Civilian Acts of Heroism Creating Community in Wake of Hurricanes

Posted by on Sep 12, 2017 in ComLead

One of the most incredible effects that something as terrible as a natural disaster can have is bring a community together. With the devastation left by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Jose, Texas, Florida and the Caribbean have all witnessed this first hand.

During the worst of Harvey two weeks ago, one of the many viral videos found on social media was one of a backed up thruway lane filled bumper to bumper with cars trailing their boats behind them. It was a line of civilians who were voluntarily heading into the floodwaters to board their boats and rescue victims and animals who were stranded in Houston. In one case, a crew of Hurricane Katrina survivors embarked to Houston to help the community there by providing aid wherever they could since they shared the same devastation in 2005.

Now with Hurricane Irma tearing through the Caribbean and Florida, we have seen even more civilians rising to the call for help and asking for nothing in return. While many of the islands in the Caribbean were torn apart, Puerto Rico was spared the worst of the storm’s wrath. When locals heard news that neighboring islands were left in shreds, there was a “civilian sealift” that resulted in recreation boats heading to the British and U.S. Virgin islands carrying resources ranging from bottled water to diapers. Many of the boats boarded survivors to bring them to Puerto Rico for their safety until conditions improve and some natives of Florida have opened their homes for free to those with nowhere to go. In one case, a woman with a pet watching business opened her home to as many pets as she could fit so that owners would know that their beloved animals were in good hands while they evacuated.

What drives ordinary people to voluntarily drive their boats into disasters to offer free help? It simply must come down to good will and pure heart. And for that, the people of Houston, Florida, and the Caribbean are extremely grateful and lucky to have so many people willing to come to their aid.


Resources: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/29/us/volunteer-rescue-crews-hurricane-harvey-houston.html?mcubz=3

https://www.today.com/parents/katrina-survivors-helping-houston-after-hurricane-harvey-t116108

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/10/us/puerto-rico-virgin-islands.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=b-lede-package-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news

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