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3 Ways Emergency Preparedness Is Like Wedding Planning

Last week, the CDC released its Wedding Day Survival Plan, a document which reads like a natural disaster preparedness checklist.

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Photo: Centers for Disease Control

Last week, the CDC released its Wedding Day Survival Plan, a document which reads like a natural disaster preparedness checklist. “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,” they admit. Indeed, their wedding and hurricane tips are uncannily similar:

1) Build a kit

  • Wedding: “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.”
  • Hurricane: “You should stock your home with supplies that may be needed during the emergency period. At a minimum, these supplies should include an emergency kit for your car with food, flares, booster cables, maps, tools, a first aid kit, fire extinguisher, sleeping bags, etc.”

2) Make a plan

  • Wedding: “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.”
  • Hurricane: “Post emergency phone numbers at every phone; Inform local authorities about any special needs, i.e., elderly or bedridden people, or anyone with a disability.”

3) Stay informed

  • Wedding: “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.”
  • Hurricane: “Expect the need to evacuate and prepare for it. Learn about your community’s emergency plans, warning signals, evacuation routes, and locations of emergency shelters.”

One way emergency preparedness is not like wedding planning: there’s no delicious cake involved.

More from Smithsonian.com:

June: A Time for Weddings and Wedding Tales 

The Most Dangerous Place for a Wedding 

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