FLORIDA, oh Florida. You are a unique-kind-of-state. I have a special place in my heart for Florida. So much so that we created a Florida collection highlighting some of our favorite flavors of this vibrant state. We have 'Keys in the Coconut' for the many trips I took to the Keys; it encapsulates everything there is to love about the keys - warm waters, relaxed beach life, key limes, and coconuts. We also have 'Doses + Mimosas' which is kind of a nod to the South Beach lifestyle (uppers and downers anyone?). This one smells like oranges and fancy perfume/cologne. Finally, we have 'Little Havana' which is a little neighborhood in Miami. This scent is inspired by the large Cuban-American population in south Florida and smells like the beach, the warm sun, sand, tropicana sunscreen, and tropical fruits. There is a lot to love about Florida...and, consequently, there is a lot to despise. Hurricanes are one of them.
40% of the proceeds from our Florida collection of candles will go to the Red Cross Hurricane Relief effort to help those effected by Irma. If you'd like to donate directly, please go here.
When Irma ripped through my home state of Florida this week, I watched from afar, glued to my television. With many family members still in Florida, I was a bit of a mess watching as Irma wrecked havoc on it. I could feel it in my bones. I wanted to be there; to weather the storm with them. But, at the same time, it was the last place that I wanted to be. I remember all too well weathering storms such as Andrew and Ivan. During hurricane Andrew a large tree ripped through the ceiling of my childhood bedroom where I was sleeping. It was my birthday and I remember thinking, "well, happy birthday to me."
Unfortunately, storms this size are only going to increase due to climate change. Therefore, it's important to be prepared. Here are a few tips to keep you safe and connected during a tropical storm or hurricane:
Before the storm:
- Prepare Your Home: do this in advance of hurricane season. Trim trees, secure gutters etc, retrofit your home, purchase a generator, fill up plastic storage bags and freeze these upright (this will help your freezer stay cold longer in case of loss of power and will make for drinking water if needed), fill up your washing machine with ice, fill up your bathtub with water (for flushing toilets, cleaning dishes, and purified to use as drinking water), put up shutters and/or board your windows, if there are pictures or other small items you'd like to keep safe, try storing them in plastic bags and placing them inside your dishwasher, and consider building a FEMA safe room or ICC 500 storm shelter.
- Get supplies (and keep an emergency preparedness kit) in advance of the impending storm season as supplies can be in short supply. You should plan on being without power for 2-4 weeks and make sure you have enough supplies for everyone in your family (including pets). Things such as water (1 gallon of water per person/per day), Lifestraw water filter, food that will keep (canned foods with a manual can opener are essential....I kid you not, my brother turned on the generator to open a can of tuna when he couldn't find his manual opener during Irma), utensils, medications (2 weeks supply or more), other important medical supplies, first aid kit, clean burning soy wax candles (see below), all natural soap, toothbrushes/toothpaste, baby wipes, contact lenses or glasses, multipurpose tool, whistles, flashlights, radio (I prefer hand crank, but you can do battery or solar powered), battery or solar powered cell phone charger, extra batteries, Copies of important documents, Paperwork about any serious or on-going medical condition, your completed family emergency plan, cash, maps of the area, extra set of car and home keys, and any special paperwork, food, medicine, etc. needed for pets and children. Most importantly, you will need a lot of wine, booze, and calming agents such as medical marijuana, Rescue Remedy, Lavender essential oil (I like this one), or other prescription meds. You will also need things to pass the time such as games like this. And you're most likely going to loose power so you will most definitely need these amazing smelling and clean burning candles.
(A customer posted this picture during Hurricane Irma. She was using our Lumberjack soy candle to light up a very dark day)
-Stay Connected: If you want to keep an eye on storms, you can download the app Max Tracker which allows you to see local radar, track hurricanes and tropical storms, and watch the local channel 10 news. You can also download the Zello app to stay connected with family and friends.
- Evacuate: If ordered to evacuate, for God's sake, EVACUATE! A home is just a home; human lives cannot be replaced. Download and use the gas buddy app to find the cheapest gas nearest your location.
During the storm:
- Stay Inside stay clear of any uncovered windows, and don't come out until you hear that the storm has passed (the eye can be completely clear, but surrounding areas are the worst of the storm, so make sure it's over before going out)
-Shut the doors on the hurricane - shut all interior and exterior doors to help reduce pressure build up.
- Sleep While You Can: Go to bed early if you have to. Try to figure out when the storm will get bad because once it does, you likely won't be able to sleep much (unless of course you can sleep to the sound of a freight train going through your house).
- Drink said wine or booze and take calming agents*: but remember, don't drink TOO much or take TOO many calming agents....please drink responsibly and take only as prescribed; I speak from experience on this one.....I had a little too much red wine to drink at a Hurricane Ivan party back in 2004.....let's just say that being drunk and then hungover without power in the Florida heat is a REALLY BAD IDEA).
- Practice Deep Breathing Exercises: if you're feeling nervous and you do not want to ingest a substance to calm you, you can try using deep breathing exercises like this.
After the Storm: once you get the all-clear, you can go outside to assess the damage.
- Apply for FEMA assistance if needed
- Alert family members as to your safety
Stay safe and good luck!
* We are in no way endorsing the use of alcohol, medications, or drugs. Please use responsibly if you are 21+ for alcohol; please use medications as prescribed; do not use illegal substances. Do not drive under the influence. Even better, DON'T TEXT AND DRIVE!!!