Hurricane Pain Doesn’t Go Away When the Storm Passes


by Carly Hill

In 1992, I was six years old and living in Miami, Florida. If you’re my age and not from Florida, “Hurricane Andrew” probably doesn’t ring a bell. But, if you did live in South Florida at the time, you’ll hear the name “Andrew” and shudder. Since I was so young, I don’t have too many memories of the ordeal. I know that I slept through the actual HIT. Crazy, I know. But, what I do remember is walking outside of my Miami Lakes townhome the next morning. I remember seeing what was once the street that my parents drove down to take me to school completely covered with trees and wood and car parts. I remember seeing broken windows and traffic lights that didn’t work anymore. But, I think I was too young to actually be afraid or devastated by all the, well, devastation.

Growing up in South Florida, hurricanes weren’t all that scary to me. But then again, my family always remained safe and my home was never severely affected. When I grew up, I spent some time living in Homestead – which is the southernmost part of Florida right before the Keys. I can’t tell you how many times I heard people in that town somberly reflecting on “Andrew.” See, that’s where Andrew did the most damage. That’s where homes and businesses were leveled. That’s where people died. Homestead residents didn’s sleep through the storm. Homestead residents probably spent the rest of their lives trembling at the very word “hurricane.”

So, last year, when Sandy pummeled the east coast, many of us shook our heads and said “man, that’s sad,” and then went on to watching our funny YouTube videos. Some of us may have sent some money to the Red Cross, but if we’re honest, it didn’t have much of an affect on us unless we knew one of the 181 people who lost their life. Most of us didn’t think much of the storm unless our home and business was destroyed. It’s just human nature.

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