1. What it's like to go back in time
Unless you've been camping somewhere deep in the wilderness, if you live in a big city, it is never quiet. There are sirens and music blasting at all hours of the day, there are construction crews drilling away, and cars whizzing by literally all the time. After a storm hits it's both eerily quiet and eerily dark. It can be completely unnerving. With no power on and lack of fuel, the sounds that you didn't even know you were used to become really noticeable in their absence.
2. You learn to love BBQ
No power means for some, no stove/no oven/no microwave. Some people are lucky to get their power turned on within a few days or to have generators, but some may have to go a month or even a month plus without power especially if your neighborhood was devastated. That means, you have to use camp stoves or grills to cook food/boil water. Even if friends down the street have power, that means if you want a hot meal, you've still got to go down there 2-3 times a day to use their power unless you can manage to stay with them until yours is turned on.
3. You learn who your real friends are
Thankfully most friends and family are decent people who if not dealing with their own hurricane aftermath, will come by and lend you a hand, but some...you would think after all you'd done for them, the least they could do is offer you some type of help, or let you stay with them, or at least help you with a little money, even if it's a loan, but no. Some people turn out to be true a-holes and pretend like they don't hear you calling or disappear when you ask for even the smallest hurricane related favor.
4. Never doesn't exist
You never thought you'd be rescuing a manatee on a Monday morning, you never thought you would ever be choppered out of anyplace, let alone your own home/apartment, you never thought you'd see the oceans/rivers/bay retreat, you never thought you'd see coffins resurrected, you never thought that store would ever be closed for anything, you never thought you'd see main street full of water, you never thought you'd have to wait in line for 4 hours for the one gas station/grocery store that's open, you never thought it would happen to you...yeah, well, never say never.
5. You learn how much you really miss work/school
We are creatures of habit and even if we aren't a fan of work/school, they are part of our daily routines. Working gives us money and school gets us one step closer to potentially making money in the long term. When those things are taken away without your control, you miss them. You miss seeing your co-workers/class mates, that annoying teacher, enjoying your lunch break, even simply getting dressed to go do your job/attend school. This is never more true than when you have no power and everything is shut down, and you gave nothing to do but just sit around and wait.
6. You miss simplicity and convenience
Everything becomes super complicated after a disaster like a hurricane has occurred. You can't just hop on the freeway and drive to see your friends because there isn't any gas, and the freeways and roads are clogged with trash and debris, or have been destroyed. You can't just make a grocery store run or drop off the dry cleaning, because the stores may be closed due to damage or lack of actual employees available to work there. You can't just do some laundry, you have to wash it by hand and hang dry until the power comes on.
7. Government and charities are useful
There are people who claim the government should be done away with and that communities and towns and cities should essentially just run themselves...UNTIL...that is something like a hurricane/forest fire/terrorism/earthquake, etc., happens and they are the absolute first ones in lines at the red cross, or with FEMA, or relying on emergency management, asking for help. There are just some things that governments are useful at doing and with helping with and disasters are one of them. People slam the Red Cross all the time saying they just take donations and don't help, but what other organization can you name off the top of your head that you consistently see on the ground helping citizens faster than and bigger than the Red Cross? Trust, these groups are in no way perfect or always convenient or efficient, but if you solely had to rely on that dude from city hall to do everything that needed to be done after a hurricane and to help all the people who needed it, I think you'd be pissed. At least with local and federal persons working together, one can pick up where the other leaves off.
8. You learn the joy and pain of forced togetherness
Nothing pushes you together or apart like living through a disaster. If, for example, before the storm, you and your significant other weren't a strong unit and had a lot of issues, a disaster like a hurricane can break you. If you were a strong unit before, it makes you that much stronger. You learn what your family/friends are truly capable of--some doing heroic feats, some being strong for others, some helping 24/7 to get things back on track. You spend a lot of time with people who before the storm you might have barely seen coming through the door at night from school/work. It can bring you closer together as a family and grow your appreciation for the time you now have to actively spend together without a cell phone, tv, or the internet on to distract everyone. You learn who your neighbors are sometimes too, because when everything is running smooth, they stay in their house, you stay in yours, but in times of trouble especially with no a/c running, you're outside more and running into and talking to people you'd never otherwise have before.