Tell Us How to Make It Better

When Disaster Strikes Will You Be Ready?

July 05, 2022 George Siegal Season 1 Episode 45
Tell Us How to Make It Better
When Disaster Strikes Will You Be Ready?
Show Notes Transcript

Episode 45
July 5, 2022
When Disaster Strikes Will You Be Ready?

Are you prepared for a major disaster? Cheryl Nelson is a Meteorologist, Lifestyle/Travel Expert, and the founder of Prepare with Cher. She has important information for you so you’re ready when disaster strikes.

Here are some important moments with Cheryl from the podcast:

At 4:55 Why are people so unprepared for disasters?

At 10:02 What is your obligation to your neighbors if a disaster knocks out the power, and you have a generator but they made the decision not to get one?

At 18:27 How forgiving are people when the weather forecast is wrong?

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Website: https://www.preparewithcher.com/

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Cheryl Nelson:

As the climate continues to change we're seeing sea level rise. We're seeing warming of our planets. Lots of things are happening. More forest fires, more flooding events, more extreme weather events. People are now becoming more impacted and once they're impacted or someone they love is impacted, that's when they take it more seriously. And that's when you start to see people, making those family communicated plans and building those disaster kits. But unfortunately it's not until it impacts them directly that a lot of people really care about it.

George Siegal:

I'm George Siegal and this is the Tell Us How to Make It Better podcast. Every week, we introduce you to people who are working on real world problems and providing actual solutions. Tell Us How to Make It Better is partnering with The Readiness Lab, the home for podcasts, webinars, and training in the field of emergency and disaster services. Hi everybody. Thank you so much for joining me on today's Tell Us How to Make It Better podcast. Every week on this podcast, I try to introduce you to somebody who has identified a problem and is doing something to try to make it better. If you enjoy what you listen to today, it would be great if you could become a regular follower, share the link with your friends, and if you leave a review, that would be great also. My guest today is meteorologist, lifestyle travel expert, and founder of prepare with Cher LLC. Cheryl Nelson, Cheryl welcome.

Cheryl Nelson:

Thank you so much for having me. I'm so honored to be a part of this today.

George Siegal:

No, I really appreciate your time. Now there's a million things that you've done and are doing that I, that I want to talk about, but first I'm sure a lot of people know you let's see how much they really know about you. And, and I'm not stealing this from your podcast. Although I did hear it in, in something that you did, I'm stealing it from another podcaster. And that is tell us something that people probably don't know about you?

Cheryl Nelson:

Ooh, I love this question. I put so much of my life on social media, but one thing you might not know about me is my favorite cuisine. Do you have any guesses?

George Siegal:

You know, I'll just, I'll I'll end up making an ass of myself if I guess something stupid. I would say something Italian, Italian cuisine.

Cheryl Nelson:

That's actually a good guess because I'm half Italian. Believe it or not. But my favorite cuisine, I'm a vegan and I love Ethiopian food. So my recommendation is always get the veggie combo because it's like a party in your mouth. So many different, fun flavors and spices. Every time I go to a big city, I look up an Ethiopian restaurant. No joke.

George Siegal:

interesting. And now are you vegan and gluten free or just vegan?

Cheryl Nelson:

So vegan and gluten free. It's kind of funny how this happened. So I'd been vegetarian for a very long time. Since I was a teenager, then I found out I was lactose intolerant, egg intolerant, gluten intolerant. And that's how I became the gluten free vegan.

George Siegal:

Yep. I, you live in my world and you know, the thing that I find every time I go out, a lot of places lately, the only thing some places have are macaroons. Oh. And I, and maybe you like, em, I, I don't, I feel like that's kind of a slap in the face to us gluten-free people that you have this whole bakery full of stuff. And then here's these macaroons and that's all you thought that we would like, so, oh no, I'm probably seeing it differently than you. I, I, I'm not a macaroon guy.

Cheryl Nelson:

Yeah, the macarons are okay. Although I prefer a cupcake cupcake any day.

George Siegal:

Absolutely. I I've got a ton of places that have that. And then the other question, you do so many things that look like fun. I was watching your reel, but if, if you didn't have to work today and you were told to just go out and have a good time, what would you choose to do for fun?

