Disaster Recovery

isaster recovery is the aftermath of a hurricane or event. table societies enjoy the luxury of permanence and activities that support and nurture our lives. People surround themselves with what makes them happy, safe and secure. It is not until after a flood, a fire,a tornado, a hurricane destroys shelters, clothing, documents, and memories that lives may be lost and that others are in limbo  when the and gravity of what life is presents the need to recreate it. 

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I watched as Hurricane Harvey reshaped Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi. Water flooded into areas no meteorologist ever thought of. It was beyond their knowledge, experience and pay grade.  Flood planes are created by reshaping earth and percolation changes with the addition of impervious surfaces. Rainwater, FLOOD water cannot percolate into the sub soil. My head whipped around when The Weather Channel announced Hurricane Irma. It had been over a year since I was at our home on Tortola and another year before I returned after H. Irma's never-before-witnessed powers, in any other previous hurricane. 

Our neighbor was kind enough to send me pictures via Messenger.  I had an idea of what was not there. 

 The pictures were taken by the road. When I saw the site, it was as if the hill was sliced to the concrete slab. 

The car suffered a spider crack in the windshield, not much else.

Layers and layers of structure, appliances,clothing, papers, books were stacked and destroyed by the environment. I left three cases of spring water in gallon containers.  I tasted water from one and it was of a taste that I knew not to put in my body. 

I bagged my husband's clothes in contractor bags and locked them in the fourth floor bedroom closet. They were near the road, swollen with water.  I could not lift them out of the way. The physical nature of the site and our belongings was devastating.  This was our home.  This was where we were going to live, until he became ill.     

After his passing, this home remained with his clothes, his books, his entertainment, his videos, his pipes. All of these thoughts and memories ran through my head as I watched the phenomenon known as Irma on radar flash on the screen. All of these thoughts and memories ran through my head as I stood on what was the driveway to our home covered with glass, bent metal frames and large tree limbs.

I returned in June of 2017, a new hurricane season, and flew to San Juan then Beef Island. I was amazed at the debris on land and water.  It was another hurricane season after all yet clean up looked stalled. Puerto Rico's story was partially known, The Inept President of this country performed poorly when assisting persons of color on this dependent territory. His poor knowledge base revealed itself with unsupported comments about Puerto Rico's economy and its relationship to the US.

Disaster Recovery and Need

This was an ArcMap data file of where government departments were located throughout Road Town. It was a part of the Physical Development Plan and could have been used for recovery rather than people thinking or guessing where vital agencies were relocated.

Central Administration Complex was completely gutted by H. Irma. All glazing was blown out, interiors destroyed.

I visited friends, people I worked with in government.  It was with their help that enabled me to accomplish what I did. The territory's government officers were using their personal phones for their jobs. People relied on memory to tell me where ministries and departments relocated.   I used  ArcMap for Town and Country Planning Department and thought not a single map was created for the people to help them navigate through the shuffle. Businesses could have bought ad space so customers could know they still existed.

Disaster Recovery and Help

On the last day of my time, I took the ferry to St. Thomas to mail as much as I could through St. Thomas. I expected the post office to the left of the ferry dock to be opened but was informed I had to use the one at Emancipation Garden. 

Two nice postal persons, Mary (I hope I remember her name correctly) and Monique were very helpful in getting things in order. Thank you, thank you.  

And there is more to do. I have to return to clear the rest of the site and go to court to settle the estate in that country.

Disaster Recovery and Time

September 5, 2019

Disaster recovery may take as much as ten years for some homeowners, more for others, People needed as much as ten years to recover from the Northridge, California earthquake in 1994.

Abaco, Bahamas after Hurricane Dorian, September 3, 2019

The Bahama islands were decimated by Hurricane Dorian. This storm was stagnate for several hours, flooded most of the 700 islets and islands, and the death toll continues to rise.

It is amazing how it looks. It is even more amazing to live there and feel how it feels. All of the survivors there, in Mozambique and Zimbabwe from Cyclone Idai in March 2019, and still in Puerto Rico from Hurricane Maria in 2017, and Antigua and Barbuda from Hurricane Irma in 2017 are at the mercy and in need of assistance on all levels from people in the rest of the world. As we move in our careers or work, we put aside funds for our later years and for others who move into need.

In spite of technology and the elimination of the need to track food and the reduction of local agrarian practices, the earth is not without its natural activities. No government has mastered rescue and recovery from natural disasters that have made historic significance. And yet, there is speculation that the events were manufactured, that weather control has been weaponized. If that is the case, WE are our brothers keepers. WE are our sisters keepers because their leaders stood against tyranny.

WE are our brothers' keepers.
WE are our sisters' keepers.



Disaster Preparedness



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Now That Your Eyes Are Open

Looking West on Drake's Highway, Tortola towards the Caribbean Sea by Allison L. Williams Hill

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