I have never been faced with a natural disaster like Hurricane Harvey. I’ve weathered minor, but still frightening, earthquakes in Santa Barbara, a wildfire that licked the edges of the city and flooding that closed the highway underpasses but none of these caused me anything more than anxiety or inconvenience. I’ve never had to flee my home, leaving behind possessions or pets, or risk my life getting to safety. I’ve never spent a night in a shelter surrounded by other displaced people.
So I’m not going to say that I understand what the people of Houston, and other coastal towns in Texas are going through right now. I can’t imagine the enormity of the recovery effort that is in front of them. The clean up, repair and rebuilding will be a difficult and lengthy process as will the mourning for those lost.
I really feel for the people who have lost nearly everything. Who have lost their homes and don’t have insurance or the wherewithal to rebuild. The renters who no longer have an apartment which to return. The person who lives paycheck to paycheck and who no longer has a job because the place they work has shuttered its doors. The homeless, already displaced but pushed now even further to the edges as services are overwhelmed by those newly in need.
I do know what some of these people will go through. The difficulties they will face keeping their families together, housed and fed. The anxiety as funds diminish and needs accrue. The despair over lost dreams and derailed lives. The unending and unrelenting hardness of it all. I hope that by ending up in this situation due to a catastrophic natural disaster that has garnered the attention of the nation they have more help and resources available to them and a community to which to turn for comfort.