We were used to getting brushed by hurricanes. We were used to them turning at the last minute and missing us. I felt completely safe in New Orleans when Katrina was coming ashore. I worked driving the cab even when Katrina started hitting.....got home with a quarter tank of gas. When it started in full force, I sat in my den. I knew we were screwed then, but did not realize how bad it was going to be. I sat, drinking a fifth of rum as Katrina peeled the entire back wall of the house off....one of the den walls, board by board. There was nowhere to run. It was too late. When it ended, I was sitting in the den looking out into my back yard.
The next morning when I left the house, it looked like something out of a post-apocalyptic video game. Wading through the water that came that day left my body covered in sores. I stayed there for 4 days until I was able to get out....and didn't get a full meal until I left. We saw Red Cross trucks drive by, but they never stopped. The same with police and military vehicles. I decided the options were a. starve b. leave.
Now, I live in another state. I was renting in New Orleans. I own a 3 bedroom house now. I lost just about everything in Katrina. That storm has forever divided my life into pre-Katrina and post-Katrina. But, I'm in a much better place now than I was before, simply because I had to start again from scratch and could not rest on my laurels.