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Emergency Preparedness

We live in the South and around this time of year, early spring, we start seeing more severe weather. When weather gets warmer, we enter into the dreaded tornado season. Being ready beforehand for these types of situations can help alleviate anxiety of not being fully prepared to take care of your family when the time comes.

In April of 2011, we had severe weather that developed into multiple tornadoes that hit our state. That day, Alabama was bombarded by a total of 62 tornadoes! 62! According to an article on AL.com, Alabama’s average number of tornadoes for an entire year is 65, and we experienced 62 in one day. From top to bottom, almost the entire state was impacted and 253 people lost their lives.

The storms started early that morning – some even before people woke up to start their day. There was plenty of warning the day before, so some were already prepared for what would be a horrific day in the history of Alabama.

Here are some tips of things you can have ready for those times of need:

Batteries and Generators: Okay, so this is probably the number one thing you will be told to get. Flashlights, people! We also kept a generator for a fan. We lost power for 4 days, so having a fan for the warm afternoons in April was so nice. We take so much for granted sometimes!

Water: We used so much water. Our water tower was actually struck by lightning and caused our water to be extremely low for a day. Having that on hand helped us with even little things like washing our faces and brushing our teeth. We also used it for cooking.

Non-Perishable food: We had canned foods and things like bread and peanut butter on hand. We had a cooler and kept as many things cold as possible. When you don’t have that option, having food items that don’t need to be cooked or kept cold can really come in handy.

First Aid Kit: We were so blessed to not have damage during this disaster, but some did, so having a first aid kit is a must. Having peroxide and bandages will handle most of the smaller matters.

Have Cash on Hand: I know that’s a weird one, but it was so helpful. My sister actually suggested this. We had one person running errands in the neighborhood, like going to grab ice or gas for generators. Being able to hand the cash over to pay for things was helpful. There were also a few stores with no power that were still able to accept cash for items.  

Have a plan in place before the next storm rolls in. Let your kids know the drill so if they are ever at home alone without you, they know what to do.

Keep a helmet for the kids and blankets and pillows in a central location so you can grab them without delay. Include the entire family in the prep conversations to keep them informed for those times when the sirens go off.

Whether it be a kit or just a plan in place, being prepared for a natural disaster should be a priority in your home. Stay Safe!

Susan Ingram, OWL Blogger

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Sweet Sandy Wiggins, a resident of Oneonta, grew up with a love of organizing and rearranging spaces in her own home. Her friends and family lovingly refer to her as the “girl scout” of the group because of her knack for keeping things organized and beautified. Her passion for decluttered space and eye catching order landed her a spot on the OWL team. She is married to her best friend, Dwight, of 27 years and has three wonderful grandchildren to dote on. Sandy loves meeting new people, creating happy spaces for our clients and caring for those closest to her. We are blessed to have her on the team!

Stacie is a coveted member of our OWL team. She has an eye for organization and design that will make you wonder why she didn’t pursue this passion full time! A project manager by day, her life revolves around order and keeping everyone on track. As a weekend warrior, she assists in Saturday projects and makes our clients wish they could hire her for weeks at a time! She lives in Trussville with her husband, daughter and two dogs and enjoys spending time with friends and family, yard sale hopping and Alabama football (Roll Tide!).

Margaret Hale, the beautiful southern belle from Birmingham, is our newest addition to OWL.

She is a University of Alabama graduate with a degree in Restaurant and Hospitality Management and a professional chef. Margaret has worked for Southern living, owns a catering company and co-owned a restaurant in Huntsville, AL. Since cooking wasn’t her only passion, she decided to join our team and expand on her love of organizing and home décor. Her eye for flare and spirit of excellence makes her the perfect addition to our team.


In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with friends and family, being in ministry, and creating the best new recipes around.

For many years Susan has been the go-to organizer and stager for her friends and family. Having a long-time passion and naturally inclined skill set for making spaces purposeful, she decided to pursue a career in the industry. She has an endearing and meaningful memory of decorating her bedroom as a child. This included transforming bar stools into multi-story Barbie Doll townhouses. In her past lives, Susan was a Restaurateur, Executive Sales Manager, and a Cosmeceutical Sales Rep. When asked about her biggest accomplishment, she’ll gush about her gratitude for the blessing of having raised a good and decent human being. Her son is currently a grad student at the University of Florida’s MBA program.

Susan resides in Birmingham with her husband of twenty-six years and their pack of fur babies. This includes four cats and a “little” 110 lb. dog. Her lifelong platform is animal rescue and advocation.

“No matter how educated, talented, rich, or cool you believe you are, how you treat others ultimately tells all. Integrity is everything.”

Meet Miranda! The one that keeps our wheels turning and always answers the phone with a smile on her face.

She loves fishing, family, and all things nerd – which is 1000% why we love her so much!

Miranda lives in Odenville with her husband, precious baby boy, and a sassy cat.