By Caitlin Shockey
We’re sure it’s just a fluke that wedding season happens to coincide with hurricane season. Ensuring that everything is perfect for the big day requires a great deal of strategy, coordination, and patience. As you gather your nearest and dearest to celebrate what should be a joyful time, Mother Nature, clashing personalities, and unexpected situations could easily thwart even the best laid plans. Being in the throes of wedding season, many of us here at CDC realized that planning for a wedding isn’t that much different from planning for a disaster. Just remember: Get a Kit, Make a Plan, and Be Informed.
Build a Kit.
You’ve put in a lot of work leading up to this event, so the idea of a back-up emergency kit shouldn’t be too far-fetched. The bridal kit should include extra safety pins, makeup for touchups, maybe a few sedatives. It also wouldn’t hurt to have the essentials from a home emergency kit or “go-bag” by your side. You never know when you might need to bandage up a clumsy flower girl, revive a passed out reception guest, or even evacuate. A first aid kit, bottles of water, snacks, medications, extra cash, and important documents are just a few of the more practical items to have handy. If you’re the bride, add this to the list of things you need your maid of honor or someone in the bridal party to put together for you. For a more extensive emergency kit list, visit FEMA’s Ready.gov
Make a Plan.
Make sure you have a plan for contacting guests in the event of an emergency, and keep a list of emergency telephone numbers on hand. A little rain on your wedding day is one thing; a severe weather situation is another. Extra umbrellas for the wedding party are helpful just in case the weather changes on you.
It may not be a bad idea to have a “runner” to take care of errands and be the go to person for questions. With out-of-town guests and the whirlwind pace of the big day, a designated point person for emergencies will alleviate panic and frustration if an emergency comes up. Make sure all of the guests are aware of who they can call if there is an emergency. It’s actually a good idea to have emergency contacts in any situation.
If a tornado warning rips through the area, would you know what to do? 200 guests are not going to be able to crowd into the one windowless bathroom. Ask the reception venue for their emergency plans and evacuation routes.
Emergencies could range from a tear in your wedding gown, tornado, health issues, monster-in-laws, or bridezilla on the loose. It’s important to be aware of the possible issues and to do your homework. Just like you know the risks of putting feuding family members in one room, you should also know to check the weather report.
You never know when Bridezilla might pop up. When dealing with an emotional bride, try to remember your loved one is probably stressed out and will soon return to her caring self after the wedding is over. Be supportive and have some bottled water from your emergency kit and a box of chocolate on hand.
When you know what to do, you’ll be ready for anything. Be prepared and have one less thing to worry about on your big day. Weddings tend to bring out the best and worst in people; we hope this wedding survival guide helps keep things manageable. For more preparedness tips, follow @cdcready
7/12/12 updated: All joking aside, stay healthy and be prepared.http://www.cdc.gov/family/wedding/ http://emergency.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/ http://emergency.cdc.gov/disasters/