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Life After Hurricane Irma

Life After Hurricane Irma Orlando Wedding Photographer | Orlando Wedding Videographer | Unashamed Imaging

Being that I'm originally from Staten Island, New York hurricane's aren't a normal thing for me. In fact, I sort of have a love-hate relationship with the news. I don't like to hear negativity all day and a lot of times that's what's airing on the news. Natural disasters are completely out of our control, and with Hurricane Irma I didn't expect what happened at all. I have to give credit to Governor Rick Scott and his team for letting us know ahead of time; it gave people more time to prepare in advance. Especially those with certain dietary restrictions such as myself. I remember being a nurse and being on the Hurricane team when I worked in the emergency room. If they called us in I was prepared to go! I wanted to help so bad. This year I actually felt bad for first responders because the hurricane was so bad. Seeing how they all came together and didn't what they had to do to help everyone in need was incredible. I was truly impressed. I still keep my stethoscope in my car should I ever need it; the nursing and the empathic heart of a nurse hasn't left me.

How I Prepared: I purchased not perishable food from Publix, Gatorade to drink, bread, snacks and some other food items that I could eat should we not have any access to food. I also purchased a flashlight and some items for Phenix. If you know her well enough you know that she loves to eat just as much as I do -lol. I also called my immediate family and spoke with my Mother about her plans for the hurricane. We decided to stay together instead of in our private homes. I knew this meant I had to buckle-down and finish up any projects that I had to complete. Thankfully I was all caught up and most of my to-do list was business and administrative; that still matters. This was all done before the storm hit. Would you believe that Orlando was already out of water. I was baffled by this. I even discussed this with the cashier at Publix and she was worried because she couldn't get any water and she worked there. I went to different locations and still no water. People were buying in abundance and it was just too late.

I packed Phenix and my home. That meant I had to break down everything that was subject to damage; it took some time - but it was worth it. I placed important documents in my dishwasher. At first I was like "heck no" after seeing this suggestion on the internet, but I did it anyway and when I returned home they were safe and sound. Off to my parents house I went and I stayed with them for the next four days.

My mother and I looked at what we purchased and started to discuss what we would do. My mother was a super-hero. She went in the kitchen and stared to prepare food items that she knew we could all eat should we loose power or food that wouldn't necessarily go bad if it was not refrigerated. She was the hero of Hurricane Irma in the Collins family for sure! I watched her in awe and thought - if I was married I hope I can be as diligent as she was in making sure that my family was cared for and prepared. She really blew me away.

During the Hurricane:

The rain started on Friday. It remained off and on until Sunday, but Sunday was when the hurricane really hit. I remember not being able to really sleep. Or at least I slept with one eye open. The rattling of trees and the wind from the outside was scary. We lost power Sunday night at 9:58 p.m. I won't forget that moment. We were all talking, the TV was playing, lights flickered earlier in the day, but power never went out. I remember telling my mother that I wanted to watch a movie so I wouldn't focus on the weather. Then bam, power went out. That was it. We were without power for four days and it got hot. The last day I blacked out in the quiet room because it was so hot. I eventually drank Gatorade and water until I was restored. I'm sure stress and dehydration were to blame, but regardless it was no fun.

By Day 4 we were still without power and family kept checking in on us to ask how we were doing. Then I looked up in the sky and saw this

A few of my neighbors were walking around at the time and saw it as well. Then someone said, "That's a good sign. That's our reminder." I smiled and agreed. This was really a peaceful sign that everything was going to be okay. How I Helped Couples During Hurricane Irma:

I went on Facebook-Live. My hair was a mess after helping my mother tidy up her home, but I didn't care. I really wanted to help couple's out there (even if they weren't couple's of Unashamed Imaging). My video "Getting Married This Weekend. Here to Help" served it's purpose. I felt great and I was glad to help couple's everywhere that watched it.

How I Helped Families During Hurricane Irma: I went on Facebook-Live and shared this strategy to help people keep in touch with their families. We implemented it for our family as well and it helped. Since we have family back in New York and Seattle should our phones die then can listen to our voicemails with the latest update. I went LIVE and shared this video If You Lose Power - Do This.

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