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If the title didn’t give away the theme, then the art work for this month’s Writer Wednesday Blog  certainly does. Yes, today we’re talking all about natural disasters we’ve experienced.   Growing up as a Navy brat, then later marrying an Air Force guy I’ve had the opportunity to live in various parts of the world. […]

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Hurricanes, Typhoons, Tornadoes- Oh My!

Posted by on Jul 8 2015, 7:24 am

Share This!

If the title didn’t give away the theme, then the art work for this month’s Writer Wednesday Blog  certainly does.


Yes, today we’re talking all about natural disasters we’ve experienced.


Growing up as a Navy brat, then later marrying an Air Force guy I’ve had the opportunity to live in various parts of the world.

From the Caribbean, to the Florida Keys and the Panhandle, to the tumbleweeds of Texas, to the shores of South Carolina, to the rising Mississippi River areas of southern Illinois, to northern California and across the Pacific Ocean to Okinawa. I’ve experienced tropical humidity, dry heat, cool northern breezes, and frigid Midwestern ice and snow. But no matter where I’ve been, I’ve experienced some sort of natural disaster.


I’ve waited out hurricanes in a shelter on a military base in the Keys. I’ve hunkered down at home while storm waters and high winds battered our home.



I’ve hightailed it to a basement storage area, praying a tornado wouldn’t level our house down upon us. Then later crawled out of our basement to find our home safe, yet my neighbors’ missing a roof or a front porch or worse. 



I’ve plugged my computer into a generator when icy power lines were knocked down for days. 



I’ve hit the closest grocery store, stocking up on food and supplies in preparation for a typhoon party with close friends in our base apartment complex while the military planes were evacuated from the base for safety. 



I’ve watched on the television as a beloved hometown was ravaged by nature. I’ve driven through a childhood neighborhood that Hurricane Andrew left as nothing more than street roads leading to grassy areas where homes had once stood. 



Even worse, my parents lost nearly everything in the Hurricane Wilma flood waters and finally decided they’d had enough of living in the Keys. It was time to make the move to central Florida. 



But through all these disasters and difficult situations, there’s one thing that has stood out in my memory—the way others stepped forward to help their neighbors, friends and family. Being a part of a neighborhood team helping those who hadn’t made it through the storm as well as my family had.


hurricane-sandy        LOWES_JD_005-copy-1024x681   dm2559

Dragging trees to the street corner, climbing on roofs to remove debris. Inviting neighbors over so their kids can plug in to the generator so their mom isn’t driven crazy by their boredom. Offering shelter to those forced to evacuate.

This beautiful side of humanity. The side that shows one person reaching out to help another. The face of perseverance and determination, of sorrow and fear, of compassion and hope…




These emotions are all found in the pages of romance novels.


We write stories of conflict and fear, of people facing challenges and hardship. Sometimes they lose; sometimes they win. But the heroes and heroines in our novels always grow and change. And in the end, they’re happier, healthier, a little more whole. And definitely ready to tackle whatever challenge the future might hold– together.





And speaking of romance novels…if you’re looking for a little escape this weekend, why not try these two books by my fellow Firebird sisters.



Hidden Identity

a Love Inspired Suspense by Carol J. Post

available on Amazon

After becoming caught in a web of blackmail and murder, Meagan Berry escapes by faking her death. She finds anonymity on Florida’s Cedar Key until, while out in her boat, she witnesses a small plane go down and rescues a state senator. Her face is plastered on the 6:00 news, and the nightmare begins anew.

Something tells Cedar Key police officer Hunter Kingston that Meagan is not who she claims to be. But the fear in her eyes and the vulnerability beneath that aloof exterior reach out to him. When he learns the truth, he is determined to protect her, whatever the cost. Because at least one person is trying to see to it that the next time Meagan “dies,” it’ll be for real.




The Millner’s Secret

by Natalie Meg Evans

available on Amazon  

June 1940. As Paris, the City of Light, approaches its darkest hour, a young woman treads the line between survival and collaboration.

Londoner Cora Masson has reinvented herself as Coralie de Lirac, using a false claim to aristocratic birth to launch herself as a fashionable milliner. When the Nazis invade, the influence of a high-ranking lover protects her business.

But the cruel demands of war – and of love – cannot be kept at bay forever. Soon Coralie must find the courage to do what’s necessary to protect her friends, her freedom and everything she believes in.



So now it’s your turn. 🙂

You know how it goes. One person shares a story and another usually has one to add. Have you been through any natural disasters? Enquiring minds want to know!


