What I Learned from Irma

I've lived and worked in Southwest Florida since August of 1996. So I've been through every hurricane that's passed over Florida since then - including Charlie and Wilma, which were particularly devastating to the Gulf coast. So you'd think I would have been prepared for Irma, but it turns out I wasn't. Here's what Irma's taught me:

1. Know your priorities.

2. Have at least 3 solid plans for emergencies.

3. Be prepared to implement each plan.

Point #3 is the one that I fell down on, because I didn't believe I'd need to use my OMG Plan C. In talking with neighbors and friends, it turns out I'm not alone. Not having the OMG plan ready to implement resulted in additional stress and placed my family and most of the people I know in additional danger. All because we didn't believe the unthinkable could happen. 

So, while I can't tell you specially what to do for your unique situation, I have a few general suggestions:

1. Gather every emergency supply you can think of, meaning items that relate to survival and items that will help comfort you in a time of distress.

2. Make sure these items are portable.

3. Store them in one spot, in easy to grab waterproof containers that are clearly labelled.

4. Include copies of insurance policies, other important papers and a list of important phone numbers (because your cell phone might not be working).

Also include a map of your state. I know we all use our phones or the GPS in our vehicles, just humor me.

5. Make sure that you can easily access your emergency supplies in the dark, and alone, and make sure they will fit in your vehicle.

6. As soon as you realize danger in possible, withdraw as much cash as you can. The minute you start to get the feeling that you might need to implement your OMG plan, just do it. Don't wait. 

I hope that you will never need to implement your OMG plan, but I'll feel better knowing that you have one.

Nancy