The country just recognized the five year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and I thought,as a first-hand survivor, that I’d take some time to remember as well.
I’ll never forget the weeks without electricity and having to sit in distribution lines for hours to get water and food. The hot days were not ideal for washing clothes in tubs and hanging them to dry and it didn’t make the restless nights any easier. I did appreciate having family and friends to ride out the days with.
The most interesting thing throughout this ordeal was how much news had changed. We were all so used to turning on the television and getting information at the drop of the dime and now we only knew what had come via word of mouth. We were literally shut off from the rest of the world.
Being cut off does not mean that we were forgotten however. We knew that people were thinking and praying for us. As the volunteers showed up our hearts swelled with appreciation. Approximately three weeks into our ordeal a U haul truck pulled into my driveway with some much needed supplies. With everything from diapers and food to hand sanitizer and Tylenol a family from Texas who were friends of my uncle brought us to tears with their generosity.
Those in my house (around 15 people) gladly took what we needed and then loaded up my aunt’s truck and distributed supplies around the neighborhood. The most treasured gift was fuel because our stations had ran out awhile ago. We immediately took several gas cans to my neighbor who’s wife was pregnant and weeks over due. They left for Baton Rouge, LA and she gave birth to a baby girl named Kayleigh!
As I look back, I consider myself so blessed because I walked away with my life and my loved ones. I know many who weren’t as fortunate. I had a great support system and supplies came quickly. Unfortunately, those stuck in the Superdome and the surrounding area were not afforded the same luxury.
Most of my family lost everything they owned and the road to recovery was long and hard but five years later we are all so grateful for where we are today. Hurricane Katrina was not only a natural disaster but a social one and I hope the country never forgets what happened.