Also don’t forget to click over to the other Firebirds sharing their natural disaster stories as part of the Writer Wednesday blog. This month we’re featuring:

Jean WillettWendy LaCapraKat CantrellKay HudsonNatalie Meg EvansKristen Ethridge, and Carol J. Post


48 responses to “Hurricanes, Typhoons, Tornadoes- Oh My!”

  1. Sharon Wray says:

    Loved your post today, Pris! I can’t believe how many disasters you’ve lived through. But it proves that no matter where you live, scary things can happen.

    And I can’t wait to read both Carol and Natalie’s books. 🙂

    • Prisakiss says:

      Thanks for stopping by, Sharon.

      I think there’s trouble around lots of corners we take in our life, it’s a matter of how we respond to them that counts. 🙂

      Hope all is disaster-free in your world today! Hugs!!!

    • Happy says:

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    • http://www./ says:

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  2. Great post. Every area has its potential for natural disaster, but you’ve happened on quite a few disasters. What experiences you’ve had!

    • Prisakiss says:

      Pamela, I know you’re familiar with the devastation that hit New Orleans with Katrina. Several of my close friends from different professions were able to take time off from their jobs to go volunteer in the area. It was both a difficult task and a rewarding one for them.

  3. Great post! I spent some time in basements during tornado watches growing up in Minnesota and tiptoeing through broken glass after an earthquake, but that was about it.

    • Prisakiss says:

      Kathleen, the closest I came to an earthquake was the very edges of one while in LA to visit Disneyland.

      I woke up to my hotel bed shaking and thought my ex was messing around, trying to scare me. Then I noticed the hanging lamps swinging from side to side. It was all over in a few seconds, but it definitely got my attention!

      Glad to hear you made it through your situations safely!!

  4. Jean Willett says:

    I’ve walked through a couple of your photos 🙂 Key West. Natural disasters do bring out the best and worst of humanity and I’m always praying for the best. Great post, Pris. Potential for natural disaster are everywhere and you’ve managed to experience some of the toughest ones. 🙂

  5. Robena Grant says:

    For me it has been bushfires, tornado, hurricane, high seas in the Caribbean when on a cruise, and the Northridge earthquake. The scariest by far was the tornado, even though I had damage to the house in the earthquake, and the aftershocks went on for weeks causing incredible stress. But, yeah, the tornado. Shiver. Such massive destruction caused by those things.

    • Prisakiss says:

      Robena, I’ve always said that earthquakes and tornadoes scare me much more than the hurricanes or typhoons. At least with the latter you have time to prepare, seek shelter, drive far away.

      With tornadoes and earthquakes there’s no warning. And a tornado’s path is so random it’s really scary to me.

      Goodness, a hurricane while on a cruise does not sound relaxing to me in the least. Talk about people getting seasick. Yikes!

      Thanks for stopping by to share! Hugs

      • Maria Powers says:

        And what I appreciate about earthquakes is the lack of foreshadowing. It happens, it’s over, you’re alive or you’re hurt or you’re not. Time to clean up. Of course, I’ve lived through many, many earthquakes. Terrifying to me is the new earthquakes that happen due to the fracking going on that is literally shifting the ground beneath our feet. Man made disasters terrify me.

  6. Oh my, you have been through it all, Pris! I’m so glad you had your family for support.

    • Prisakiss says:

      Wendy, there’s nothing like using a flashlight to read a book out loud to your kids while you’re all crammed in a closet under the stairs, waiting out a tornado!


  7. I’m afraid if I say no I’ll be tempting fate! I’ve been through tornado warnings, with the sirens blaring, and sat in the basement to wait it out. My cats didn’t think that was very fun, I think they took it as some form of time out.

    • Prisakiss says:

      When we lived in the Midwest we had a large basement storage area so we could spread out while we waited. But in South Carolina, I remember trying to cram three kids and a dog, along with our dinner plates into a closet that ran under the stairs. Talk about cozy.

      We used to call it our Harry Potter room. 🙂 Naturally, we finished dinner than pulled out a book to read aloud to each other to help calm any fears and pass the time. Not sure what the dog thought about that, but at least she was a good sport. 🙂

  8. Great post!

    Like you , Pris, I grew up a navy brat and experienced hurricanes, floods, tornados, and many earthquakes in southern California. While in my 12 schools growing up we had fire drills, earthquake drills and tornado drills. All a great break from math class until the real thing happened. Then things got quite scary. LOL But I too, experienced people coming together after natural disasters to help. Some of the best volunteer work I’ve done as well. Thanks for sharing!

