The calm before the storm

I woke early to the sound of hammering as my colleague prepared plywood covers for the windows. The day has been a breathless race, delivering materials to the local civil protection authority to equip them for disaster response, all the more pertinent as emails flooded my inbox updating me on the progress of Isaac, whipping his way across the Caribbean towards us.

The air is tranquil and calm. No breeze. The atmosphere is thick with humidity and the eerie stillness before a storm breaks. We are all waiting.

Windows are boarded up. Desks are cleared. All important items are moved away from windows and doors. We are ready; like good Girl Guides, we are prepared.

So as we watch the animated shifts and swirls of Isaac flowing across the ocean towards us, there is a sense of slight apprehension in the air as we don’t know what the next 24 hours will bring.

On my journeys today I passed many rickety shacks and some still living in tents. Radio messages are out and I even received a phone call from a major phone company here in Haiti informing me of Isaac’s imminent arrival via a recorded message. Great efforts have been made to raise awareness of the oncoming storm, but there are so many vulnerable areas and communities that the high winds and flooding will cause damage to many homes and businesses.

We are all hoping that somehow the storm will dissipate, or change course, but have readied ourselves for what seems an inevitable reality.

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