Faith over fear: Woman survives two natural disasters

Imagine surviving not one, but two natural disasters.
“It brings back memories,” Shalare Powell said. “A lot of bad memories, but it had an awesome outcome.”

Powell lost all her worldly possessions in 2005 during Hurricane Katrina. After that devastation, she retreated to Tuscaloosa in a bid to start over. But on April 27, 2011, Powell’s new home was one of hundreds decimated in an EF4 tornado.
“Panic set in,” Powell said. “Fear not knowing if I was going to make it again through another natural disaster. But the good Lord kept me. You can replace material things, but you can’t replace your life. I lost everything twice, but the good Lord spared me.”
Thinking back to that deadly day brings up horrifying memories, Powell said, but it also re-enforces her ever-present faith.
“First I got into the bathtub,” Powell said. “Then I felt debris falling on me. I felt something, I know it was the Lord telling me to get out of the bathtub, so I stepped into my closet and the wind pushed the door shut behind me and everything fell on me. I don’t remember too much more after that. I remember praying. A neighbor pulled me out, saying he was trying to get his family to safety and heard someone praying saying they didn’t want to die. And he saved me.”
Powell said she hopes her story inspires others to keep the faith and remain positive of their purpose.
“Keep your faith in God,” she said. “I kept my faith strong in the Lord and he kept me. Just keep your faith strong in the Lord and stay grounded in your faith and good things will happen.”
Powell is proof of just that. In 2013, she helped build her own home through Habitat for Humanity.
“It was amazing,” Powell said. “Going from living in an apartment to being a homeowner. You wake up in the morning and it’s your house. With habitat you get to build it, so it is not like you just went out and bought it, you built your home, so that was an amazing feeling.”
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