As Hurricane Irma set a path towards the State of Florida the citizens rushed to prepare for the storm. Similar to the residents of Houston, Florida’s residents came together showing acts of kindness to one another. These acts of kindness transcend race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, and political affiliation proving the barriers that often divide people can triumph when we understand the potential impact (citizens were concerned with the impact and conditions Hurricane Irma and Harvey would leave people in) of a thing gives way to empathy, concern, and love leading towards action.

Governor Rick Scott of Florida took a huge step in declaring a State of Emergency for the entire State of Florida. Irma’s track according to the models had the storm making landfall in South Florida and riding the east coast up through Georgia and the Carolina’s or riding straight up the middle of Florida. Hurricane Irma is so large it could actually impact the entire State of Florida.  Due to this knowledge evacuation orders for were given for South Florida up to Central Florida and other low lying areas throughout the State. During this time Florida Department of Corrections officials decided to move 7,000 inmates to safer facilities. This move proved that Irma was being taken seriously and in times of extreme danger, Florida remembered it’s forgotten.

Then a shift happened changing the course of the storm.  Irma would now make landfall on the west coast of Florida.  In this moment adjustments had to be made in order to support and protect the Floridians living on the west coast.  What would happen if their is a shift in the way we support each other outside of potential catastrophic events?  As the storm passes and we begin the process of accessing the damage to individuals, families, communities, counties, and subsequently the state. It is my hope that the citizens of Florida remember the impact to any individual citizen has an effect on the functionality of the collective. The FRRC believes in helping hurting people and as such if you want to join the effort complete the FRRC First Responders Form to help communities that were hit hard.  As we rebuild may the same care, concern, and empathy that ushers us through Hurricane Irma allows us to pave a way to a Florida in which all citizens enjoy the privilege of being residents in the “Sunshine State”.

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