Lessons from a Hurricane.

(photo from 2004)

In 1998, I had the misfortune of being in the Dominican Republic when Hurricane George (Georges) went through.  I also lived in Jacksonville, FL in 2004 when two different hurricanes sideswiped the city, though neither were direct hits. I’ve learned a few lessons from all three experiences.  With Irma closing in, I was reminded of those experiences.

Just a few serious (and not so serious) things I can tell you about hurricanes:

  1. Ants can float for up to fifteen minutes in flood waters. I once walked through a floating colony of fire ants. Oh. The pain. 
  2. Hurricane parties are the best. Breakfast cooked over a mini grill is surprisingly good as well.
  3. Power outages suck–and not in a good way.
  4. ALWAYS have a backup of your writing on a thumbdrive.  It’s easy to put in your pocket.
  5. Keep all important documents and a change of clothes, your meds, anything else small in a water proof plastic container.
  6. Never. EVER. EVER. leave your pets behind. If you evacuate, take them with you.
  7. Fill your tub with water. Seriously. You have no idea how much having some extra water can help.
  8. Charge your phone the night before.
  9. Don’t drive in standing water–you never know how deep it is.
  10. If you lose power, don’t open/close your fridge. It’ll stay colder longer with the door sealed.

Have you been affected by the recent hurricanes? Hope you’re all safe and sound.

If you’re looking for ways to help those who have, here are a few charities that you can help. There are definitely more out there and I always recommend doing research on a charity before you donate.


Coalition for the Homeless

LGBTQ Hurricane Harvey Disaster Relief Fund (to help homeless youth, seniors, people living with HIV, hate crime survivors, and those devastated by the storm)

SHAPE- Self-Help for African People through Education (Donations will allow SHAPE to assist with medical prescriptions, make emergency cash contributions, and more)

Flood Relief for Texas Children’s Hospital

Antigua and Barbuda:

Habitat for Humanity of Trinidad and Tobago (for Barbuda relief)


Action Against Hunger

Dominican Republic: 


Puerto Rico:

Cáritas de Puerto Rico

US Virgin Islands:



Feeding Florida

Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida

Florida Keys Children’s Shelter