Cheryl Nelson:

Ooh. All right. I would go down to Norfolk international airport book a ticket, and I would go somewhere tropical. I'd go to the Carribean. That's what I would do. I go big or go home. Right? That's that's that's I'm going.

George Siegal:

And you just have to hope that the flight doesn't get canceled.

Cheryl Nelson:

That's exactly. Yes.

George Siegal:

That's the thing you'd have to root for. Okay. So let's jump right into this. What is the problem or issue that you say you work on? Because my podcast is all about people trying to make it better. Tell us what you work on?

Cheryl Nelson:

So I do a lot of focus on preparedness. I focus a lot on natural disaster preparedness. I'm a degreed meteorologist. So I want people, their families, their pets to be prepared for natural disasters. And I also want people to be prepared for anything that life throws their way, whether it be at home or travel preparedness, just because there's so many unknowns. There's so many things that could happen. It's always good to have a plan B.

George Siegal:

Now as you know, very well. And I know having worked in the news business for a number of years, we're always doing stories, especially back in the weather department. We find out just how unprepared people are, even when you tell them to be prepared. I remember that big ice storm that happened last year. It was in the Mid-Atlantic or Northeast somewhere where all those people got stranded and it was not a surprise storm.

Cheryl Nelson:

Yes, you're right.

George Siegal:

Why are people so unprepared?

Cheryl Nelson:

Oh, it it's the million dollar question and I've actually gone out and I've done the man on the street interviews asking people about this and asking generic questions. Like what do you have in your disaster preparedness kit? It's funny because people can only name food and water. And they can't name a lot of the other basic necessities that you should have in the kit. Things like a flash drive with all your documents and important information, a first aid kit, flashlight and batteries, blanket. There's so many items that you should have both at home and in your vehicle, but people think yeah, it's probably not going to happen to me. I don't need to spend time doing that. I think that's the main thing they think I'm gonna be okay. Nothing's gonna happen. It's the same reason why people drive their cars through flood waters because they think, oh yeah, I'll get through no problem. And then all of a sudden the car becomes a boats and it turns off. But so that's one of the reasons they don't think it'll happen or maybe it's too expensive, which I understand to buy some of these supplies and to prepare. I hate to say people are too lazy. I don't want to say that, but maybe people are just going, eh, Maybe tomorrow, that type of thing. Or people just might think, all right, life's gonna throw whatever it throws at me, but there's a lot of reasons why they don't prepare. But I think as the climate continues to change, we're seeing sea level rise. We're seeing warming of our planets. Lots of things are happening. More forest fires, more flooding events, more extreme weather events. People are now becoming more impacted. Once they're impacted or someone they love is impacted. That's when they take it more seriously. And that's when you start to see people, making those family communicated plans and building those disaster kits. But unfortunately it's not until it impacts them directly that a lot of people really care about it.

George Siegal:

Yeah. You know, I think it's interesting that hurricane preparedness month, at least in all the markets I've been in is always in May. And my argument is always it's a little late. Now. It may be good for getting your kit together, but in far, as far as fixing up your house and finding what your vulnerabilities are, mm-hmm it's, it should be done in the middle of winter. It should be done in January saying, okay, look, now you can find a contractor to come out and fix your windows. You can find somebody to make sure your roof is functioning properly yet people don't do it. And, and, and it just, it's a constant barrage of once the accident happens, then it's people complaining that nobody's coming to help them. Yes. And that they're, and that they're now victims. So I don't know what it works either. I mean, a wake up call you think? In my documentary film, The Last House Standing Moore Oklahoma had to have eight major tornadoes hit them before they changed the building code.

Cheryl Nelson:

Oh my goodness.

George Siegal:

I might have changed it after one, you know, it's and in Mexico beach, Category five hurricane hits them and they're building to, they're not building to withstand it if another category five hits. So what do you find with people's mentality? I know you do man on the street stuff, but when you put a preparedness kit right in front of them, There's people that still won't do it because they just don't expect it to happen.

