The "H" Word: Finding the GOOD in the storm

Unfortunately, living on Hilton Head Island, SC has become to mean that “we” evacuate for the dreaded “H” word every Fall {Well, for the past four years in a row we have}. It is a scary time. The blessing of having technology that can detect Hurricanes days out is great in terms storm preparation but can create loads anxiety and fear for a long chunk of time.

This last evacuation, from Hurricane Dorian, had us all glued the The Weather Channel for about two weeks. As the nightmare storm pounded the Bahamas our hearts broke and fears increased on the East Coast. Luckily, in the end, Hilton Head Island was spared. Phrases heard all over the South East have been “we dodged a bullet!”, “We are BLESSED”, “Thankgoodness” because everyone here remembers storms from a few years ago where we were not so lucky.

Image from National Hurricane Center-EXAMPLE of original DORIAN CONE

Image from National Hurricane Center-EXAMPLE of original DORIAN CONE

No doubt, Hurricanes are terrifying. However, after FOUR years of personally witnessing what occurs before, during and after the storm; I've become more aware of the GOOD that comes from it. Maybe its the collective comradery of being in the dreaded “CONE OF UNCERTAINTITY” or the realization that not only “you” personally will be affected but your entire community. Our daily stresses become insignificant when we realize we could potentially lose ALL of our physical possessions (your house, your business, your “things”), those thoughts make obsessing about the mundane null and void. As I have discussed with many of my friends, at some point you simply “THROW YOUR HANDS UP” and stop worrying about all the “STUFF” and focus on YOUR PEOPLE.

Mother Nature’s wrath is unwaivering and the human brain is fascinating—how are we able to switch focus so quickly in times of need? I think it is amazing that we can abandon the superficial (even if only for a moment) and focus on helping others and not just ourselves. It truly shows the beauty of the human spirit.

From my tiny corner of the world, I wanted to highlight some of the GOOD in the STORM:

Simple gestures of KINDNESS can have the BIGGEST impact.

A mandatory evacuation when you live on an island is daunting. If YOU decide to stay on the island during a mandatory evacuation and the bridge closes you are on your own {Hospitals close, local authorities such has Fire/EMT will not be able to help you out}. Mandatory evacuations are nothing to laugh at and…let me tell you, especially with kiddos, it is S-T-R-E-S-S-F-U-L!

A LOCAL Good Samaritan placed this sign just before the Hilton Head Island bridge as the evacuation orders were issued. During the stress and rushing of “leaving everything behind” this sign offered thousands comfort. Simple words? Yes! But, that is why I think this is so powerful. Sometimes we can “trick” ourselves into thinking good deeds must be GRAND. I know, I do. I tend to stir myself into a tizzy making things much bigger and more complicated than they need to be {just ask my Husband, ha!}.

I love how much GOOD this simple, but thoughtful sign provided for our community. Reminds us all that CHANGING the WORLD isn’t always the best place to start…starting small with good intentions is just as good, if not more powerful.

Handmade sign placed on the HHI Bridge along the evacuation route.

Handmade sign placed on the HHI Bridge along the evacuation route.

Lemonade for the Bahamas

Want to help, look to the children. They always know the best way.

This story if one of my favorites.

When the mandatory evacuation order was lifted and we were allowed to return back to an island that was spared; many people began to see the devastating pictures flooding in from the Bahamas. It is always a question of “how can I help?”. Well, as in most cases, look to the KIDS! They have an ability to look at things in a SIMPLE yet effective ways. A group of LOCAL Hilton Head Island kids got together {in their neighborhood} and hosted a “Lemondade Stand” that would donate all proceeds to the Bahamas. With the help of social media, word spread quickly. Within hours a few local companies matched donations and just like that….almost $8,000 raised in a just a few days. What?!! Yes, an adorable Lemondade Stand run by a handful of cutie-pie kiddos sparked a community to THINK SMALL in order to make a BIG impact. This truly represents what it means to “BE THE GOOD”.

As for my FAMILY. The “Good” from the storm came from an impromptu Vacation to Greenville, SC {we chose to evacuate here}. We were able to spend a few days walking around the town which is SUPER CUTE! Loads of adorable shops and restaurants. It was precious “family time” and we are grateful for that. The storms allow us to focus on what is important and that is a blessing.

Praying hard for everyone negatively affected by Hurricane Dorian and eternally in awe of our AMAZING Hilton Head Island community that continues to lead by example on how to…”Be the Good”.

XO-Heather

Chaos & Spanish Moss Onesies/Tanks — Hilton Head Island

Chaos & Spanish Moss Onesies/Tanks — Hilton Head Island

Jessica Berinato