I was born and raised in New Orleans and spent 38+ years of my life there. Any good Cajun knows Hurricane season runs June through November. We usually have to evacuate the area at least once a season for an unplanned overnight stay in the region. But having gone through Katrina and having been an evacuee, I understand completely what the people in Houston are going through. You think it’s just another storm that will not be as bad as the weather man is saying. Get some sandwich stuff, water, candles and ice for the igloo and you’ll be set when the power comes back on.
That doesn’t always happen. When my wife and then two young boys left for Katrina, we didn’t know we’d not back for over 5 months. That’s when the act of selling our house took place as we were now living clear across the country in Arizona. The people of Houston and the surrounding area are in for a big life change. For the first 2 weeks after the storm hit, life was about needing clothes, underwear, toothbrushes, socks, luggage, money and much much more. We were spending time at Red Cross Shelters discussing what the plan was for the foreseeable future. Were we going back home? The Levee had broken and at the time, we didn’t know if our house was even still standing. We packed what we could in our Mini-van, but that hardly is enough to start a life over again.
For the next 3 months, it was a series of sleepless nights and fear. No job, no place to live and only a little money to get by with. We were blessed to be staying with some friends for a month or two to get our bearings. Once we moved into an apartment, we realized just how little we had with us. No furniture, pots and pans, beds, hangers, chairs, silverware etc. When the people at the complex learned about our situation, we’d get items left on our doorway each morning for 2 weeks. We were thankful for anything that was given as we had to go to Walmart and purchase camping chairs to serve as our dining and furniture.
It was 2 years after Katrina that we had finally moved into a house in Charlotte, NC. You can read about that here. But those people in Houston are just starting the process of learning just how much their lives have changed. They deserve an Uncommen response from our community.
We have an opportunity to help them in many different ways.
- Donations (Samaritans Purse)
- Serving at a local shelter.
- Giving Blood
- Giving Clothes
- Rebuilding (when the time comes)
- Prayer — A whole lot of it.