Hurricane Irma: Family and Society Can Pull Together - Kaplan Law

I want to thank our clients and my colleagues for their understanding and support as I took some time off recently to be with my mom in Hollywood, Florida during that community’s very close encounter with Hurricane Irma.

People taking shelter in a high school cafeteria

I flew down to Florida thinking I’d fly in and get her in a wheelchair with her oxygen tank and take her to hurricane-free Philadelphia where my brother and sister in law could take care of her. Once I got there, however, it was obvious that she and I were going to have to hunker down and find electricity to weather the storm there. No flights out were available.

Mom and I took shelter in a high school. There we had back-up generators so that mom’s oxygen could keep flowing, and we had solid walls and roof to protect us. We’re indebted to the county and state for the good planning they did to ensure the shelter was available to people with disabilities like my mom, and to the wonderful folks who were there helping to make sure we had what we needed to be safe and relatively comfortable.

In family law work we see often how family structures can pull apart, especially in divorce situations. So many in my family, including my divorced family, assumed roles to make sure my mother was safe and secure. It’s heartening to see how society generally can pull together, the way the folks in Florida did during Irma, and the way my colleagues did back here at the office to ensure that clients’ needs were met in my absence.


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