As Floridians prepared for the landfall of Hurricane Irma, unexpected heroes emerged. Neighborhoods banded together to help their weaker members. Strangers offered their homes, barns, and supplies to each other.
Just as they did after Hurricane Harvey hit Texas, we are sure that the stories that rise to the top from Hurricane Irma will be just as up-lifting. In spite of the expected destruction, strangers and friends alike will step up to offer a helping hand. What is most beautiful about catastrophic events is the stories of the unexpected heroes who just want to give of themselves to those in need.
In the path of Hurricane Irma, these individuals are showing the best of our world. Be encouraged with these stories of every day folks helping to meet the needs of their community.
11. Every-Day Heroes Rescuing Chickens In A Unique Way
“CHICKEN EVACUATION,” the post from Key West Finest reads. “Gotta love the people in Key West! Thank you to Local Selfie Celeb Jayesh Mani for doing what the rest of us only wished for! #onlyinkeywest”
Not every town has their own flock of special chickens, but folks in Key West are known for theirs. “Gypsy Chickens” as they are called roam the streets of the town freely. Visitors to the area look forward to seeing the birds as they believe it adds charm to the area.
As to their special “packaging”, not to worry. Chicken owners have chimed in that this is a very smart way to quickly transport as many of the foul as possible. Putting them in carriers would require a separate container for each one, which means less birds would be able to be transported and saved.
“The way the chickens are wrapped up with their wings tucked down, is how you carry a chicken you flatten their wings to their sides and carry them like a football under your arm, so really over all the chickens should be moderately comfortable and should not get hot,” commented Lacey Bacon-Stonebraker, who herself owns 50 chickens and three roosters.
10. Stranger Gives Up Last Generator
Pam Brekke traveled 30 miles to hopefully secure a generator before Hurricane Irma hit. Her father is on oxygen and was unable to travel. After watching the last generator being loaded up for the customer in front of her, she broke down in tears. In an act of kindness the man offered her the generator he was going to buy without knowing why she was crying.
“I’m very overwhelmed by that man,” a tearful Brekke said. “That gentleman was a great gentleman right there. God will bless that man.”
After a comforting embrace the two continued their separate paths in preparation for the storm.
9. Sand Bags For Those In Need
Teletha Stephens, 57 and her family are on a mission to help others. In Gainesville, Florida, the city gave away sandbags to it’s residents. Citizens like Teletha spent hours shoveling sand and filling the bags to help their community. But she went a step further and realized that many needed more help than that. Teletha began delivering sandbags to those who couldn’t get out or were unable to lift the bags themselves.
“Whenever someone tells us they have a need, that’s what we try to do. Fulfill a need,” she said, carrying a sandbag to the side of her elderly mother’s home.
8. Local Breweries Offering Free Water And Ice
Knowing that many of the Florida residents weren’t prepared for Hurricane Irma, local breweries decided to step up and help. With filtered water on site and ice that would be wasted, they put an offer out to residents to bring any container for free fill ups.
7. Neighbor Helping Neighbor To Prepare For The Storm
Neighbors Tammy Sharp, 45, and Jeff Reichardt, 60, work together to prepare their homes for Hurricane Irma’s arrival.
“I’m a single mom with an 8-year-old in my house, so yeah I’m worried,” Sharp said.
Reichardt quickly offered to help. Together they drove in his truck to a lumber yard and loaded what they could to prepare Tammy’s house for the storm.
“Helping one another. Keeping each other safe,” Reichardt said. “That’s what neighbors do.”
6. Farmers Work Together To Save Livestock
credit: WUFT News
After seeing the destruction by Hurricane Harvey and the memories of Hurricane Matthew that wiped out thousands of livestock, these local farmers aren’t taking a chance. Many of the neighboring states have opened up their paddocks for those needing to relocate their horses, cows, goats etc. Waitlists were long, but many private owners stepped up as well.
“People love these animals,” Denise Alexander,The Southeastern Livestock Pavilion, said. “They treat them like their family members.”
