Florida Shines Again After Hurricane Irma
Irma is gone, now it's time to rebuild.
Hurricane Irma hit South Florida last weekend. We're all fine at Outplay but others were not as lucky as us. So we decided to help those who were hit the hardest.
My family and I hunkered down in our home in Miami. We put our shutters up and made sure we had plenty of water, batteries, and non-perishable items before the storm hit. As experienced Floridians, 5 days before the storm hit, we were all at Home Depot and Publix getting the last things we might have missed when hurricane season started on June 1. Lessons learned from past storms have helped us in Florida be great planners in preparation for hurricanes and after Andrew hit us 25 years ago, everything built in South Florida is built to withstand these 100+ mph wind gusts and homes are built with metal shutters or hurricane-proof windows and doors. But no matter how much we all prepare, mother nature has her own plans and ideas and she was really not happy this last week.
For a while we thought the storm would hit the west coast of South Florida, which includes the Keys, Marco Island, Naples, and Ft Meyers. Then for a day or so it was coming right at us in Miami. Evacuations began in all of Miami Beach, Brickell, Downtown Miami, and anyone too close to the water. Then about 24 hours before Irma was to make landfall, she moved west again and was aiming for Naples. The problem was that this storm was so huge, it almost didn't even matter what coast it made landfall on because we were ALL going to feel it no matter what. So we all braced for our lives and watched it come towards us.
The Keys, Marathon in particular, took the first hit. The images that began to come out of the Keys were scary. The surges were incredible and the wind gusts were well over 100+mph. And then it moved on to Marco Island, making landfall as a very high cat 4 hurricane. Marco Island and Naples braced themselves and held on for dear life. As the storm moved north, we felt every bit of it on the east coast of Florida. The wind picked up and began to make that horrible sound, like there's a massive train going right by your house. Everything shakes and the noise is scary and doesn't stop for about 8 hours. Many lost power early on, some got it back quickly, many still have no power.
The storm moved at about 12mph headed north, leaving no corner of the state untouched. Even after losing most of its strength and becoming a cat 2, it still rained and blew its winds onto many more. It flooded streets, lakes, and homes. When all was set and done, it had been 3 days since it first began to show us her strength.
Come Monday morning we began to open our front doors and go outside to assess the damages in Miami. Some had no damage, some had minor damage, and then there were those who basically lost it all. Fortunately my family and I were amongst those who had no damage. But there are many who were not so lucky. So I felt there had to be something we could do to help those who lost so much during Irma. What could we do? We can do what we do best, create something people will feel and look good in and take the proceeds and donate them to a local organization that will help rebuild homes, lives and families.
This is what we came up with. We're going to make a limited amount of t-shirts with this logo we designed.
We only have the design right now but we're having them printed as quickly as possible. We will donate $5 from each shirt sold to an organization or foundation we find can do the best use of the money raised. We don't have costs on them or any financial info on them right now, but we will make it work.
This is where you come in. Please purchase the Florida Shines Again Outplay t-shirt, show it off and tell your friends about it. We want to raise as much money as possible for those who need it the most. And when we find that great organization, we'll keep all of you posted and let you what they are doing with the money and the lives they are touching thanks to your generosity. Sound good?
One more thing. We're working to find that local Florida organization that will continue to work with rebuilding and helping those most in need well after the media stops focusing on Florida and he aftermath of Irma. If you know of a foundation that would benefit from the funds we raise, please let us know in the comments. We greatly appreciate it!