Hurricane Irma

HELLO I have finally returned from my unplanned and definitely unwanted hiatus 💔 I feel sad that I haven’t been able to write for so long haha my blog looks so empty! But I have a few things planned and hopefully it won’t be that way for long. I am also happy to report that we made it through Hurricane Irma relatively unscathed, but not without a few unpleasantries and a bit of craziness… this post is going to be a long one because I feel like I’ve neglected my blog for a while, so strap in if you care to read about our wild hurricane weekend lol

So luckily this year we had a lot more time to prepare than we did for our first major hurricane last year, Matthew. It seemed like people were more aware that a major storm was coming, as seen by these photos taken last Friday before the storm came:

Target was basically…empty. Luckily, we didn’t wait til the last minute and had pretty much all our necessary supplies. We had considered evacuating, but the roads were so clogged and with everyone quickly running out of gas, it just didn’t seem practical. We also weren’t under mandatory evacuation, and didn’t want to take away resources from those that were and would really need them. We were also in close communication with our personal meteorologist and best friend Brandon, who advised us that we should be ok staying at home.

apps

As a person who anxiously checks the weather on a normal, non-hurricane day, I am only somewhat ashamed to admit that I had most of these apps already…

By Friday evening we had been notified that Disney would be closing the parks for Sunday and Monday, so we were prepared to saddle up at home for those days. Our friend Christian also came over to hang with us for the second year in a row – hopefully this doesn’t become a tradition haha

storm

Here’s what the storm looked like on Friday night – we’re that white marker. Irma was right over Cuba at this time.

Saturday Chris and I both went into work, where cast members were already making preparations and tying things down before Irma arrived. The park was EXTREMELY empty, as I’m sure mostly everyone was at home or their hotel preparing.

wait times

Once Chris, Christian and I (and Teddy!) all got to our home, we settled in for our long weekend. For a while it was pretty fun – it was basically just a big sleepover. The bad stuff wasn’t supposed to hit us for a bit, and we had plenty of games and stuff to keep ourselves busy. Our set up was actually in the bathroom because it’s the innermost room of our home, with no windows and a good amount of space to hang out:

Don’t worry, we cleaned that space super well before moving in haha. We had a pretty nice set up, with our couch cushions and lots of blankets providing some “bedding” for us.

storm2

Here’s what the storm looked like on Saturday night – here we’re the blue dot. This is when Irma was bearing down on the Florida keys and getting closer to us.

One thing I hadn’t had to deal with last hurricane was our furry friend:

We didn’t know at what point the storm would pick up and we wouldn’t be able to take Teddy out anymore, so we tried to take him on frequent walks. We laid down some potty pads inside in case we were stuck there for a while and he had to pee, but I think he’s trained well enough that he would rather hold it than ever pee inside haha

Teddy was fine during the whole weekend, just a little scared and confused I think. He chose to deal with it mostly by just cuddling with his friends, as you can see 🙂

Everything was great all through Saturday night and Sunday morning and afternoon – we were waiting for the worst and just hanging out in the meantime. Our county was set to go under curfew from 7pm Sunday until 6pm Monday, so we knew it was coming. We spent the day watching movies and playing games.

Right before our curfew started at 7 we saw the weather get a bit worse. We took a video to send to Brandon (and btw, go like that facebook page – that’s Brandon’s weather page haha)…and then at 7:03, the power went out. Not kidding. It would have been some hilarious irony if it wasn’t so annoying lol

We quickly texted our families and let them know that the power had gone out and we wouldn’t be in contact for a while to conserve battery. And then we turned off our phones and just sat there. Christian’s computer still had a lot of charge so we watched a movie on there, before it started getting super hot and we moved into the hallway to play some board games. We played Settlers of Catan and Guillotine by candlelight – it was wild.

