It seems disconcertingly common now that we come back from a weekend, or an overnight, after something devastating. And as usual, our response is, “Man, it’s tough to talk about outfits right now, but… what else can we do?”
I have felt particularly powerless with this one. I spent all weekend watching the Irma news because my mother is in a shelter in Sarasota, and we have no idea what she’ll have left when it passes and she can contemplate going home. Things looked dire, then they didn’t, then no one really knew… all I have been able to do as we wait, wait, fret, and wait, is throw myself into work.
So we hope, as ever, that reading about clothes and having a place to be frivolous in the face of all this wreckage will bring some measure of relief to those of you who have been hunkered down or are stuck far away from loved ones in the danger zone. I know that feeling well. I started crying during taekwondo on Saturday because we hadn’t gotten mom into a shelter yet; the realities of what her city would face had not yet made themselves fully apparent, and thankfully, as soon as they did she zipped over to a local high school and they still had room. And in the last two weeks, I’ve watched so many places where I have real family memories get besieged by water and winds and nature’s wrath: I was born in Houston, lived in Miami for two years, had a niece born in Fort Lauderdale (which had tornadoes on Sunday thanks to Irma’s desire to be a complete disaster experience), my grandparents lived and died and are buried in Naples — what will become of their resting place? As I type, it’s getting battered — and my mom is by herself wondering if all the remnants of her life with my father will be water-damaged when she returns home.
And yet we have it so much luckier than so many people. Mom will be left with more than many South Florida residents, than the folks in the Caribbean and Cuba… My heart is with all of you who drew the shorter straw, and have to pick up pieces the rest of us cannot even comprehend.
If Fug Nation needs to use these comments to try and connect with each other, vis a vis advice or resources or checking on relatives or other aid, please do. In the meantime, here are bits and bobs if you can donate:
- The New York Times — paywall is down for Irma coverage — has a great piece on how best to help, including the reminder that while donating goods seems like a good idea, often it’s too overwhelming because transporting them can divert resources from more immediate needs. Scroll down and there are also links to organizations that can help you check that the charity you’re giving to is legit.
- The Red Cross
- Save the Children
- FEMA issued a press statement on how to volunteer to help with disaster relief
- NBC tells you how to donate through iTunes, among other things
- Airbnb is trying to organize available housing for people who have no place to stay
Obviously there is more; that’s just scratching the surface.
Love to all of Fug Nation and thanks to the support you’ve already shown me and my family. I have relayed it to mom and I know it brought her comfort and helped her keep her spirits high during a tense 48 hours.