    • Prisakiss says:


      I remember those tornado drills at school, huddling under our desks until the alarm finished. 🙂 Now I’m thinking, what good was that puny little wooden desk going to do? Why weren’t we huddling in the hallways?

      But you’re right, any excuse to stall math class was always a good excuse to me! 🙂

      I appreciate you stopping by to share!

  9. Jen Gilroy says:

    What an interesting life you’ve had, Pris.

    I can’t contribute any natural disaster stories to this conversation. However, I once worked for an emergency preparedness organisation and was struck by how disasters often bring out the best in people. I saw many instances of human goodness which inspired me.

    • Prisakiss says:

      Jen, it’s a good thing that you haven’t experienced any natural disasters! 🙂 You’re blessed!!

      I’d say your experience working with the emergency preparedness group and the positive experiences you witnessed will be useful with your writing. It shows how though evil may have its moment, good will always prevail!

      Thanks for stopping by!

  10. Carol Post says:

    Great post, Pris! That’s something that always strikes me, too, how people jump in and help, often total strangers.

  11. Seana Kelly says:

    Hi Pris, I love your take away: It’s not the horrible things people live through. It’s the kindness we show one another in order to get through. I’d expect nothing less from a romance writer. 🙂

    I was living and working in San Francisco during the ’89 earthquake. As a native Californian, earthquakes don’t freak me out. When the ground started rolling, the floor tiles cracked, the windows blew out, and the toys and boxes of the store I worked in tumbled to the ground, my only thought was ‘whoa, that was a big one.’ My coworkers and customers, many from out of state, freaked the hell out. As you write, everything other than people was immediately forgotten. We calmed the frantic and crying, getting everyone out and creating our own buddy system. Some of us hung out in Union Square with a growing crowd of people who just needed to be together (and drink). Some of us formed search parties, walking each other back to apartments to make sure they were livable. If they weren’t, others had already issued open invitations to sleep on their couches and floors. Those with working phones, passed them around so we could call family members and check in. You’re right, Pris. That’s the take away, the humanity, not the tragedy.

    • Prisakiss says:

      Amen, Seana!! 🙂

      Yet, gosh, what a crazy situation to live through. I remember images of the World Series– isn’t that the same earth quake you’re talking about?

      All I can say again is that I’d rather know a hurricane is coming, than be struck by the instantaneous shaking of the earth!

      Kudos to you for staying level-headed and helping those in need!


      • Seana Kelly says:

        Pris, that was the one. The earthquake hit right at the start of the ball game. The clock at the stadium was stuck at the moment the earthquake hit for years.

  12. Tracy P says:

    Wow – you’ve seen them all Pris. I’ve been pretty lucky and been in the right place at the right time to come out of some unscathed. We were in Florida when the F5 tornado hit Xenia, Ohio but I remember going to see my grandmother’s friend and seeing the utter, and sometimes freakish devastation. I remember the blizzard of ’78 when my dad was working in MI and my mom was home with 4 kids and feet of snow. We all got rationed one bottle of Pepsi but I don’t remember losing power.
    I was living in Charlotte, NC when tornadoes hit Winston-Salem, NC but we’d moved to Winston a few months later and just before Hurricane Hugo scored a hit on Charlotte. (Missed both of those.)
    When an ice storm took out power to most of Winston-Salem in ’95 or ’96 we only lost power for a few hours. I invited friends who didn’t have power to come stay with us (figured God wouldn’t let it go out again if we opened up our home.) My newish friend from Buffalo, NY came to stay a night because her daughter had an ear infection and they needed warmth and the hotels were booked up. My sweet hubby, shoveled the drive and walk, helped them with their luggage. I cooked a huge meal for them. It made quite an impression and she commented her neighbors back home in Buffalo didn’t have the same Southern Hospitality. They only stayed one night then got a hotel room – afraid to wear out their welcome. Turns out their condo was without power for over a week, pipes burst and they ended up living in a hotel for a month. We are still friends today and both remember getting through that disaster.

    • Prisakiss says:


      I love your thought that God wouldn’t cut your power since you’d opened your home to those in need. I’d think the same thing.

      And by the way, if you ever live near me, but decide to move… let me know. It might be a sign that a storm is on its way!! 😉 You have an uncanny knack for missing them.

