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Surviving Hurricane Irma

12 Sep 2017 Karina S. Henkel

My husband is an idiot – but a nice one.

I wrote last week that Andrew volunteered to help people in Texas after they got hit by hurricane Harvey. He wanted to help and for some reason he wanted to do it in person. I supported him. I thought that there is no danger in that since Harvey had already passed. Why shouldn’t he go and help rebuilding communities in Texas?

Well, but destiny, the Red Cross, and hurricane Irma had something different in mind.

Thursday afternoon, Andrew got a call from the Red Cross asking him if he could leave the next morning. They were trying to get as many helpers into Florida before the hurricane arrives. He was busy for several hours to make sure that both of his two employers were on board with him and early next morning, on Friday, I brought him to the airport in Portland.

When I saw him going through customs at the airport on his way to Orlando I thought that he was an idiot. He was going right into that area where people got evacuated. How stupid was that? Although I somehow was quite optimistic that everything would be fine, eventually, this was the moment when I started worrying. I started following the news and all kinds of weather channels and apps to see what was happening over there.

Andrew landed in Orlando and after staying there for quite a few hours he got orders to go into a bus, filled with helpers like him from all over the US, and he got deployed in Labelle, a little town on close to Fort Myers, just more towards the inland.

He and three other Red Cross volunteers helped running a shelter with 200 refugees. Someone had a heart attack and they couldn’t call 911 because the storm was right over them.

I did not expect to have contact to him at all but that was surprisingly not a problem. Although they lost electricity, the cell phone towers seemed to survive the storm pretty well. Once or twice we were even able to talk, when he had a little break in all the drama he was involved in.

Hurricane Irma is gone now. And that is why I am able to write about that in the first place. In the last few days I was too worried about him to even think about writing.

Now, he has run out of battery power. He probably won’t be able to charge his phone again as long as he is in Florida. That means I won’t have a clue about what is going on over there until he comes home. That is a bit unsettling.

I hope he will be back in two weeks. I would not mind him to come home earlier but it looks as if Florida needs every hand they can get. They will keep him busy. But I can’t stop worrying. Although the storm is over, there are still so many other things that could happen to him. I guess that is what women do, when their husbands are nuts and go into dangerous situations.

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