Kendra Andreska is the Development Intern and Morgan Jordan is a Production Assistant Intern for the 2017-2018 season.
Life’s a stage and sometimes you fall off; that’s how we felt while having to evacuate for Hurricane Irma with only having worked four days at our first jobs straight out of college.
When we first heard about the news of Irma’s path, we were worried but tried to remain positive like everyone else in the state of Florida. As the days went on, the pressure to take serious action grew. Late Tuesday afternoon we were informed by our supervisors that we should evacuate the next day. Neither of us have had to evacuate for a hurricane so Tuesday night was a bit of a blur trying to pack what we could and do the almost impossible task of finding water and gas. Not knowing how bad the storm was going to be, we packed as much into our little cars as possible in the few short hours we had to plan.
Morgan’s plan was to travel to Alabama and stay with her family. Kendra’s home is 24 hours away in Wisconsin and since we weren’t sure how quickly we would have to be back, she didn’t want to spend almost three days driving all the way there to then immediately come back. So, it was decided Kendra was coming to Alabama with Morgan for a little southern vacation. On Wednesday morning, all staff met at different locations to prep our spaces as well as we could with the time and supplies we had. After the spaces were secure, Kendra and Morgan stopped at Dunkin Donuts for some caffeinated fuel and hit the road for what we knew would be a long day of driving. The highway was out of control, as well as any back road you could take. What was supposed to be an eight and half hour drive, quickly but yet somehow still slowly, turned into an almost fourteen-hour drive. However, we made it there safely and happy knowing we wouldn’t have to try to ride out the storm in our apartments.
Although we thought we would only be in Alabama for a short time and ended up staying for almost two weeks, we made the most of it. We went to a football game, hung out with some of Morgan’s friends, and spent some quality time with her family and dogs. We were ecstatic when we received the news that our apartments were still secure and the only problems with the Norris Center and Admin Offices were water damage. Otherwise, we were clear to come back to work! After a load of laundry and raiding Morgan’s mom’s pantry for food, we returned to Naples! By the time we returned, Naples was slowly getting back to normal and the community’s spirits were high and ready to help anyone who needed it. We are so thankful we work with such wonderful people and at such a great company who gave us plenty of time to evacuate and were understanding about travel time when returning. Their only worry during this whole adventure was the safety and well-being of the staff and we’re forever grateful. We are so happy to be back in the new place we have already started to call home.