Habitat for Humanity: Hand in Hand 2017
It is sweet to be home at the Suite Sea in Grand Cayman...and even sweeter that we were spared by hurricane Irma.
Planning for a hurricane is a lot like trying to predict the future...there are truly so many outcomes and all you can really do is make sure you know the safest place to be (if you decide to stay on island).
It's always helpful this time of year to prepare a hurricane stash of everything from:
- flash lights (with extra batteries!
- water (one gallon, per person, for a minimum of 3 days)
- canned foods/non perishable foods (three days supply & a can opener!)
- battery powered or hand crank radio with a NOAA Whether Radio and tone alert
- a whistle (didn’t think of this originally, but useful to seek help!)
- cell phones (with back up batteries)
- and of course all essentials for your pets (if you have fur babies)
And of course to follow and track the hurricanes using reliable sources, not always the news, like the National Hurricane Centre.
I have to tell you…going through our first hurricane season has been pretty nerve wracking. Mostly because it is so new and unknown to us, and it is also my busiest work/wedding travel time of the year! When it comes to hurricane planning, we’ve promised to consider the path of the storm, to carefully watch it’s route and when the time comes, to decide as a couple if we want to stay on the island or if it’s time to close up the Suite Sea and hop on a flight to safety.
For Hurricane Irma we had a few days to decide whether we wanted to stay on island, and my flight home on a Tuesday was right before we would be able to tell if the storm was going to turn north in the Caribbean, so we decided that perhaps it was a Wednesday or Thursday decision, and I stayed in Toronto.
For me personally, I don't know if I'm brave enough to stay on island if given the choice. That being said, if you own property, boats, horses and other animals that are impossible to evacuate, this decision can be a lot more challenging. My brave fiancée hedged his bets on the hurricane not coming to Cayman, but just in case he did his own hurricane prep, which included ample amounts of cinnamon toast crunch and grey pou pons. That's my guy! Thank goodness it didn't head towards our beautiful island, as I would have insisted my man leave...
Flying around the hurricane on Saturday was super scary, but I knew we were in good hands with our pilots (I also took a few gravols for the bumps). The winds really tugged us when we landed but I was grateful to have landed on our gorgeous island that was and is intact and as beautiful as ever. Thank you to all my lovely friends and family who checked in on us to make sure we were okay, made us feel safe in uncertain times.
It is good to be back to our windy, wavy island and to appreciate the simple things. We don't take anything for granted - our Safety, health, each other, electricity, water, our beautiful beaches and of course all the cinnamon toast crunch we now have.
Seeing the devastation and destruction that the hurricane caused throughout the Caribbean Islands and Florida, has really tugged at my heart strings hard. Some of my favourite places on earth like St. Barth and Turks and Caicos, and places I have only dreamed of exploring… are now devastated by the hurricane. Some islands are completely inhabitable. I wanted to share a few links for you to give back and help those in need in any way you can.
There will also be a very incredible benefit called Hand in Hand with Habitat for Humanity for hurricane relief on tomorrow, September 12 at 8pm, with artists and entertainers (including Oprah and Reese) encouraging everyone to give what they can to support those in need of hurricane relief.
About Habitat for Humanity
Driven by the vision that everyone needs a decent place to live, Habitat for Humanity began in 1976 as a grassroots effort on a community farm in southern Georgia. The Christian housing organization has since grown to become a leading global nonprofit working in more than 1,300 communities throughout the U.S. and in more than 70 countries. Families and individuals in need of a hand up partner with Habitat for Humanity to build or improve a place they can call home. Habitat homeowners help build their own homes alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage. Through financial support, volunteering or adding a voice to support affordable housing, everyone can help families achieve the strength, stability and self-reliance they need to build better lives for themselves. Through shelter, we empower. To learn more, visit habitat.org.
Let's give back and help others start to rebuild.