Haze is excited to be joining one of the best high school marching bands in New Orleans, but worried about getting in and staying in. Miranda wonders whether she'll ever make any real friends at a school where she doesn't even like any of the kids. Erik is stuck in a relationship with a girlfriend he's sick of, and doesn't know how to tell his parents that he doesn't want to play football anymore. Haze, Miranda, and Erik have never met. They go to different schools on opposite sides of town. But then Hurricane Katrina strikes, stranding them together and forcing them to rely on each other for sanity and survival. They swim, row, walk, run, and fight together, until--a week after Katrina passes--they can barely remember the lives they knew before.