Cheryl Nelson:

Right. And a lot of people think they're almost like, oh, too macho for, for that. You know, where they're not going to, I'm not gonna waste my time doing that. I can handle it. I don't need a preparedness kit. I've got the supplies. So a lot of people think that way. And then you have the other side of the spectrum and you have the preppers. Which they're great because they have everything they need for probably weeks, months, years down the road and they're prepared, but it's, it's really a division in how people think and trying to get them to do something. I think. The financial piece of it is probably the biggest they are putting off other projects and they're saying, well, I really need to redo my closet. And I wanted to spend my money on that. So why should I buy a generator that I might not use? And so when you look at it that way, and then I say, okay, what if something happened, hurricane, winter storm. And you're left without power, not just for hours, but days or weeks. That happened in Puerto Rico with hurricane Maria, then what? Oh, then you're gonna wish you spent money on that generator. Right? Because if it's winter time, how are you gonna stay warm? If it's summer, you're gonna be sweating like crazy without air conditioning. So you have to ask them those questions. And then when it, you really put them in that scenario and make them think, and then they go, oh yeah, you're right. I hate being hot. Hmm. Maybe she's onto something.

George Siegal:

So what's the code. I have a generator. My neighbor decides they want to go buy a new RV or they want to go on a trip. The storm hits they're without power for two weeks, I'm sitting here doing laundry and living a good life. At what's your obligation to the community to help all the people who chose to do nothing?

Cheryl Nelson:

Isn't that the hard part?

George Siegal:

Yeah.

Cheryl Nelson:

That is such a bad scenario. Because you kind of want all of that energy for yourself and, and your own family. And if you let the whole neighborhood come into your house, then what generators only gonna last so long if you have a portable one, if you have a home standby generator, then that's a different story. But those obviously a lot of people don't have. So it's one of those things where I think you have to communicate with your neighbors, say, Hey, look, I got a generator. I think you should get one too. Because you're not gonna wanna look over here and see my lights on if you're sitting in the dark. Just kind of get everybody to come together and maybe do it. My uncle actually did that in Florida. He decided to buy a home standby generator for his whole house and he really talked it up and he told his neighbors about it. And he, and three other neighbors all bought home standby generators.

George Siegal:

That's really smart. And, and, and that's gonna be a real dilemma, I guess if if something bad happens, I almost called my film, the third pig, because I love the story of the three little pigs. I just didn't think it was as marketable as the, The Last House Standing, but it, it really makes sense to be that third pig to be that one that's prepared, but the other people seem to live on the edge. I live in a neighborhood where there's a lot of older homes and a lot of newer homes combined. So you have a home at sea level, and then you have a home at 10 feet elevation and you it's hard to get flood insurance. I mean, people really are rolling the dice when they choose where to live.

Cheryl Nelson:

Mm, it's amazing to me, some of the houses that are on the market and you look at them and the backyard. I remember when we were house hunting, the backyard was like a sponge. You walk on a squish, squish, squish, and the water was right there and I'm thinking, okay, you get a good Noreaster in here. Tropical storm. This whole thing is going to be underwater. And then I looked at the flood zone and the flood maps and going, okay, we're not buying that. But a lot of this stuff it's supposed to be disclosed. But people, some of them are not educated enough to know, to look for that and to know what that means. So they're kind of blinded by the beauty of the home and they go like, Ooh, I want this. And they don't look at anything else around it, or what could happen as sea levels rise or floods happen. It it's one of those things where they just tunnel vision and they have to look at the big picture.

George Siegal:

I think most people know, we could probably tell you more about the safety features of their car than they could about the safety features of their house. And the house is our most valuable investment. It just it's just mind boggling.

Cheryl Nelson:

You're so right. My husband showed me how to turn off the water and the circuit breakers and all that stuff. He goes, you need to know where all of this stuff is. And a lot of people probably wouldn't know a lot of people probably don't know where the fire extinguisher is in their house. And that's a scary thought to think about because home fires. And then what about. Speaking of fires makes me think of evacuation. Do people know evacuation routes? Not just from wildfires out west, but also hurricanes. Do you have those maps? Do you know where to go? Do you have a place to go? Have you even thought about it?

