Feature Article: Chaos in Paradise: Are you Prepared?
On my recent vacation in October – and long flight – I was thinking about several topics for this months newsletter. As I made my way through my “reading files” for flights, I read Avery’s latest newsletter that had several helpful hints for preparing for the holidays. I thought to myself that perhaps I could write about how to utilize their new Avery Wizard to help you create your custom address labels and cards – to help you save time during the holidays. My thoughts were suddenly interrupted about an hour before the flight was to land.
The captain had just made an announcement that there had been an earthquake on the Big Island of Hawaii– about 20 miles off shore from my final destination. I could not believe what I was hearing – I’m an hour away from Paradise and there is an earthquake! At this point, there wasn’t much more information since it had happened while we were about ½ way across the ocean. Because we were this far out, they could not turn our plane around to the mainland. This was good news! The not so good news was for the flights that left the mainland after ours – they were either turned around or they never left – for up to 3 days!
Once on the ground in Oahu, and at the gate, everyone was up – eager to get their carry on luggage, when the captain made another announcement. We were informed that because of the earthquake all power to the island was out. This meant there was no electricity to operate the jet ways and so we were told to get comfortable because we would be sitting there for at least an hour – waiting for the mobile stairs. 3 ½ hours later, the stairs finally arrived and we were now free to go sit in the warm airport for over 4 hours while they worked hard to load and unload planes that had stacked up during the day. I think the conditions were better in the plane – where it was air conditioned! We were again – one of the lucky ones to catch the last flight out of Oahu to the Big Island. I wasn’t feeling too lucky however, not knowing what we would encounter.
After nearly 10 hours of delays and no food to be found during that time (no electricity in airport = no food as stores and restaurants closed) we were finally on the Big Island. By this time, most of the power had been restored to that Island. Upon check in and inquiring about a place to eat, we were told that restaurants were closed – due to gas leaks and grocery stores were closed because of damage. By this time – something we take for granted, I was beginning to feel helpless. Thank goodness I did have a few snacks that I had packed.
The following day we went in search of a grocery store, but they were all still closed – due to damage – and it was at that moment when I saw the sign on the door that it all began to sink in. We were not prepared for an earthquake while on vacation. Normally I would travel with extra water and diet coke – for my first morning way (an essential to me since I don’t drink coffee) – yet because of airline restrictions, that didn’t happen this time.
Sitting in the parking lot of the closed grocery store, I began to think about what it would be like when the “big one” they are predicting for Washington hits. Would I be ready? What hadn’t I thought of? What was my plan?
At home, I do have 8 large plastic bins full of food, pet food, water, spare clothes, toiletries, plastic ware, change, contact information, water proof matches, propane, camping stove, batteries – and yes, even diet coke…just to mention a few things!
Yet after my experience, one of the first things I am going to do now that I am home is determine what else I need to do to be prepared – it was a very good reminder.
Given the 6.7 magnitude, the damage could’ve been worse than it was. Fortunately, due to the time of the quake, there were very few injuries – as many were still in bed. Had it been just a couple of hours later, it could’ve been much worse as we saw one church that was just a pile of rubble.
Ironically, October is “National Preparedness” Month. To help you prepare, I am sharing with you a document called “Limit the Impact – Family Guide to Preparing for Disruptive Events.” This guide is written by a good friend of mine that I used to work with – Ned Cracolici of Cracolici & Associates. In the guide, some of what you will find includes:
· Purchasing items for your stockpile
· Infant needs & non-food items
· Other “stuff” you may need
· Planning for infrastructure disruptions
· Power outages
· Water supply disruption/contamination
· Clothing needed to evacuate
· Emergency items in your vehicles
· Basic medical needs, health supplies/equipment
· Special needs & refrigerated medicines
· Much, much more
If you are interested in a copy of this document, click here to download a copy.
Please spend some time to help your family “be prepared” – you’ll be thankful that you did.
During the month of October, we sponsored a contest to win a 1/2 day organizing session with Kari, Margaret, Christine or Tina. For each organizing session completed, the client's name was placed in the drawing.
The lucky winner is "Susan" - who completed 4 organizing sessions and had 4 chances to win! She will now be enjoying a complimentary 1/2 session - a value of $300!
November Organizing Offer - Win a FREE 1/2 day Session
Continuing with the success of our October promotion, we're offering a new contest you won't want to miss for the month of November.
For each session completed by 11/30/06, your name will be entered into the drawing for a FREE 1/2 day session with Laura! This is a value up to $600!
Call today to schedule your sessions - 425.670.2551. If you're already scheduled to work with Laura this month, you're already entered!
Stay tuned for our end of the year offer in December.
Holiday Organizing Special
Does the thought of the holidays overwhelm you? Do you wonder how you will get it all done? Let an Eliminate Chaos Organizing Specialist help you prepare for the holidays.
A partial list of ways we help Eliminate Holiday Chaos
Decorate your home or office
Take down the decor and organize for next year
Shop, Run Errands and Wrap Gifts
Holiday Organizing Rates
1/2 day - $250
Full Day - $450
These reduced rates apply only to Holiday Organizing Services that are listed above.
Nacole Watts - Office Manager
Nacole recently joined Eliminate Chaos as our new Office Manager - where she taking over the role from Tina. Nacole is the cheery voice you will hear when you call the office and she will be the liaison between our clients and our Organizing Specialists.
Tina has been with Eliminate Chaos for nearly two years acting as both our Office Manager and Organizing Specialist. She is now exclusively working with our clients in their homes to help them take control of their space, their time and their stuff.
Product Sale: Save 20 to 35% on volume orders of Eliminate Chaos
The holidays will be here before you know it! We want to help you eliminate some of the gift buying chaos. We are offering the Eliminate Chaos book at a discount for quantity orders and for a small additional fee, we will even mail them to everyone on your list with a gift card enclosure.
10 books - $173.80 (includes tax)
28 books (case) - $395.36 (includes tax)
To place your order today - just call our office at 425.670.2551
Book Signings: Schedule for November
At each of the events listed below, I will give a brief talk about my latest book:
"A big thanks to Julie and Terri for helping us to clear our clutter from our workshop and craft area in an effective, easy, non-judgmental way. My husband was blown away by the transformation, and we are liberated by the extra space and less "stuff". Thank you again, EC!" -Joyce and Marshall Rafferty - Seattle, WA .
A great way to try us out and get some organizing done at the same time! For a limited time, we are offering an amazing NEW client organizing special. If you are not an existing client this is a great way for us show you how we can eliminate your chaos.