker down thru a storm that brought down mighty tall pine trees like they were twigs and wondering are we going to be OK. Then making it home to find you have just a shell of a home, you are now homeless for the first time in your life. I found I switch into a survival mode, a desperate sick felling and at the same time having all the strength in the world. You find you have to depend on friends and family for the very essentials of daily living, for which I am so ever grateful. I found that I was not ashamed to go into churches or shelters for food or clothing, if they had something I needed I was grateful. I just wondered why all the shoes were very dressy cocktail shoes, I needed boots! I got three nails in one day, thank goodness the fire department was giving out tetanus shots because I needed one of those also. Then the task of salvaging, you go in and try to find items that can be salvaged, you think you need this, can't live without that, but after careful inspection of a few items it all went to the curb. After taking a dirty saltwater bath and baking in the sun and being covered in mud the only things that survived were a few Precious Moments and a couple of Lladro figures and the quilts my grandmother knitted for me, Yippee. You know, I don't miss that stuff, except the pictures and videos of my children growing up but memories will have to suffice. I have my family, I persuaded them to leave and felt fortunate that they did, it took many attempts but that was one battle I am glad I won. I am a stronger person, I value things that may not of seemed as important before, but I do not value items so much anymore. I feel more blessed than ever to be an American and definitely know that compassion and humanity is alive and well here in the USA. I was surprised at the out-pouring of support of manpower from all over the nation, not only in the first few weeks but for years; people came, saw what needed to be done and did it. Those that could not come sent letters of support and sent up prayers for our health and safety. Financial contributions came from sources I can't even begin to comprehend. I guess it is true when the going gets tough the tough get going, but I think without the kindness of our neighbors from across the nation this natural disaster would have been a "National Disaster". For more information you can see Wikipedia at You may leave comments or contact me through my inbox. Cynthia Prentice, RN Resided in Ocean Springs, MS

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