      • Maribeth says:

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      • … Strano, credevo che per gli AntiYankee le distinzioni NeoCon e NeoDem, TeoCon e TeoDem, non fossero che specchietti per le allodole.Ora suppongo che in Italia Obama sarà “Veltronizzato” da Veltroni.… Che ne pensate ?by DavidRitvanarium

  13. You have some amazing pictures, Pris. As I’ve said to other Firebird friends, living in England we don’t really get the truly biblical storms that you get in the United States and Canada. Yes, we get high winds and bad flooding, and yes, they do a good job of taking and wrecking lives but the kind of winds that flatten whole towns, no. I was particularly caught by your comment about the way people step up and help in these situations. It’s wonderful that they do because it is the surge in human kindness that makes it possible to get through the random assaults of nature.

    Brilliant post, honey.

    • Prisakiss says:

      Aw, thanks Natalie! I appreciate your kind words.

      I just spent a week in London and while I didn’t experience any natural disasters, I did happen to be there when Wimbledon experienced its hottest day in tournament history! Folks kept asking if I’d brought the Florida heat and humidity with me. :-/

      As I started typing the post and recalling all these storms, the positivity of human kindness I’d experienced with each one really hit me.

      That human touch– a hug, a handshake, a helping hand– really is a powerful thing.

  14. Kay Hudson says:

    Wow, Pris, I think of you as a Florida gal, but you’ve been all over. I’ve always (so far, anyway) escaped real devastation, but back in the 60s, when my dad worked in advertising in Miami, he had clients who ran a motel in the Keys, and he went down to check on them after a storm. They were okay, but he said he passed a lot of places where all that was left standing was a bathroom wall and the toilet attached to it. As you say, the best part is always seeing people come together in the aftermath.

    • Prisakiss says:

      Kay, I think of myself as a Florida gal, too. 😉 Key West is where my heart is, if not the rest of me.

      Oh, the stories I could share of the trials and tribulations from hurricanes going through the Keys. Stories of perseverance and disappointment.

      But you’ve experienced quite a few hurricanes yourself. I was amazed by your blog post today, too!

  15. Caroline says:

    Sorry I didn’t get here yesterday, Pris, but better late than never!

    I hate admitting, I’ve always found natural disasters fascinating. Probably because I’ve been fortunate enough to not lose much of anything vital during one. I grew up in NYC where it took at least 12 inches of snow to close schools. We saw a few hurricanes pass through but they were exciting. It didn’t hurt that we were lived on a hill 200 feet above sea level, so if the storms got to be that bad, Noah needed to get his butt to Home Depot.

    Once I had my own home, my tenor changed a bit but not much. During Hurricane Irene, my neighbor down the block had a few too many and decided to go inner-tubing across all the front yards. We took on some water in the basement for that one and during Hurricane Sandy but once I figured out what was causing the problem, the basement’s been dry ever since. (Knock wood!) About the worst we had was that three-day snowstorm (one Saturday, one Monday) that collapsed the tool shed in the back yard. It’s been replaced with a sturdier model that we could live in if need be.

    I will say, last week we received tornado warnings in the area. That was frightening. Just me and the boys, with nowhere to go and nothing to do avoid whatever might come our way. I told the boys to unplug and get ready to head for the basement if the alert came back, but we were lucky; the storm passed. For that, I’m grateful.

    I’m also grateful you’re here to tell us your story of survival! 🙂

  16. Mom says:

    Pris, great blog! Besides sharing some of your experiences, I remember when as a young child in Puerto Rico my brother and I sneaked a pic through a window to watch awnings and all kinds of things flying through the air and hitting houses and parked vehicles! So frightening! I don’t know if you remember in Key West during a hurricane Sharlene invited us to go to her house after the hurricane since your dad was out of town. When the wind stopped blowing we all got in the car (you, Jackie, JD and I) and drove through empty streets until a police officer stopped us and told us we were in the eye of the storm and high winds could begin at any time! Luckily we were close to Sharlene’s house. We were all petrified but had a great time at Sharlene’s. Although this was very scary, hurricane Wilma left devastation to many of my co-workers that lived in trailers and had evacuated to Orlando and came back home to complete loss of their trailers and personal belongings. Like you mentioned in your blog, after the storm I experienced the most kind selfless acts by my neighbors, co-workers and most of the community coming together to help and offer shelter to the affected families! Great experience after devastation. We always say that God is good all the time! Great blog Pris! We are so very proud of you! Love you!

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