With the Tower of Terror 10 Miler right around the corner, I’ve been spending a fair amount of my time out hitting the pavement to train. Running outside is always my preference so that I can take in the scenery instead of staring at the same spot on the wall while on a treadmill. However, anyone else who lives in Florida will know exactly what I’m talking about, training during hurricane season is challenging. When tropical storm Isaac passed by Florida a few weeks ago I learned how to squeeze my run in between the passing feeder bands without getting caught in a torrential downpour.
Being prepared for hurricane season has been a way of life for me since I lived on the Space Coast of the state. People living on the coast know that from June 1st through November 30th anything could happen and being prepared is key. When I moved back inland to Orlando it wasn’t abnormal for me to call home to check on my parents every so often to make sure they were hanging in there and didn’t have their home crushed by a palm tree. However, the summer before my senior year of college I experienced hurricanes for the first time in Orlando and was amazed at how many people weren’t prepared for what was to come.
Now years later I still see homes with tarps on the roofs, damaged siding hanging on by a single nail and families running out of hope that anyone will still come to their rescue. Central Florida has been lucky since 2004 to not endure another hurricane season quite like our past. It was hard to watch Hurricane Isaac heading for New Orleans on the seven-year anniversary of Katrina. Each time I head out for a run I count us fortunate to have made it through that dreaded season without having our entire city washed away in the blink of an eye. However, as Hurricane Isaac approached Louisiana the news was flooded with stories about all the rebuilding that had taken place in New Orleans and how they were prepared to test their new systems and it made me think about my own slice of happiness.
A little over eight years later there are houses and homeowners clearly still crying out for help in Orlando. If Isaac had headed this way I don’t know if some homeowners would have been ready for it. At this point the cameras are gone, the newspaper reports of widespread damage is just a fleeting memory for some and others are still holding out that someone will come through to help them. Who steps up eight years after a disaster to come to the aid of those in need not for the camera time, but for the tears of appreciation and adoring hugs of the homeowners that truly need a helping hand?