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Hurricane Irma - Stories of Help and Hope Part 1

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“Thank you Red Cross for being here” said Theresa of Celebration, Florida. Theresa and her granddaughter Chloe, age 4, sought refuge from Hurricane Irma at an American Red Cross evacuation center in Osceola County, FL. They joined hundreds of others at Celebration High School, aptly named "Home of the Storm."

Originally from Iowa, hurricanes are not the natural disasters the family is accustomed to, but Theresa believes in being prepared and teaching her loved ones how to prepare for potential disasters. "It is my responsibility to teach her not to fear the hurricane but be prepared for the hurricane as this is part of nature,” she said of granddaughter Chloe. “If you let the fear take over, you cannot prepare and be ready properly.”

Looking closely at this little girl’s picture one can see that Theresa has written important information on Chloe’s neck, using a permanent marker, to help reunite the family if they are separated by the storm.  Of their time at the evacuation center, Theresa noted that “everyone has been so nice, the Red Cross has been great.”  

Theresa and Chloe were among more than 127,000 Floridians who sought a safe place out of the storm in over 400 statewide evacuation centers on Saturday, September 9. The Red Cross is continuing to fulfill its lifesaving mission in the face of this devastating hurricane and will be in Florida helping people recover long after the storm has passed and the skies have cleared.

Photos by Janice Moran, American Red Cross of Central Florida

Caption: Red Crosser Kathy Ferrell from Tennessee gives Chloe a high-five at the Celebration High School evacuation center.