By BTW Student
What is happening in our world’s community lately? What has been broadcast all over the airwaves recently was the fifth hurricane of the Atlantic Season and the thirteenth named storm known as Hurricane Matthew. It hit countries that were located along the Atlantic coast. It was a Category 5 storm when it formed on September 28, 2016, but shortly dropped to a Category 4 storm when it passed over Haiti, the Bahamas, Jamaica and Columbia. Hurricane Matthew, while a category 3, previously hit the eastern part of Florida and moved its way up Northern part of Florida. Virginia was also affected. Shortly after, the hurricane made its way up north to Georgia.
The flooding there left three people dead. I followed the storm so closely because I have family in two of the three places affected, North Carolina and Florida. It was a stressful time for my family and me but thankfully they were prepared and handled the situation well. For others who had family in the area, we stopped for a moment to send our prayers to them. Although hurricanes are a common occurrence in coastal areas, I never believed I could be so intimately affected by something so far away. The damage that the hurricane caused was described as catastrophic.
Reports and pictures have shown the heavy flooding, the hundreds of houses and buildings destroyed and the lives that will never be the same due to this one, horrific event. There has also been many reports of fatalities, injuries and deaths. At the writing of this article, there were more than thirty reported deaths just in Georgia, Florida, and North and South Carolina. The storm has killed as many as two hundred in the Caribbean and Haiti. Some sources have reports of higher death tolls attributed to the hurricane. The Red Cross rushed to the area’s aid to provide food and supplies to the victims. It was the difference between life and death for many.
Thankfully the threat of Matthew has now subsided and my family survived unharmed. As with most events that occur in life, there is something to be learned. There is a message that can be taken or passed along to make someone better. Having family in danger is an eye opener that can break us out of the shell we live in. I felt helpless knowing that not only was I hundreds of miles away, but also that I had no money to give or help to offer. When an event like this happens, it makes us believe that life can be bigger than our surroundings. It makes me think that I am vulnerable but also that I have the power to do more, to make a difference somehow. It makes me think about all of the food drives and car washes that I ignored or shunned because I wanted to use that money for snacks on the way home. It made me think that the next one could be hosted by me.
Maybe I could have the idea to create that donation drive or write that letter to my political leader or start that Go Fund Me account. Hurricane Matthew stirred a change in my thinking. It makes me realize that life is delicate, precious and family should not be taken for granted. Even though we regret to experience the hard knocks of life, I can see how those rough spots can surprisingly be life changing in a positive way.