As we start to re-build our lives after the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Florence, I cannot begin to try and explain the emotional heaviness that was felt. Every social media post, news report, and weather alert- sent my emotions in a frenzy. And from what I could see from others, they felt this wave of emotion as well. News reporters accused of falsifying coverage, Citizens outraged because there were not enough resources to sustain life.
I couldn’t help but think, however, how fortunate I was to have these various outlets- News Reports, Facebook groups posting closings and routes to get to-and-from Wilmington. Even if I didn’t want to face the reality of the information I was reading, I was fortunate any information could be relayed at all, especially since I was evacuated and had virtually no idea what the picture of our beautiful city would look like, except for the one I painted in my mind.
Once I began to appreciate the transparency of these outlets that provided continuous updates, I could only be thankful. Thankful that the people providing these updates, most being citizens of Wilmington or surrounding areas, took time out of dealing with their own personal losses, to update us.
These updates placed our needs first. It was a shining example of crisis management and leadership. You don’t have to be responsible for a problem to find a solution. But you do have to acknowledge it’s existence. This community has turned this crisis into positive change. From benefit concerts raising $1.5 Million dollars for storm victims, to small business owners establishing #OverFlo which includes small businesses running monthly specials for part of the proceeds to go to area non-profits serving the community. These are a few of the reasons I am proud to be #ilmstrong.