Then she thought she'd caught a lucky break: a Lowe's store 30 miles away in Orlando had gotten a surprise shipment of generators.
This lady's father is on oxygen. She was next in line to purchase one when she saw the final unit given to the customer ahead of her.
Yet as she was standing in line, she watched as the last generator was sold to the customer in front of her.
"My father's on oxygen, and I'm anxious about this storm", she told WFTV.
He said he and his fellow employees felt helpless since they were out of generators.
Santiago expressed gratitude for the generator, but said he's just glad the initial generator "went to someone who really needed it".
"She need the generator", Santiago, whose first language isn't English, told the station "It's OK".
Had there been one more generator, it would have been hers. The simple act brought Brekke to tears again, but for a different reason.
Brekke, crying, emotionally hugged Santiago, telling him he was her "angel" while he kept assuring her everything was going to be OK.
"I'm very overwhelmed by that man", Brekke said with tears in her eyes.
"I wanted to make sure (Santiago) received it", said Melissa Rodriguez.
It's a gesture Brekke won't soon forget as neighbor help each other at a crucial time.