Hurricane Survival

Who needs avocados?

How Bermudians show each other love after storms
Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr

A few years ago, there was a hurricane that resulted in all the avocado trees being stripped of their fruit. There were Bermuda avocados everywhere — people were giving them away! At the time, I lived in an apartment that had an avocado tree in the front yard. The storm broke that tree, and left a quite large section of its trunk laying across the driveway, meaning no one could drive in, or out.

One of our neighbours showed up with a chainsaw, as soon as the wind subsided. Several others wandered up with their brute strength. One thing led to another, and the massive tree section was cleared from our driveway in no time.

I remember lifting the cut pieces of that tree – it was not light! Our neighbours, however, made remarkably light work of it.

This is what it means to be a Bermudian after a storm. If we are able-bodied, we get out and make sure that we all made it through the chaos unscathed. Then we help each other to clear up, or give avocados to those in need, or provide hot meals for folks who don’t have electricity yet … the list, of course, is exhaustive.

Lovitta Foggo, MP for Constituency 3 (St David’s), has always tried to help where she could during hurricane season.

“For me, especially with seniors and those in need, I have helped by providing hurricane supplies, such as LED lamps, batteries, and non-perishable foods; making sure those who did not have the means were adequately supplied with such,” Ms Foggo said.

“I have engaged persons in my constituency who have the means and willingness, to donate supplies such as plywood and free labour, ensuring those in need are properly boarded up and protected.

“I have, with friends and able-bodied persons – especially once a hurricane has passed – gone out to survey the constituency to ensure persons who need assistance are helped. When there was no electricity, my neighbours and my family have cooked our food on grills, ensuring that we, and others could have hot meals. We have also shared our generator so that persons’ refrigerated goods didn’t spoil.

“Hurricanes have a way of humbling us, and reminding us of who we are as individuals. The aftermath of a hurricane reminds us of the value and importance of neighbourly love. It brings to the fore that we are our brothers’ keepers, and that, together, we can overcome.”

Perry Thompson, food and beverage captain at The Loren hotel, has a post-hurricane attitude like my neighbours in the story above.

“Once the hurricane has passed, and it’s deemed safe to go outside, the first thing to check is your property for any damage — roof, yard, fences, vehicles,” Mr Thompson said.

“If there is nothing major, then you take a walk around the neighbourhood. There may have to be clearing of trees and branches from the road. Inspect surrounding houses to see if they need any help in clearing up debris that might have been scattered from the high winds. Almost everyone has tarpaulins stored, so if there’s a roof that needs covering, they would be brought to the house, and the holes covered.

“I know our neighbourhood does not wait for Belco or Works & Engineering to come clear the roads. We come with our goggles, gloves, clippers, rakes, and buckets, and proceed in getting the areas back to normal.”

Retired police officer Hiram Edwards said that during and after a hurricane, “emergency services step up to the plate, and residents and businesses come together for Bermuda. From the engineers and communications folk at Belco and Bermuda Telephone Company, to the staff at the hotels. I am confident our neighbours will continue to always look out for one another.”


Write A Comment