By Oscar DiVeroli, EO South Florida
Just two days before Hurricane Irma made landfall in the Florida Keys, the Directors’ Forum cancelled our 19th annual retreat to the greater Boston region. Most of our Forum evacuated the South Florida area in advance of widespread power outages, localized flooding and scattered storm debris. Several weeks later, the Directors’ Forum unanimously decided to schedule our make-up retreat in the Florida Keys, which sustained considerable damage, as a sign of community support.
The Florida Keys is a string of islands connected by the 120-mile Overseas Highway. Ten weeks after the hurricane, while driving down to our retreat venue just three hours south of us, we observed mountains of hurricane debris alongside the roadway. Unlike the debris at home, which was primarily landscaping, this debris included personal possessions, pieces and parts of homes and roofs, and boats. Needless to say, pockets of the Florida Keys were devastated, leaving some residents homeless, but not helpless.