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10 Hurricane Survivors & Their Survival Stories

Natural disasters that wreak devastating havoc on both the environment and human life includes earthquakes, famine, volcanic eruptions, floods, and hurricanes, among others. Of these natural phenomena, nothing else comes close to hurricanes in destroying a tremendous amount of resources and claiming millions of lives throughout history. They are not so frequent, but hurricanes are none the less terrifying storms that no one would wish to ever witness in their lifetime. Although tornadoes typically have a high death score, there have also been several incredible heroic stories or survival. This article takes a look at ten people who braved the hurricanes and survived against all the odds and their fascinating stories.

Mike (Hurricane Sandy in 2012)

Hurricane Sandy also is known as Superstorm Sandy hit the East Coast of the United States in 2012, and Mike was one of the survivors. The hurricane struck New Jersey the most, Mike, a resident of New Jersey, did not evacuate but came to understand the full magnitude of the danger after his house started flooding. When he tried escaping from the home, the currents carried him away down the street where he sought shelter in a neighbor’s house.

He was a hypothermia victim at this point, and he did everything possible to keep himself warm, he reached a point that wrote a note to call his father because Mike did not think that he will survive. Fortunately, he was rescued and braved through the hurricane. The story indicates that hope and small items like blankets makes a difference in the ability to survive devastating situations.[1]

Mark Davidson & Mike Anderson (Hurricane Ike in 2008)

Defying all the odds, these two men were able to withstand the Hurricane Ike in 2008 under unlikely conditions. Mike Anderson and Mark Davidson were swept over 23 kilometers or 14 miles from their Texas beach house by the cold currents, they crossed East Bay and found themselves in Chamber County. They survived this crazy and scary encounter and had to endure for hours before being rescued. What is even absurd was that they found life jackets, soft drinks, and a kayak in the hurricane debris near them. With a bit of luck and their bravery, they were able to overcome the terrifying storm. The story is more than an encouragement testimony that even in the worst times when all hope is in the past tense, one can still find the means to survive in the places deemed impossible.[2]

A Different Side of The Storm (Hurricane Andrew, 1992)

The Mullins family is one of the survivors of the Hurricane Andrew of 1992 as they were trapped in their fish shop in Perrine for the better portion of the storm. The entire family survived as the rescue team found them in their shop; however, the story is not about their survival, but it is on how people act during catastrophic conditions like during massive hurricanes.

The family accounts the events during the hurricane where many people turned into looting hooligans in the street looting shops. The family was not only terrified by the severe storms but they also their safety as looters were trying to break into the shop, and the streets were full of fighting and gunshots were resonating from all sides. The account shows how people behave during vulnerable and terrifying conditions like during hurricanes and other natural disasters encompassing doing incredible things for survival, therefore, during hurricanes, it is not only the storm that people should worry about, security from each other also.[3]

Puerto Rico (Hurricane Maria, 2017)

Puerto Rico was struck by Hurricane Maria in 2017, killing thousands of people; however, the survivors have terrifying consequences of handling. Puerto Rico is included on this list instead of one survivor because it represents the hardships and challenges that hurricane survivors encounter during this disastrous and terrifying times. In the history of hurricanes, many places that are rattled by hurricanes meet fallout when the storm subsides, however, the Puerto Rico case was extreme. The survivors on the island face severe shortages of public utility services encompassing electricity, water, food, and healthcare services. Three months after the end of the hurricanes, over 80% of the island is without electricity, and it is no doubt that even today there are parts of Puerto Rico that are without power. The shortage of basic needs and services like health services, clean drinking water, and food is responsible for more deaths in affected regions. The survivors have to struggle for the requirements to survive beyond the hurricane, rebuilding their lives, as well as parting with their loved ones forever.[4]

Shawn Kelly (Hurricane Katrina in 2005)

One of the survivors of Hurricane Katrina that hit in 2005 is Shawn Kelly; he was ten years at the time of the storm. Shawn along with her parents was in their house when the winds proved to be more powerful meaning they were in grave danger in their house, and they had to scamper to safety across the street to a retirement home. They managed to reach the higher grounds and his family, and other people in the retirement home survived the Katrina Hurricanes on the roof of the retirement home for days before rescue arrived. The first rescue team took only children and women first; fathers were left behind to wait for another second rescuer. It took two months before Shawn and his mother before they found his father. The story has a happy ending as the family reunited; however, thousands of families lost their loved ones to Hurricane Katrina.[5]