Zoo Miami spent the days ahead of Hurricane Irma preparing for their animals to ride out the storm.
The zoo says they give as much shelter options as possible with the animal’s safety as the first priority.
“We allow those animals to decide where they want to go,” Dowling said. “It actually reduces the stress level considerably. Their instincts tell them how to ride out the storm.”
5. Out-Of-State Utility Companies Step Up To Help
In preparation for a storm that could rock their southern friends, out-of-state utility companies began sending extra hands in droves.
— Chris Bryan CPA CkP® (@ChrisBryanCPA) September 10, 2017
Many of these workers are preparing for long, sleepless days. It’s not just about the money for them. It’s about helping out those in need. Remember to thank the workers when you see them!
4. A Place To Call Home – Or At Least Shelter
Lori and James McShane evacuated to Alabama. Not knowing exactly where to go, they were guided by local police to a fair ground where a local church was feeding evacuees. Here they were given a tent and an air mattress and a place to rest.
“These people were so good,” Ms. McShane says. “Makes me want to move to Alabama.”
Sadly, Irma decided to shift again and was expected to bring high winds to their place of refuge. But many were tired of running and decided they would fight it out. Together they created a “family” unit and have been helping each other prepare.
In the midst of the fear, Lori is keeping her sense of humor –
“At least we’re learning how to camp.”
3. Helping Elderly Prepare For Hurricane Irma
credit: USA Today
Marie Huntley, “Ms. Peaches” and other volunteers spent their weekend going door-to-door in low-income elderly communities. These individuals are with the community emergency response teams known as CERTs.
“”They say first come first served, but sometimes they forget about the vulnerable… This is our wisdom. They’re the first to teach us right from wrong. You don’t overlook wisdom.”
While several of the elderly chose not to leave the comforts of their home and pets, the CERTs program was able to register the location and decision. The volunteers helped to pair up the elderly with local families who were also staying so that they at least knew someone would check on them.
2. Who Doesn’t Appreciate A Good Cup Of Coffee?
Only in Miami when there r lines of people waiting for gas does Pinecrest Bakery pass out cafecito to everyone 💯💯 pic.twitter.com/QSmf3r86ut
— M M (@Mmmmaaarriiiiii) September 7, 2017
“We’re just trying to get to the calm before the storm in the community with a little coffee from Pinecrest Bakery,” the establishment’s owner, Efren Valsez, told CBS Miami. “We’re a community bakery and we love most of the people here in line and we know them well.”
1. Celebrity Kristen Bell Helps Others Prep For Irma
Last run to the store for #irma hurricane holdover prep while bracing down in orlando- we didn’t have the option to leave so here we are. Just doing our best and trying to stay positive but cautious, and trying to help those who need help prepping. Every person i passed today was assisting someone else- #neighborshelpingneighbors – it was beautiful to see. Sad that a hurricane has to bring out the best in everyone- but happy that the community will be holding hands through this. Im grateful to Gary and the team at @swandolphin in epcot for helping us feel safe while we get through this together.
Kristen Bell and the 80 person crew were settling down to ride out the storm in Orlando.
“We didn’t have the option to leave so here we are,” Kristen wrote.
While tackling their trips to the story to personally prepare for Hurricane Irma, they took time to help other’s prep as well.
“Every person i passed today was assisting someone else – #neighborshelpingneighbors – it was beautiful to see. Sad that a hurricane has to bring out the best in everyone – but happy that the community will be holding hands through this.”
Kristen Bell Helps Evacuees Find Refuge
And when Kristen heard that her Frozen co-star’s family was unable to find shelter, she didn’t hesitate to help.
So @kristenanniebell literally saved my parents and my entire family tonight from #hurricaneirma . When they were stranded in Florida, she got them a hotel room at her hotel in Orlando and saved them, my brothers, my sister-in-law and niece and nephew. They don’t make them like this girl. Thank you Kristin. You are truly an angel sent from above. And thank you @ewablueeyes for bother her when I asked you not to!!!!
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: Squirrel Named Jill Was Rescued During Hurricane And Found A Home