|Isaac over Puerto Rico - headed our way!|
Life was difficult and more than once, I thought, I just need to get out of here. My planned trip to the DR could not come soon enough. I want to walk around, sit at a restaurant, be by myself, shop, eat at Taco Bell, and just be more normal. And don't even get me started on all the dreams I was having about being in Europe. I was in the stages of burn-out.
And then Tuesday afternoon came. I received an email in the middle of the day from my Dad, entitled 'Isaac', asking if my organisation would evacuate me. You see, Isaac was on his way. IS on his way still. At the time, he was a tropical storm, forecast to move right over Haiti, hitting hurricane strength around the time he breached the Port-au-Prince mountains.
And we sprung into action. I began thinking about our response; our area coordinator planned our preparedness activities. We put our staff into place. Some were to fill up vehicles with gas; others were to board up windows or move items into more secure locations.
We watched the movements, made decisions on an almost hourly basis as to what else needed to be done. Conversations were had with our HQ, we planned our money, our phone credit, packed our quick run bags, monitored the news again, made sure our staff were safe and knew how to respond. We know that we need to keep our slotted windows open 2 inches so they don't break. We bought food (ice cream and beer included!) and we have candles for when the electricity goes out.
In response, we have organised teams who will phone and head out into the field to do assessments, to see what the impact is in the area we are working on. I am working on the questionnaire, our methodology, and making sure that we are getting the proper information about the needs in the communities here. I prepped our teams on the process, I am making sure they have the questions, they have the information. We are linking with the local government to make sure we are reaching all the communities in the area - we are taking the lead in much of the initial response.
Our staff were enthusiastically available to come off annual leave to help, to stay later at the office to make sure we have everyone's contact information, no complaining about the chance to work on Sunday to respond.
As we left the office, we pushed our desks together away from the wall. Tarps cover important documents that there is a chance for water to reach. Our staff know that the office is closed tomorrow in prep, and what we will do to respond.
And now we wait. Wait for him to make up his mind as to what he will do. Wait for him to strike or not. Wait to see what happens.
But Isaac woke me up. I am still exhausted, yes. But he brought my adrenaline back - enough to finish these next few weeks before my short holiday.
Isaac, bring on what you will. We are ready.