Jennifer Lowry (Hurricane Odile in 2014)

Jennifer Lowry braved the Hurricane Odile that hit Cabo San Lucas, Mexico in 2014. This was one of the unique hurricanes that had been forecasted that it would occur near Cabo but was expected to head out into the sea and peter out, making the residents and visitors assume its approach. Unfortunately, the storm changed its course, hitting the people of Cabo who were not expecting this magnitude of the hurricane. Because of the uncertainty, the winds were very severe, killing 18 people and many people were not prepared for the occurrences of a massive and intense storm, and Lowry was among them.

Lowry was among the guests in Cabo who was on a trip with her friends during the Odile storm, and she was sheltered in the hotel ballroom with other guests. Many guests escaped with severe injuries from broken glasses, but Lowry escaped with no damage. She accounts for the terrifying sounds of the storm screaming as it passed by the hotel, and they were forced to extend their trip by one week because the airport was catastrophically wiped out. Lowry story depicts a woman who was somehow safe throughout the hurricane, but it reveals how the dangerous the storms can be if they suddenly alter their intensity and course![6]

Jaimie Cummings (Hurricane Katrina in 2005)

Hurricane Katrina was a destructive category five storm that affected New Orleans among other places across the United States. Jamie Cummings was a resident of New Orleans who survived Katrina when she was just 14 years old. The storms reached its peak while Cummings was visiting her mum in the hospital, and together with all the hospital patients, they were rushed in the hallways, glass windows breaking around them under the severe winds. The patients that were not bedridden scampered to safety on the boats, but the bedridden patients were not that lucky because they were left behind at the mercy of the storm.

Cummings and her mother survived, but many patients and hospital workers died during Hurricane Katrina on that day. At the end of the more than 1880 people lost their lives across the Southern states of the US to Katrina severe storm and floods. The story indicates how some people were just lucky that the police arrived in time; otherwise, Cummings, her mother, and others would have lost their lives.[7]

Isabel Ramos (Hurricane Andrew in 1992)

Isabel Ramos was the survivor of the 1992 Hurricane Andrew that affected Miami-Dade County in Florida. The hurricane was severe and devastating in Ramos resident region. For instance, the storm hit at night, destroying Ramos’ house that collapsed around her. She found shelter in the garage with her dogs, and she heard the howling wind and the falling house outside her garage where she was sheltering.

Trapped in the garage, she had to hold and support part of the roofing of the garage for protection along with her dogs. The story is an eye-opener of how catastrophic the hurricanes can be and how one can lose everything in the wake of no time. The most outstanding lesson one can learn is that your life is more valuable than all your possession, and therefore, it is important to prioritize in safeguarding your life over material resources during horrible disasters.[8]

A Mother’s Sacrifice (Hurricane Harvey, 2017)

After the 2017 Hurricane Harvey hit; a mother was a hero as she was found and her daughter floating in the floodwaters. The child was a baby who could not swim, and the mother used her own body and a backpack to keep her daughter afloat and prevent her from drowning. The rescue team found the mother and her baby and rushed them to the hospital.

Sadly, the mother died in the hospital, but the baby survived the hurricane thanks to the bravery and sacrifice that her mother made to keep her alive. The result was tragic but is a lesson that shows how much a mother’s love can go when the two were trapped hurricane floodwater for several days. The mother was a heroine to her daughter because she devoted a strength and hoped to keep her daughter alive at all cost.[9]

The Smiths (Hurricane Harvey in 2017)

During the 2017 Hurricane Harvey, a couple was caught in the harsh conditions of the storm at the very fragile state. The Smiths did not only brave the terrifying storm conditions, but they also merit to make on this list because Annie Smith was in labor during the peak of the hurricane. The Harvey Hurricane is among the worst storms the United States have ever witnessed; you can’t start to imagine having a baby during the peak of the worst hurricane! It is terrifying.

The Smiths reached out for help through Annie’s fellowship program director who informed the local fire department for a rescue mission. The fire department responded by sending a truck to the Smiths’ house for one of the most challenging rescue missions as the truck went through many feet of water. The firefighters, the Smiths, and their neighbors formed a human chain for Annie to move from the house to the truck. About 12 hours later, she gave birth.[10]

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