Hurricane delivers a call to action

Michael Williams, 70, looks for help Thursday from passing motorists for food and water as downed trees prevent him from driving out of his damaged home in the aftermath of hurricane Michael with his family in Springfield, Fla. David Goldman | AP

You can always rebuild a home.

Those words are certainly true and certainly apply as a reasonable reaction to the devastation we’re seeing from Hurricane Michael.

They’re just houses. Just wood. Or brick. They mean nothing in the big scheme of things.

“I wasn’t going anywhere,” Leroy Wilson, 74, tells the Washington Post.

“We live on the land where our ancestors were once chattel,” said his son, Lamar. “That’s why they won’t leave. They elected to stay largely because of that lineage.”

More than just wood. Or brick.

The stories from the region are unbelievable, and reveal “the long view” that we so often lack.

The Wilsons, on the other hand, knew they were going nowhere. Cherise Wilson, Lamar’s sister, lost her home, but said she had money to stay in a hotel if she needed to for the time being.

“There are some worse off than us,” she said, “We are blessed.”

But she still wondered where the power company was, and who they were supposed to ask for help, even as her brother calling in long distance, speculated that a predominantly white development about a mile from his parents house would get power first.

Their mother, Annell, chose to take the long view.

“We can wait a minute,” she said. “It just happened yesterday.”

It’s a time for compassion and help. In the Post’s comments section, the debate is about politics.

We should be better. There are people who need help.