George Siegal:

Yeah, that's a tough one and it kind of ties into the weather business in a way. I know that when you look at evacuating, for example, Florida being on a peninsula, there's only so many places you can go where the storm might not turn. You really have to go pretty far north. And what I think is interesting when there's a, a near miss early in the season. And the, the weather gal or guy says, Hey, you better get out. You better leave. And then the storm misses you the next time they don't take you seriously.

Cheryl Nelson:

That is the worst that happens. They say, all those meteorologists do is they cry Wolf. It's not gonna happen, but that's when it does happen when they say that and they think we were fine last time. We'll be fine this time, but you can't have that mentality because every storm is different. Every storm they're all different sizes, different intensities. They approach the land at different angles. They move at different speeds and people don't realize that a category two last year is not gonna be the same as a category two storm this year. Yes, it will in the terms of, of wind speed, but you gotta factor in everything else. Like the storm surge and also the beach erosion, the heavy rains, the tornado risk. There's so many other risks and hazards associated with these tropical cyclones that people need to realize.

George Siegal:

I think people also need to understand that that weather, as, as brilliant as you meteorologists may be, it's not an exact science. Right. And it does change. I worked for a guy or, or as a woman, somewhere along the way that we were never allowed to say when the forecast was wrong, and I'd say, but people aren't stupid. You know, if I told you it was gonna be sunny on Saturday and it rains on your picnic, you hate me at that point. And monday morning or Monday evening I better tell you why it rained and why the forecast was wrong, but they wouldn't let us do that. The anchor always had to pat you on the back and give you an attaboy saying you nailed another one George. Great job. Did you ever work for people like that?

Cheryl Nelson:

Wow. Yeah, not like that, but I do have a story. This is when I worked for the NBC affiliate in Norfolk. And I was filling in on the morning show. So I was the morning meteorologist and there was a big snowstorm coming and snow in Norfolk, Virginia Beach, big deal. We only average about five inches a year. In many of the years we have zero. So when there's a big storm, five to seven inches of snow are forecast, people are getting super excited. So school superintendents they're being proactive. They canceled all the schools the night before. Okay. So then I come in that morning.

I get in around 3:

00 AM. I'm looking at the radar and I'm going, Hmm. Well, that's not good. Stars are out. Skies are clear. And the storm coming up from the south is having trouble making it across the North Carolina, Virginia state line. And I'm going okay. I lowered the forecast to one to three inches of snow. So I, I was saying that I didn't wanna go from all to nothing. That's crazy. The other meteorologists were still going five to seven. And so I was explaining what was happening. Hey, the air's really dry. A lot of this precipitation is evaporating before it reaches the ground. It's having a hard time moving north, that type of thing. And then by the end of the morning news, I think it was 9:00 AM. Sun was out, no snow on the ground anywhere in Virginia, North Carolina did get a few inches of snow. So our counties there verified, but my news director comes in to the weather center, slams her hand on the desk and she goes, what happened? And so I had to tell her what happened and we did, we explained it. We explained it on the noon show. The chief meteorologist explained it again at five and six, he basically said, Hey guys, look sorry, but I've never gotten so many mean emails and posts in my life. People told me to jump off a bridge. My dog can forecast better than you. You dumb blonde beeping bimbo. You should give your degree back. And then another one, this one was actually pretty clever. A guy sent a picture of his little, his little boy. Probably two years old on a sled in the grass crying.

George Siegal:

That's a good one. Yeah. When I was working in Detroit we would put tornado warnings on the air with the crawl. Oh yeah. And people were mad that we were partially obscuring a W N B A basketball game. Oh, because we were telling them that a tornado could be hitting their house. So you, you can't make anyone happy and you have to assume that they'll remember it the rest of their lives. When I was a little kid living in New York we were actually in Connecticut. I was in New York city at my grandmother's. I was gonna spend new year's with her and there was a snowstorm forecast. So my dad drove all the way to the city to get me, so I wouldn't get stuck there. It didn't snow an inch, nothing, zero. And now as an old guy, I remember that like it was yesterday. So mm-hmm I think people, when it comes to preparing for disasters, I think people are stupid, but they don't forget a bad forecast.

