Natural disasters share one thing in common. That is the level of uncertainty that they bring into people’s lives. No one knows for sure how things are all going to turn out for them. Obviously, the most pressing issue in a natural disaster situation is if a person is actually going to survive it. If they are able to survive it, are they going to get hurt? If they don’t get hurt, what about their stuff? Is their house going to be okay? Are they even going to have a home to return to? Are their neighbors going to be okay? Are they going to be able to rebuild if they need to? Are they going to have a job to actually return to or is that building going to be damaged significantly? Are they going to be able to afford to replace items lost or damaged? Is their insurance going to cover the damages?
Natural disasters bring a level of stress that fits into its own unique category in a person’s life. It can be very overwhelming, very stressful, and even straight up scary at times.
When you can hear stuff literally being blown around outside or scraping against the pavement. When you can literally smell the wildfire approaching. There is a very unique smell to a wildfire, and once you smell it, you will never forget what it smells like. There is a very unique sound in the air prior to a hurricane or typhoon. Often that sound is an eerie silence, and you suddenly realize that even the birds that typically fill the trees have suddenly became silenced or perhaps already escaped to a safer location.
Yet, there is something about the human spirit when faced with tragedy and disasters that meet every ounce of qualifications to be labeled as such that frankly inspires others. To be a survivor and yet so resilient and so courageous in the aftermath of what many fear. There is something beautiful to be found in communities who step up and help each other not only survive but to endure with courage and class. For communities who donate their time, blood, and everything else they can to help their neighbors in need. To help their communities bounce back and perhaps find some personal recovery in the process of it all.
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© Kristalin Davis and Kristalin Davis’ Musings on the Human Condition, 2017.