By John Ployer
Hurricane Dorian (Photo credits: NASA Worldview, Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS))
In the aftermath of the worst storm to hit PEI in recent history, I expected a pretty depressing atmosphere to hit our community. Many of us are still without power, trees and other bits of property remain trashed, and most people seem to be pretty inconvenienced. PEI looks a little roughed up to say the least.
While the whole thing could have dampened our spirits, but that wasn’t what I saw.
What I saw was a community that came together, opened its doors, and took Hurricane Dorian with humility and humour.
I believe that lessons can be taken from events like these, and I think the lesson that can be learned from Hurricane Dorian is that PEI has a wonderful culture and community, all of which was on display this past week.
In the days before and after the hurricane slammed through out province, I saw an immense amount of cooperation, generosity and fellowship from our communities. Businesses, community groups, and individuals were all instrumental in helping others prepare and clean up after the hurricane.
One of the great features of our island community is our overwhelming support for our own in time of need.
Rather than the “misery loves company” approach. I saw a community that decided to find comedy in our inconvenience. During the whole ordeal the memes were flying in all directions, mostly mocking the way we as a society handle hurricanes. A common feature of islanders is that we never take ourselves too seriously, and I was glad to see we didn’t allow ourselves to wallow in self-pity for long.
It’s a shame that it usually takes bad circumstances to make people realise how much we really need each other.
This brings me to another aspect of Island culture; our welcoming attitude. The number of people who opened their homes to others in the aftermath of the storm, coffee and cell-phone chargers in hand, was astonishing.
For the worst-hit I’m sure we will be receiving lots of emotional and financial support in the near future. If any benefit concerts or other forms of donations come up I really encourage you to contribute.
Finally, I’m brought to one of the most important traits we share post-Dorian: gratitude. Even before the storm hit Facebook a light up with thanks and praise for the fine people at Maritime Electric and government clean up crews that worked 24 hours a day most of this week. Though not usually in the forefront of people’s minds, post-Dorian islanders were really appreciating those who work so hard to maintain the services we depend on.
Some of us may not have even gotten power back by the time this has been published, a testament to just how strong Hurricane Dorian really was. We all may have been pretty peeved at the time, but looking back now you can see the unprecedented support islanders received from each other.
Personally I hope this experience has reminded us just how strong our community is, and try to keep up the positive energy for as long as possible.