Hurricane season is upon those of us living along the Gulf Coast. We have had so many active seasons lately, it can get confusing as to which storm was when — especially because remedying the damage can take years and years to occur. And even once remedied, the trauma from suffering the catastrophic loss of a home, or major damage to your dwelling, can remain and show up in unexpected ways. Through it all, the compassionate Amazing Spaces teams are here to help.
Anticipation of a hurricane can sometimes be worse than the actual event. Wondering whether or not evacuation is needed, ensuring adequate supplies are purchased to keep your home safe, and preparing to hunker down are all drains on brain power. Add to that the stress of a major weather event, and you are looking at some serious brain fog. Here are some things to do before there is a system in the Atlantic to help ease this stress and help your body know you are prepped and ready.
We keep SO. MUCH. PAPER. We are so fearful of not having necessary paper trails, that we keep everything, which means that we are unable to locate those necessary ones because we can’t see the forest for the trees. Our teams can come in and help sort the papers into piles, identify which piles are most necessary, and help design a new system to keep these files organized for ease of use. We can take this up a level by using a fire-proof, water-proof box to store those documents of utmost importance: birth certificates, social security cards, immigration papers, marriage certificates, religious certificates (i.e. baptism), titles of ownership, insurance policies. Having this type of grab-and-go option for evacuation ensures you always have everything you need to converse with those necessary in the remediation of damage to your property after a storm.
Many of our team members are mothers, and one thing we all agree on is that pictures of our families are our treasures, and the loss of these images is often one of the most grieved items following natural disasters. Having ways to protect these items can help ease worry and provides a plan to enact during an evacuation. We have a few solutions. One is to find water-tight totes to move photos into to store during a storm. Another option, is to use a digital preservation service to have your photos digitized and stored in a compact storage device that can easily be added to your fire-proof, water-proof box, or thrown into a suitcase during an evacuation.
Sentimental keepsakes can be another grieved item, and are also a tricky storage conundrum. We have a few suggestions. First, you can store these items in water-tight totes for longevity, and keep them up on a high shelf to prevent flood waters from consuming them. Another option for especially kids’ artwork or special projects from school, is to take pictures of these items and have them printed in a photo book. Keeping track of these items in a book is much easier than each individual precious piece of paper.
After the Storm
The trauma of loss during a natural disaster is often discussed immediately following the weather event, but falls off the further away from the event time travels. In our experience, however, we have noted how these traumatic events impact our clients’ lives for decades after. When someone loses everything, they must take on so many donation to help piece their household back together in an economical way. This scarcity mindset sets in, and they tend to continue to accumulate items as a safety cushion. They may also associate loved ones with certain items because they donated them. We have gone into the homes of clients 10 years after a catastrophic loss due to a hurricane, and helped them edit out unnecessary or unloved items. Many of these clients feel guilt over getting rid of items, especially those donated to them, because they feel they are ungrateful for the donation. What we know, in the line of work we are in, is that you pass along your gratitude for the item by paying it forward to donate these items to other families who are now in need. Your abundance is used to bless others during their most difficult times, and in doing so our clients are freed from their clutter and their scarcity mindset. Moving into an abundance mindset is freeing and can help a client close the door on the trauma of losing it all. Our compassionate teams help our clients make this transition out of the past and into homes they will love into the future.
TIP OF THE MONTH
When looking to have your home hurricane ready, it is a good idea to break readiness into sections. Important Documents; Emergency Supplies; Backup Water and Food Storage; Backup Energy Sources; Outdoor Readiness. Working section by section can make this daunting task more manageable, and having them completed can keep your stress levels down.