Recently we received a letter from one of our customers in Florida, the Smith family. The Smiths had some flooding during Hurricane Matthew, but just days later when Hurricane Irma took a dramatic western hook, they lost nearly everything. Within 20 minutes of the nearby creek rising, it was at the door. The Smiths grabbed what they could, loaded up their pets, and left. In minutes their house was under water.
“We built this house 20 years ago and never dreamed we’d be going through this,” Karen writes. “Hurricane Irma happened on 9/11 but FEMA wasn’t able to get to us until 9/28, so we are waiting for funds to trickle in.” Karen writes that though they do have flood insurance, sorting out the paperwork takes time. “We are thankful for our family and friends who have helped us get back to some sort of normality. My husband’s company, BASF, sent a crew out to help us the first weekend which was a godsend because you could not find contractors.” Karen adds that she’ll never forget the sight of young college students from local churches walking around the neighborhood offering help.
Fortunately, the Smiths were able to save more than 85% of their freeze dried food, which they are using while they rebuild. They are living in an RV on their property and are happy to have comforting freeze dried meals instead of take out.
Karen says that she started freeze drying as a way to eat healthy and control ingredients. They always take freeze dried food when they travel in their RV because it reduces weight. She said that she freeze dried all of her diet food this year and has lost 50 pounds. Though the Smiths are daunted by the rebuilding process, they are happy that they can eat well and remain healthy.
The Smiths are lifelong gardeners, and are known for their big hearts. They often share their extras with others, including those in need. In fact, they’re such kind people that Karen was quick to add “…our hearts and prayers go out to all who have been affected by this storm and other disasters. We are just one of many.” She also asked if we knew of others in need with whom she could share their freeze dried meals.
We want to thank the Smiths for sharing their story. Stories like these help others get motivated to create an emergency food plan for their own families, and these days it’s easy to see just how important that is. More than anything though, we thank them for reminding us how much good there is in the world. When they’re ready, we’ll happily help them get a new freeze dryer for their next chapter in life.
Best wishes for a speedy recovery to the Smiths from all of us at Harvest Right.