RIVERVIEW, Fla. — Twin sisters Emily and Kim Pesquera are 15 years old, but they already know a lot about hurricanes.
They were living in New Jersey in 2012 when Hurricane Sandy devastated their neighborhood.
“We had no water, no power for two and a half weeks,” says Emily. “The basement was gone.”
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When they moved to Riverview a few years ago, in the heart of hurricane-prone Florida, their mission was clear: help people in need by making hurricane survival kits, which include water, snacks, baby wipes, flashlights and more.
The girls call them “TIPS Kits”: Twins Inspiring Preparedness (because of) Sandy.
“It gets so chaotic,” Emily said of life during storms. “People need to be prepared.”
After Hurricane Irma left Riverview’s Pleasant Living retirement village without electricity and water, scared seniors took to Facebook to ask for help.
Emily and Kim answered that call with 100 Tips Kits for the seniors, many of whom were struggling without water.
The twins took the preventative route this year by dropping off 100 hurricane prep kits before any storms hit.
They also donated kits to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office for distribution.
The kits contain items that are both donated (including extreme generosity from a local golf club) and materials bought by the Pesquera family.