Flooding in parts of Louisiana and the Gulf Coast have been record-breaking and life-altering.
It’s being called a 500-year rain event by some experts and a 1,000-year rain event by others. Now residents of Louisiana are dealing with the aftermath of a catastrophic storm that has dumped as much as two feet of rain on their communities.
But, no, this is not about statistics, this is about humans.
The “disaster” is not just the flood water itself but the “secondary disaster” it unleashes, particularly the destruction of personal property.
Recovering after a flood is a particularly long, arduous process, in which the rest of the country moves on while you are stuck in stasis. Your home has been ripped apart in front of you and all your normal rituals are lost. People try to live as before – to keep their children in the same schools, to visit their elderly mother, meet new targets set by their boss – while living in a hotel or their sister-in-law’s back bedroom. And then people are never quite the same because of the fear that it will happen again.
How do you recover after this? Although you can google it and find thousands, there is no survival guide, no guide that can tell how you can control your emotions, how to get up and hope again, how to move forward when everything is lost.
People say Katrina was easy, the aftermath of Katrina was hard. No one wanted to come back without the very fabric of society being in place. It’s really a metaphor for life, we all have these disruptions and when you hit a disruption you’ve given a gift and that gift it’s the opportunity to start all over again, to do it better.
The real story of Hurricane Katrina was not the images that we saw on the TV, the real legacy is how this disruption just peeled away all that isolates us from each other and allowed for the human connections that are so usual in the contemporary society,
Overnight, towns were left completely underwater and communities turned into ghost-towns. A lot of lessons are to be learned, but the most important one is that the only survival guide for the aftermath of this disaster it’s called TOGETHER.
So how do you recover after this? Where to from here? The answer is? TOGETHER.
God bless everybody and pray for the strength to hope again.