Author Topic: Hurricane Ian & My Family  (Read 520 times)

Offline Erica McPhee

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Hurricane Ian & My Family
« on: October 04, 2022, 11:43:42 AM »
Hello Flourish Friends,
This is a really hard message to write but many have asked so I wanted to update. Last year, we moved to TN after calling North Port, FL home for 15 years. North Port has been struck hard by Hurricane Ian with the majority of the town under water. Friends and neighbors are stuck in their homes with no food or water. They are doing rooftop rescues 24/7. Itís unimaginable.

My mom and brother, David and his family, live in Port Charlotte, the next town over, which has been equally destroyed. By Godís grace both of their homes are livable but all around is destruction. My daughter, Lainey lives in Ft. Myers which is just completely devastated. We were able to get my mom and Lainey out of Florida via Ft. Lauderdale and they are with me here in TN. The business where my daughterís significant other worked was destroyed. My daughterís office is closed for months and perhaps indefinitely. Itís life changing in so many ways.

But most tragically, my brotherís step-daughter and her four children lost their home and everything they own. We are just taking each day as it comes and thanking God everyone is alive and well.

I have run Flourish Forum for free for almost 10 years now. I pay for all the website hosting, maintenance, and security costs myself. I have worked thousands of hours to help people from all over the world learn and love calligraphy. I have never asked for anything in return, nor will I. But others have asked me how they can help for which I am very grateful. So I am sharing a GoFundMe set up to help my brother and his family. 100% of the money raised will go to them. Please do not in any way feel obligated to donate. But if you would like to, even $5 or $10 will help.

Thank you all for your prayers and warm wishes. Please keep Florida and all its residents in your hearts and prayers.

Go Fund Me

With love and gratitude for all of lifeís blessings,
Erica
Truly, Erica
Lettering/Design Artist, Homeopath, Photographer, Mom, Wife
Dasherie Magazine | Paperwhite Studio | Instagram | Facebook

Offline Erica McPhee

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Re: Hurricane Ian & My Family
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2022, 12:07:11 PM »
Many have asked why people donít just evacuate when a hurricane is coming. What most do not understand is that it is a very complex situation. There are 22 million people in FL. When a hurricane comes, there is no idea where it will hit exactly. And it often changes directions completely. There is one main interstate out of the state. When we evacuated for Irma, it took us 17 hours to make it to Atlanta which is normally an 8 hour drive. The last thing you want is to be stuck on the highway during a hurricane.

Then you have to consider where will you go. If you can find a hotel room, it is often very costly. If you canít get back to your home, you have to account for where you will go or stay. Gas becomes in short supply or unavailable altogether. A few years ago, when we evacuated for Irma, it cost us $8000 as we could not return to our home for 10 days and we had extended family with us that we supported. Not many have that kind of extra money or family or friends near that they could stay with. If you lose your home or your place of business, you will no longer have income coming in and will be stranded away from home often in an unfamiliar place. Many of Floridaís residents are elderly and in need of medical care so it is both difficult for them to get away or find the help they need elsewhere.

In this circumstance, Ian took a big turn and the areas hardest hit were miles south of where it was originally supposed to hit. North Port is not even on the water and is in a Flood Zone D but was still massively flooded. Mandatory evacuation is typically Zones A & B but in this case, many of the places south were not even under a mandatory evacuation order. If you are not in a mandatory evacuation area, it is best if you donít leave so you can keep the road open for those who are.

Time is another issue. My daughter, mother, and brother had 10 hours to prepare their homes, gather what they could, and evacuate. It was too late to go north, so once we were able to secure them hotel rooms on the east side, they were leaving just as the hurricane was hitting and they drove four hours to get there in terrible conditions. It took me coordinating from afar, otherwise, they would not have had the time to secure a safe place to go.

My brotherís family members work for the county and school system so they are required to stay and man the evacuation centers for everyone else. They risk their own lives and that of their family to help others. Those that do stay and can get into a shelter before it is closed will spend the days there crammed in with strangers, people shooting up drugs, and animals relieving themselves everywhere. That is the hard truth.

So please understand, many cannot just leave and there are multiple circumstances and logistics to take into account.
Truly, Erica
Lettering/Design Artist, Homeopath, Photographer, Mom, Wife
Dasherie Magazine | Paperwhite Studio | Instagram | Facebook

Offline AnasaziWrites

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Re: Hurricane Ian & My Family
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2022, 01:47:02 PM »
@Erica McPhee
So happy to hear all your family is alive, but greatly saddened to hear of their losses. You are a strong and kind person, and with your help, the family will be able to go on. Thank you for the update.
You and your family will be in our prayers.

Offline Erica McPhee

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Re: Hurricane Ian & My Family
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2022, 09:52:56 PM »
Thank you so much Mike, that means the world to me.  :-*
Truly, Erica
Lettering/Design Artist, Homeopath, Photographer, Mom, Wife
Dasherie Magazine | Paperwhite Studio | Instagram | Facebook

Offline K-2

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Re: Hurricane Ian & My Family
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2022, 12:50:30 AM »
Our thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family, @Erica McPhee -- We have family on the Gulf Coast of Texas, and know well the terrors and heartbreaks from hurricanes past.  May you all be well and rebuild strong.
--yours truly, K

Offline darrin1200

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Re: Hurricane Ian & My Family
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2022, 07:52:27 AM »
My deepest wishes for the recovery of your family and everyone else struck by this devastation. Mother Nature can be brutally unpredictable.
Darrin McArthur
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Offline TeresaS

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Re: Hurricane Ian & My Family
« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2022, 10:08:19 AM »
Oh my goodnessÖ. Prayers Hugs and Love to all of you.
Teresa

Offline Estefa

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Re: Hurricane Ian & My Family
« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2022, 02:45:29 PM »
This must be so heartbreaking, @Erica McPhee . I wish your family a quick recovery and lots of help! Sending lots of love.
Stefanie :: Website :: Blog :: Instagram

Offline Erica McPhee

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Re: Hurricane Ian & My Family
« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2022, 12:07:18 AM »
Thank you so much to everyone for your kind words. Itís been a week but things are calming down. I appreciate your support.  :-*
Truly, Erica
Lettering/Design Artist, Homeopath, Photographer, Mom, Wife
Dasherie Magazine | Paperwhite Studio | Instagram | Facebook

Offline Sally Ellington

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Re: Hurricane Ian & My Family
« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2022, 09:36:07 PM »
Iím just now seeing this, Erica. Praise God your family is safe. Prayers for their recovery in every way. And thank you for all you do for this community.

Offline Erica McPhee

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Re: Hurricane Ian & My Family
« Reply #10 on: October 07, 2022, 12:36:43 PM »
Thank you so much Sally! @Sally Ellington  :-*
Truly, Erica
Lettering/Design Artist, Homeopath, Photographer, Mom, Wife
Dasherie Magazine | Paperwhite Studio | Instagram | Facebook

Offline Mary_M

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Re: Hurricane Ian & My Family
« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2022, 01:28:48 PM »
Iím sorry to hear about your family members. I hope theyíre managing after such a terrifying and stressful ordeal. You wouldnít remember with all the folks here on Flourish Forum, but I live in North Port off of Chamberlain. I lost a lot of mature trees but my small, 25 year old house made it through. Many times during the storm I wished I had evacuated but your explanation of why people donít or canít is perfect. Thanks for posting that because people who havenít lived in Florida donít get it.