On August 29, 2005 my life was turned upside down. For four days we had been closely watching the progression of Hurricane Katrina. We had been through two hurricanes since living on the Gulf Coast but there was minimal damage. As Katrina came closer though, we began to realize that this was not anything like the hurricanes we had experienced before. The Friday before the hurricane hit, our local meteorologist said "folks, this is going to be bad". We debated whether or not we should leave on Saturday night, but by then we had begun to hear horror stories of highways being jammed and lines which went on for miles. We decided to stay and ride it out. We boarded up every window, stocked up on supplies and braced for the worse. We never imagined the worst would be so bad. At midnight on Sunday we lost power and the winds began to howl. At a little after 3am we heard a crash and discovered that a tornado had gone through our back yard. The next thing we knew, the winds took off our shingles and torrents of rain came into the house. We hung onto each other for dear life as we could see the bark of our trees being peeled like bananas. Over an hour later, the winds began to die down as did the rain. We went outside and could not believe our eyes. Our neighborhood was in ruins and so much was gone. We had no communication so we really did believe that nobody knew what had happened. It was two weeks before we had power or phones. It was over 100 degrees both inside and outside and we all longed for something as small as a cup of hot coffee or even a cold glass of water. At first we cried and then decided that if we were going to survive this we had to help ourselves. We went to each neighbor who was still in what little home they had left and all rummaged through our cabinets. We had nightly neighborhood meals together of canned everything made over a homemade grill. We even managed to bake a cake for our neighbor who turned 85. We lost so much but we gained so much more. Our neighborhood is like one extended family, who reaches out to each other when someone is in need. Our whole city came together as one as we are rebuilding each and everyday. I have never taken for granted again, that cup of hot coffee, warm bath or ice cold glass of water. Out of a tragedy came so many wonderful miracles and the bond of friendships we will share forever.