So Far, So Good: Storms and Sartorial Decisions

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Hey folks, just checking in from the suburbs of DC where we are faring quite well. While the lights flickered a few times yesterday evening, we kept power through the whole storm and my closet is still intact! However with the super saturated ground, a wind advisory, and our home surrounded by big old trees we are still on watch.

My heart goes out to those who have been affected by Sandy, and who continue to be so. Do let me know how you are doing – I could tell by yesterday’s analytics that a very large portion of you all are on the East Coast. I hope you and yours are safe and dry!

I must say Karl and I have become pretty gun-shy when it comes to storms like this. After Isabel decided to visit our bedroom last year, we find ourselves getting a bit manic when there are hurricanes and blizzards. We have a spot in the house where we all know to meet when there’s an emergency, and that is where we store our emergency preparedness supplies. Sunday we prepped the house – clearing the gutters, charging electronics, securing our deck furniture and outside equipment and filling the pantry with nonperishables (and maybe some wine and whiskey).

Yesterday we felt ready but after watching Twitter and the news we started getting a bit nervous. We packed a bag in case our home got damaged and we had to evacuate (personal items included the stained glass I made with my dad when we took a class together, my dad's watch, the journal I kept when in labor and just after Emerson was born and the one my mom kept for when I was born, Emerson's baby book, my wedding tiara and earrings), filled the tubs with water, brought the sleeping bags down from the attic in case we lost power and had to hunker down on the main floor. And I dressed with the mindset that what I wore may be what I may be wearing for the next 24 hours.

It’s interesting to see what you gravitate towards in such a situation. I wore my Karen Kane jeggings because I knew they were comfortable and held up with a long day of wearing (wore them to the VirginFest). I put on my Armor Lux striped tee because it’s comfortable and one of my favorite shirts (it was a gift from a blog reader and we all know how much I love stripes). Around my neck I looped my red cashmere pashima, a Christmas gift from my sister. Put on my DUO Bern boots which I knew from many music festivals that they were water resistant, sturdy, keep me upright in slippery mud, and are comfortable after hours of walking. As for accessories, I donned my silver cuff, my wedding set, and my silver chain with my three charms. Other than the boots (I would likely wear my newer DUO black riding boots since the Berns are pretty beat up after six years) this was a pretty typical “Alison” outfit for weekends or after work. In my bugout bag I had my Jag jeans, two pairs of socks, another bra, my Make Art Not War tee shirt and my coral red Ann Taylor cardigan – another weekend look though not necessarily one I would wear to the mall or a friend’s house. However, another outfit made from some of my favorite comfortable wardrobe pieces. On the dining table was a hat, hooded fleece, packable rain coat and gloves.  I was surprised that my weekend clothes was what I went for and didn't have a ton of things in my closet that I wouldn't be sad over losing permanently.

Yesterday on Twitter I saw one person say she applied makeup just in case she got interviewed on TV during the storm and it sort of makes sense. When a natural disaster happens you could easily be wearing the same clothes and face for quite a long period of time and while you want your clothes to be comfortable on your body, you also want to be comfortable in your appearance so you can focus on the situation at hand.  Also when thinking about the condition of your home upon returning, what would you take that has sentimental value and cannot be easily replaced?

So what would you pack and put on if you had to leave your home suddenly and didn’t know when you would return?

What would you toss in a bag if you had to head to a shelter or evacuate on short notice? Have you experienced this before and what did you choose? What do you think such choices say about your life, personal style, your current wardrobe, and your way to handle stressful situations? I don’t wish such a situation on anyone, but it was an interesting study on how one thinks in the 11th hour and how clothing fits into such a situation.

If you made it through the storm, I encourage you to donate to the American Red Cross. While many of us made it, many did not and there has been much damage, injuries, and a few deaths. You can donate by texting REDCROSS to 90999; this will give $10 to American Red Cross Disaster Relief.  You can also call 1-800-RED-CROSS or visit the Red Cross site to donate online or learn other ways to donate and support.

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