Go with the FLO

Hurricane Florence swept into our lives last week, chasing us home to CT. The whole experience could have been catastrophic, with two kids and the cat, and two stressed adults, unsure what we were leaving behind (did we forget anything??) and what we might come back to—A leaky roof? A flooded house? A looted house? As Florence was upgraded to a nearly Cat 5, we decided the safest place for our children was anywhere but there. We did a quick house prep, packed what we could reasonable fit into a our car, and headed home.

What I’ve learned retreating from Hurricane Florence:

1. Somethings are irreplaceable, but nothing is more irreplaceable than our sanity.

Bring the pictures? Leave them on the wall? What about the filing cabinet of important papers? I’m am insanely grateful to live in a time where there is pretty much a guarantee of finding a digital copy of every photo I have hanging in my house. As for the documents, we grabbed the most important and packed the rest in coolers and put them on high ground.

If it were up to my hubby the guns and passports were ready and he was good to go. I’m sure he will be grateful I grabbed a copy of our lease should we need to for damages and whatnot. And the bag full of snacks he ate during that 14 hour car ride would have been missing as well.

2. Go with the FLO.

Making the decision to leave was hard, but I’m glad we left. So many cool things have happened since we got home. I got to visit with family who were also visiting from out of state. We got to have mini vacation with my kids. AND I was able to be at my niece’s very first tattoo appointment—where she got a matching tattoo to mine. She is the coolest kid ever. Just make the decision and GO.

Matching celtic knot tattoos

3. Humor makes the world go round.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many memes directed to a natural disaster. I live by the thought if you can’t laugh about it—figure out how to*. Laughter and humor are not only coping mechanisms, but can bring people together.

Map of US. NC lit up as only state to make meme out of natural disasters

*Disclaimer I understand there are times when laughter and humor are not appropriate, this is a general thought I live by,, and there are always exceptions.

4. Home is where the cat is happy.

Being a military family, we move quiet often. In 2013, we relocated to Okinawa, Japan. A beautiful place I look forward to returning to one day. We had the cat set to go—but the military had to change our flight last minute, and my 1st child (cat), Kozo, could not fly with us. My amazing sister took him in, the plan was to send him once we got settled. But she fell in love and didn’t want the cat to travel across the world alone and took him in for the 3 years we were gone. We returned home, happily reunited with the cat and we all move to NC. When we arrived back at my sisters last week, Kozo could not be happier. He jumped out of the kennel, slapped the dog on the face (they’re old friends) and went searching for where his food used to be. He’s not a social cat, but he’s been in his happy zone since we’ve been here. My cat knows where the heart of this family is, and it’s here at my sister’s house.


Libby Webber is a writer of young adult novels. She is a coffee addict and a book hoarder. When she is not writing, she is watching endless reruns of her favorite TV shows, attempting to cook, and napping with her kids. Libby Webber currently resides in Okinawa, Japan with her husband and two children.

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