In most cases, damage from a storm (or earthquake, etc.) is remote - it happens "somewhere else", to people we don't know. As it happens, Frances and Jeanne both came very close to Melbourne Beach, FL, where my parents live. They live over on the ocean side, across the causeway on a barrier island. They still don't have power - but my dad managed to find an internet cafe and sent me this:
That's a shot of what's left of the stairs to the beach. In the background is a partially buried (old) uprooted tree - when I was on that beach in June, that tree was much further back from the water - and there was a much bigger set of dunes. The dunes that protect the island have been chopped down to just about nothing; if they get unlucky enough to get hit again, you could see new inlets over to the Indian River. This set of storms got my attention.
Update: - my parents got off easy. Have a look at this CNN story for an example of how bad some people got hit.