On October 10, 2018, Hurricane Michael hit my hometown of Lynn Haven, Florida as a Category 4 storm. The night before the storm made landfall, there was a general consensus throughout the town that the hurricane wouldn’t be horrible; we expected we would lose power for a few hours, maybe even a day or two, but that would be the full extent of the impact … but we were wrong.
Around 4:00 a.m. on the 10th, my parents, brother and I woke up and after listening to the news, decided we were better to be safe than sorry and relocated to a “shelter” like building where another family was staying. The storm made landfall around 1:00 p.m. and it was one of the scariest experiences of my life. You could look out the window and see 100+-year-old pine trees breaking in half – dumpsters, pieces of tin from roofs and street signs flying down the road. The noises the wind was making were almost deafening because they were so loud and violent. When the storm eased up, we walked outside and our entire town was unrecognizable; it truly looked like a wasteland (and still does).
While we were only a half mile from our house, it took around four hours to access our neighborhood because there were so many trees and power lines down. Our house had multiple trees on top of it that crushed areas of the roof and the windows were blown in on all sides, allowing for water to soak everything we owned. We really didn’t have much time to prepare for the storm so we lost everything that was inside, except for a photo book from this past Christmas and a metal cross that I was able to salvage. Our house is considered a total loss due to the roof and water damage and the mold that has begun to grow everywhere. We will have to rebuild completely.
Even though Hurricane Michael has been a tragedy, Phi Mu has made such an impact on my family and me. I am in graduate school at Valdosta State University and with the uncertainty of jobs for my parents and the added expense of having to move to another city for an extended period while we rebuild, Phi Mu has given us peace that my living expenses such as food and rent will be paid for so that I can continue with my education. Without assistance from Phi Mu, I truly am not sure that I would be able to continue going to school without creating a big financial burden on my family.
I cannot say thank you enough!
You can lend a helping hand to sisters just like Anna Layne with a gift to the Foundation’s Member Assistance Funds. Click here to give today and select “Heart & Hand Fund” from the drop-down menu.