The CDC’s Wedding Day Survival Guide Hints at Disaster

Planning a wedding? Escaping a hurricane? The CDC wants you to be prepared for both.

There's a storm brewing...will you be ready? The CDC has some advice. (Photo: Kirsten Adler Photography/Getty Images)

Jul 11, 2012
Jeannine Stein, a California native, wrote about health for the Los Angeles Times. In her pursuit of a healthy lifestyle she has taken countless fitness classes, hiked in Nepal and got in a boxing ring.

How is a wedding like a hurricane? Both may be fraught with disaster, which is why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would like Americans to be prepared for both.

On its Public Health Matters Blog this week the CDC posted a Wedding Day Survival Guide, a thinly veiled (pun intended) attempt at letting people know that disaster can strike any time, so be ready.

“Being in the throes of wedding season,” the post said, “many of us here at CDC realized that planning for a wedding isn’t that much different from planning for a disaster. Just remember: Get a Kit, Make a Plan, and Be Informed.”

Surely that’s the motto of most couples headed to the altar.

What should brides do to ready themselves for a wardrobe malfunction or gale force winds? A bridal kit should include safety pins, extra makeup, and sedatives (no lie, it really says that). While you’re at it, the CDC adds, why not also pack some basic disaster supplies, such as three days worth of non-perishable food, garbage bags for personal sanitation, and a manual can opener.

The wedding/natural disaster guide is part of the CDC’s attempt to tone down the wonkiness and make their useful information more appealing and accessible.

The agency’s Web site was mobbed last year when it offered advice on preparing for the zombie apocalypse—or a hurricane or pandemic, whichever hits first.

Regina Quadir, the health communication specialist who wrote the post, told ABC News that inspiration came from her sister’s wedding and the current spate of hurricanes and fires across the country: “The two kind of just seemed to have a lot of similarities. Both are stressful events where you have to be ready for the unexpected and both require planning ahead.”

The post also suggests studying up on the hotel’s evacuation and emergency plans, in case a tornado rips through the place. “Just like you know the risks of putting feuding family members in one room,” it said, “you should also know to check the weather report.”

While the CDC may have gone a bit heavy on references to bridezillas and emotional fiancées (grooms never freak out?), the information is helpful to anyone, whether they’re headed to a marriage ceremony, Tornado Alley, or a marriage ceremony in Tornado Alley.

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