The worst parts of the storm hit us overnight. Around 1-3am it really started to hit us hard. The rain was really strong and the wind was SO loud, and we were sure we could hear tree branches breaking outside. It was a little scary at times but we knew it would pass and be fine. There wasn’t really a lot to do in that time so we all eventually drifted off to sleep.

storm3

The radar we woke up to on Monday morning

By Monday morning, after an uncomfortably warm night, we woke up to see the storm had mostly passed and went outside to survey the damage. The first thing we saw was that there were shingles and leaves EVERYWHERE. There was also a few inches of standing water in the middle of the street near where our cars were parked, and we saw a few trees down throughout our complex as well.

That van got VERY lucky that this tree stayed within the lines!!

We took Teddy out for a quick walk – he had been SUCH a good boy and didn’t pee inside the house at all, but it had been a while so he really had to go.

teddy3

We didn’t get power back all day, and we were under curfew so we weren’t allowed to leave either. It was pretty miserable, mostly because it was so hot. We passed the time by playing some more board games:

settlers

Finally around 6pm we were allowed to leave! Christian got word from his roommates that his home had power, so we went over there to charge some of our electronics and get out of the house a bit. After that we went back home…where we were still in the dark. We both had to work Tuesday and it was stiflingly hot in our apartment, so we quickly put a new plan into action. I got in contact with some of my friends from Pop Century (where I used to work) to see if they had a room we could stay in for the night. Miraculously, they did – and they were allowing people to bring their pets due to the hurricane as well! A comfortable hotel room, AND we could bring Teddy? We were sold. I quickly texted my family that we were heading to Pop to check in.

Once we got there I was able to see a lot of old coworkers and friends and it was so nice just to be in a place with air conditioning! It’s such a privilege that we take for granted, especially in Florida. We were also lucky to be placed into one of the newly renovated rooms at Pop, and it was STUNNING…seriously, I was shocked. I had left Pop to work at Guest Relations before the rooms were first unveiled and they are so nice!

After all the craziness we quickly fell asleep. Teddy settled in right at home also! It was so exciting to be able to bring him, despite the circumstances – it was his first hotel stay and will likely be his only Disney hotel stay haha

pop5

When we returned home our power was back! I’m so glad it wasn’t out for longer – I know some people who still haven’t had theirs restored. Ours was out for just over two days, so unfortunately everything in our fridge and freezer went bad. I absolutely hate throwing away food so that kind of sucked!

And now even though it seems like we are past the worst of it, we discovered another obstacle to deal with – both of our cars somehow got water inside during the hurricane and it’s basically been a huge headache to deal with. We were able to get the majority of it out so they at least don’t smell so musty, and Chris’s is in the shop getting cleaned right now. Hopefully mine is next, but that’s a continuing saga so we’ll see what happens with that haha

So – all in all, Irma didn’t hurt us too bad. We were without power for a bit and may have sustained some damage to our cars, but all of us are fine and it could have been MUCH worse, and I’m glad it wasn’t! I feel EXTREMELY relieved, thankful, and honestly, privileged that this hurricane was, at most, an annoyance and inconvenience to our everyday activities. We were able to get back to “normal” life relatively quickly and that’s obviously not the case for everyone. I even saw some people on facebook and other platforms were complaining that we were locked up for so long when it wasn’t “that bad”… I cannot IMAGINE wishing that a natural disaster was worse for any reason, let alone voicing that opinion out loud on a public platform…and that’s all I’ll say about that haha

That’s all for today’s post! I apologize that this one was so lengthy, but a lot has happened in the past few days and I felt inclined to write it all out – along with the fact that I haven’t written anything in so long, it felt like I needed to! Thank you so much for reading, and I hope that if you or your family were affected by Harvey or Irma, you are recovering well. If you feel so inclined to donate to help with hurricane relief efforts, might I suggest One America Appeal, the relief fund started by 5 former presidents – or your organization of choice, of course!

❤️, Kaela

One response to “Hurricane Irma

  1. Happy to see you weren’t affected too badly and you made it safely too! So lovely that you were given that room to stay in and got to take Teddy! So nice to see how friendly people can be in these situations!

    Liked by 1 person

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