Extreme weather events have been ramping up in frequency and severity due to climate change. The unstable weather caused by warming temperatures leaves many communities reeling from one disaster after another. While we can’t predict when the next storm will strike, we can count on each other to make it through.
After hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, and any other natural disaster, you’ll always find people coming together to help. If you’re worried about climate change, perhaps you can find reassurance in humanity’s resolve and empathy during trying times. After all, we’re one big, human family, and we should remember what unites rather than divides us.
Instagrammers Share Stories of People Helping in Aftermath of Extreme Weather
We hope these stories provided by Instagrammers can bring you hope in times of great change. There’s nothing we can’t overcome if we simply open our arms and hearts in times of need.
1 – Hurricane Harvey devastated Southeast Texas, but it couldn’t destroy the Texas spirit of giving.
Many people used their own boats or jet skis to rescue others from rising floodwaters and sea levels. Houston, shown in the first photo, was hit particularly hard, with some places reporting 50+ inches of rain in a matter of days. Thousands of homes and cars were destroyed in the extreme weather, but many selfless citizens risked their lives to save others. People also donated whatever supplies they could in a time of need.
Hurricane Harvey was the worst flood event in U.S. history and caused over $125 billion in damage. More than 100 people died from the storm, making it one of the deadliest in Texas in a century.
While some communities lost everything, it didn’t stop people from extending a helping hand. For instance, the grocery chain HEB traveled to south Texas where Harvey made landfall to deliver groceries. Restaurants cooked meals for citizens who couldn’t access stores due to flooding. Houston’s Muslim community opened its doors to thousands of people who’d lost their homes and needed a temporary shelter.
2 – Recent tornadoes in Kentucky took dozens of lives and upended communities, but the heart of humanity lit a candle in the darkness.
Rare December tornadoes tore through the cities of Mayfield, Dawson Springs, Bremen and Princeton. A violent EF4 tornado tracked 165 miles, forming in northern Tennessee before it finally dissipated in central Kentucky near Falls of Rough.
Making a dangerous situation even worse, the tornado outbreak happened during nighttime hours. The night sky and heavy rain hid the tornadoes from view, so many people never saw them coming. Some worked shifts at the local Amazon warehouse and Mayfield candle factory, both of which were leveled by the tornadoes.
In wake of the catastrophic damage and unseasonable extreme weather, organizations all over the country mobilized to help. Mercy Chefs, a non-profit that serves warm meals to citizens following natural disasters, traveled from Virginia to serve Kentuckians. They cooked hot food for victims, first responders and volunteers, providing comfort in a dark time for the state.
Other nonprofits and community members helped with cleanup efforts and collected funds for those who lost everything. Some even sifted through rubble to save others trapped beneath piles of wood and debris. One of the most heartwarming stories from the tragedy came from the Hopkins Country Sheriff’s Office. In Dawson Springs, police officers rescued two babies from a debris pile; one child suffered a head injury, both both survived and will make a full recovery.
3 – The 2021 Snowpocalypse knocked out power for millions of Texans. But Southern hospitality got them through the harrowing extreme weather event.
When historic Winter Storm Uri blasted Texas with cold temperatures, many weren’t prepared. Since Texas usually doesn’t get below freezing in February, it came as a shock to most. The extreme weather left millions in darkness when it froze the main power grid, and many had to use firewood or blankets to survive.
Some people even burned backyard fences or furniture to make it through the cold, bitter nights. While they struggled to survive, this didn’t keep them from checking on their neighbors. One woman who was a nurse decided to check on her elderly neighbors after power had been out for 24 hours. She brought them food, refilled their toilets with melted snow, and checked their pulse each morning.
Another Texas couple even let their delivery driver, Chelsea, stay the night with them as the roads became impassable. They cooked her a steak dinner for Valentine’s Day, and Chelsea returned the kind gesture by baking them a coconut cake. After a few days, they had become family, all because of the kindness of strangers.
4 – A car accident left drivers stranded on I-95 in Virginia for over a day. Luckily, some of those drivers stepped up and helped however they could.
Many drivers ran out of gas since they had to run their cars constantly to stay warm. Some had no food or water, and it quickly turned into a dire situation. However, one truck driver dipped into his food supplies so people trapped on the interstate could have a meal. Another woman begged an EMS driver to let her kids stay the night in an ambulance since she’d run out of gas. Without a second thought, the paramedics allowed her and her children to take refuge in their ambulance to stay warm.
In extreme weather events, it’s the kindness of strangers that makes difficult times a little more bearable. Sometimes, those strangers even end up becoming family. It’s heartwarming stories like these that help restore our faith in humanity.
Final Thoughts on Stories of People Helping Others in Extreme Weather
No one wants disaster to strike, but it seems that extreme weather events have become the new normal. However, when it’s a life or death situation, it’s comforting that thousands of strangers usually come to the aid of others. Sometimes, they put their own lives in danger to rescue others, proving that humans act selflessly when it truly counts. With everything going on in the world, we hope these stories remind you that good always trumps evil in the end.