Stories

Hurricane Irma’s Heroes

September 28, 2017 / Florida

In the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, millions of Floridians continue to rebuild and recover. But even before the storm began, Uber driver-partners worked tirelessly to provide rides to those who needed them most—going above and beyond to help strangers in need.

Before, during, and after Irma, we heard from hundreds of driver-partners about their experiences in the storm, and to say they were incredible is selling them short. Here are a few of those Hurricane Hero stories:

Marsha

An elderly woman, Oma, was alone in her Sarasota home with her dog as Hurricane Irma approached Florida, unable to pack up her car by herself and unsure which shelters were open. So she asked her younger relative Richard to get her an Uber to help her to safety.

Driver-partner Marsha got the request. Before picking Oma up, Marsha drove to multiple nearby shelters to see which were still open and took pets. When she got to Oma’s home she helped her load up her car full of belongings, drove her to Brookside Middle School, and helped her unpack and check in.

But the story doesn’t end there. Marsha drove back to the shelter later that night to drop off a mattress and blankets for Oma. Over the next few days, Marsha checked in on Oma and brought her food and water – and when the storm had subsided, Marsha came back to pick up Oma and all her belongings from the shelter, and took her safely home.

Oma now calls Marsha her Uber Angel.

Antoine

Tony had racked his brain to figure out a way to get his 67-year-old mother and 85-year-old grandfather out of their home five blocks from the ocean in West Palm Beach. He lives 600 miles away in Atlanta. He checked flights but found nothing, and rental cars were sold out, so he settled on a modern method of evacuation.

He requested an Uber to pick them up, and Antoine arrived, driving them 170 miles to Orlando where Tony met them to take them to Atlanta. He gave the driver a nice tip.

“I have peace of mind now,” said Tony’s mother, Celine Jean, after evacuating safely. “I’ve been worried sick for days.”

Rudy

In the days before Hurricane Irma made landfall, Cristen and her fiancée managed to secure one of the last flights out of Orlando. But on their way to the airport, their rental car broke down, leaving them on the side of the highway in the middle of the night. Enter Uber partner Rudy, who agreed to drive them more than 140 miles to Orlando overnight (after calling his wife to let her know he’d be home late).

If it wasn’t for Rudy,” Cristen said, “I don’t know how long we would have been on the side of the highway, or if we would have made that flight.”

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The efforts of driver-partners didn’t go unnoticed. Hundreds of riders reached out to us about their drivers who went above and beyond to help them get to safety. Below are just a few acknowledgments of all-star drivers:

“Thank you for saving me from Hurricane Irma. You made me feel secure when I was extremely anxious, and did everything in your power to help me, even driving eight hours in the middle of the night to get me to a family member safely. I am forever grateful for your service.” —Bailey

“This man is an angel. He drove my disabled aunt and her emotional support animal for hours into a hurricane after the quick initial trip to the train was canceled due to the train closures.” —Melissa

“Gregory is an absolute saint. He drove my aunt to three shelters as Hurricane Irma was coming toward Florida. My family is spread throughout the country, [was] worried about her, and Gregory helped us in a time of need. We are so grateful.” —MD

“You meet the best of people at the worst of times, and this was one of those times. Thanks, William, for getting Reilly and me to our safe place for the hurricane!!” —Angie