There are three parts to a storm, the Preparation, the Storm itself, and the Aftermath.
The Preparation is filled with planning, anxiety, tying down, placing high, closing off. "Hunkering down" is the phrase everyone uses. Or evacuation, which feels like a combination of seeking safety and deserting all you know.
And then the judgment of so many people who are not here as to your every decision and movement. And the welcome thoughts, caring and prayer of others.
The Storm comes. It is filled with watching and listening to the wind and the rain, doing everything you can to see to the survival and protection of family and neighbors. And then the darkness.
The Aftermath is the most challenging to me. The rising of the river that then floods homes to the windows in the lower lying areas near you, the darkness and heat and humidity, the waiting for power that is only "4 hours away" that becomes 4 days and more. Swimming teams rescue the flooded-out, power workers come from everywhere at great risk and yet there are not enough, and everyone begins the slow clean-up of the destruction. The evacuees return home hoping to see the porch light on and their friends and neighbors safe.
And that power returns and an elementary school burns. The flooded victims are pulled one by one from the water, gathered in shelters and fed and warmed. You hope that they found everyone but don't really know.
The community fights through and survives.
Then the realization that your recovery has begun, but for others it still continues and may not have a clear end in sight.
In a week the World will forget, and the pundits will challenge the "false news event." Famous musicians will scream at you about "global warming" as they do their "charity concerts."
But you know. You live in the Aftermath.