Preparing for the Worst, Hoping for the Best

Photo by J. Ellis Photography

Photo by J. Ellis Photography

Photo by J. Ellis Photography

Photo by J. Ellis Photography

Hurricane season is here and Harvey and Irma are making it very well known.  The photo above was 2 Fall Seasons ago the first weekend of October and.....HURRICANE Joaquin made it's appearance to turn two outdoor ceremonies to indoor ceremonies.  Abby (as photographed above) was a champ and had a good sense of humor to survive the day. We did the best we could.  If you're a bride or a vendor faced with working in the midst of a Hurricane or storm.  Do what's best for everyone's safety and make the most of it.  They say rain is good on your wedding day so a hurricane has to be REALLY good, right?  Trying to find some humor amongst the sadness is key because the devastation that weekend 2 years ago was mild compared to what I'm seeing this year and it is surely breaking my heart.  

I think part of my over-preparedness comes from being a little girl scout. I sold(and ate) the cookies but mostly I wanted the badges.  I like to prepare for as much as I am able to and I also hate living in fear of the unknown.  As you can imagine, I do this as a Wedding Planner too.  I always prepare for the worst and hope for the best.  Today I am going to share my personal tips for preparing for an emergency/evacuation and I urge my friends and family and anyone I come in contact with to do these suggestions in advance to avoid panic and be confident when and if the time comes. Why? Well I basically put all my belongings in storage over a year and a half ago and realized you CAN live with VERY little and still be VERY happy, it has impacted my thought process on these issues greatly.  So based on that realization and the current situation many people are facing this month, here is my two cents.

  1. Make an emergency plan and educate your family on it. Sit down and say if X happens we are going to travel North to Aunt Susie's house and we will stay there until it's safe to come home.The less disruptive you can be to your life and your child's/family's life, the better.DON'T FORGET THE PETS.Seriously.Don't have pets if you don't or aren't willing to include them in your emergency plans. 
  2. Make a list of your ACTUAL valuable items and put them in a waterproof and fireproof safe.Take caution as to what you "value" in your life and home.In an emergency situation, it's truly yourself and your family, RIGHT?! Not the $300 leather bag you bought for your birthday or the collection of Christmas ornaments you've been collecting since you were old enough to have your own Christmas tree.Make a list of your necessary items or items of actual value that you'd need to protect or safeguard in the event of an emergency. If you can't carry it on your back, don't list it.Buy yourself a fireproof and waterproof safe and put it somewhere for the items that you need protected but can't take with you in the event you need to leave. 
  3. Every 3-6 months, take pictures of valuable items in your home and the inside and outside of your home and organize them in a folder on your smartphone.Delete the old ones when you take new ones. This helps insurance claims and reminds you of the items you may or may not need to replace. 
  4. This is a no brainer, prepare an emergency kit.Keep this in a safe place and DO NOT use the items in it.This is a secondary emergency kit for these emergency situations only.This also helps keep you from having to run to the store when everyone else you know is doing the same thing.You never know when Zombies might actually make an appearance.... I started my own list and decided to provide you with a more reputable source, The Red Cross.Click here to see their suggested items.
  5. Fill up your gas tanks, maybe even keep an extra gas can on hand in the event that there is an emergency since gas will run out or run low like it has in Texas.Remember that technologies are replaceable.Cars are replaceable.Boats and other motor vehicles are replaceable.Most items are replaceable.I can't say this enough. 

Long story short, be prepared so you don't panic as much ya'll.  There are an abundant of people in this world with good in their hearts.  There are so many resources and giving people that you WILL be okay.  Things WILL be okay.  I imagine these matters really change a person once they experience them and the more prepared you are, the better. I'm sure you agree.  I'll be standing with and praying for those being affected by these natural disasters, and maintaining preparedness for what hopefully won't ever come my way. 

XOXO

Jessica 

Jessica Lail

It's Your Day Wedding Coordinator, Harrisonburg, VA, USA