Cheryl Nelson:

They don't. I was in the gym a few weeks after that no snow event. And some guy came up to me and said, wow, you're brave to show your face in here. yeah, thanks a lot. I don't control the weather. . George Siegal: Yep. That is a that is a tough one. So, you know, when, when I sent you the questions that I wanted to talk about, the, the second question was, how does this problem affect people's lives? I think we've gone over that in a way, the lack of preparedness, but that shouldn't stop people. They should really take a moment and focus and say there's things that are very easy to get. Even if I'm strapped financially, there's things I probably should be doing right now. Yes, absolutely. I always tell people, look, I know we're all on a budget. The way gas prices are, we're spending money that we didn't think that we would be spending, but maybe instead of getting that coffee every single day, maybe skip a day where you don't get the coffee and make a list, make a list and say, This is what I wanna buy this week. This is what I wanna buy next week. And we're just talking about the basic supplies. Do you have maybe some canned goods or non-perishable foods that are not expired, just sitting around something that you could eat, maybe some peanut butter, if you didn't have electricity, that type of thing. Get some bottled water or our, I have a distiller actually, which is fantastic. And we have that and we just save up bottles and bottles of water. So we have plenty of water for drinking and for bathing. The Noah weather radio is key to get the warning notifications because as you know, a lot of the times cell phones, they get kind of crazy when there's disasters and you might not get alerts. So it's always good to have that. Flashlight batteries that we all know with COVID. Now it's good to have the hand sanitizer, the masks. There's so many things that people can have that are, that are easy. And a lot of these are not expensive. One thing people don't think about is having a local map of your area and they're going, why would I need that? I have GPS, well guess what, if there's trees down blocking roads, GPS, isn't working, how are you gonna know where you are or where you're going? So it's always good to have a paper map. And a lot of this stuff is more affordable than people might.

George Siegal:

My family always yells at me when the, the Noah weather radio goes off with the warning. And I said, you know, that's a good thing that it's telling us that. We might wanna act. Yeah, we might wanna actually listen to it. I was on WLS am last Friday, talking about the topic was because of how bad the economy is and how people are struggling with prices of gas. Will Probably stop people from preparing and evacuating in the event of a storm this year. And my answer was, yeah, I absolutely think it'll be an excuse for people. And I know people that probably might say, I don't need to renew my insurance. It's too expensive. Nothing's gonna happen to me or I'm gonna change my deductible. You can get wiped out with decisions like that.

Cheryl Nelson:

Ooh, you really can. And that's a scary thought when you think about it, for example, it's I compare home insurance, car insurance to health insurance. You could be the healthiest person in the world. and then all of a sudden, bam, an illness comes outta nowhere and it gets you and you're sick for months. And I say this because this actually happened to me, had I not had insurance, we're talking several hundred thousand dollars that I would've been in, in debt. So the moral of the story is yes it could happen to you. Yes you need to be prepared. Yes it's worth it to have insurance and people just, you just gotta get through to them and say, You don't wanna pay for this otherwise and say, oh, I wish I would've would've should have coulda that kind of thing. Better be safe than sorry.

George Siegal:

Yep. And there's a couple areas that, that you probably will agree with that, the deductible, for example, if you have hail damage or something happens to your roof, some people have a very high deductible on that. And I know I heard a story recently of people who had damage to their roof and they had to come up with $30,000 out of pocket because the, the, the deductible was a percentage of their value. Mm. So people need to talk to their insurance agent and get a good understanding of what coverage they have, because there's, there's a lot of differences there.

Cheryl Nelson:

Oh, yes. And I know there's special earthquake insurance too, in some areas. And the flood insurance, there's that 30 day waiting period. So if you see a hurricane approaching, that's not the time to sign up for flood insurance because you have to wait 30 days before it takes effect. People don't realize that either. And the other thing, they look at the flood maps and they think I'm not in a flood zone. I'm fine. Well, we're seeing the hundred year flood more often. And the hundred year flood is something that typically occurs once every hundred years. But with climate change, we're seeing more of these extreme weather events happening more frequently, where all of a sudden, like what we saw with Harvey, hurricane Harvey in Texas, mm-hmm you get 40, 50 inches of rain and all of a sudden your non flood zone is a flood zone.

George Siegal:

What we learned from that for our film was for three or 400 bucks, people could have had flood insurance because if you're not in a flood zone, it's not expensive. Right. And yep. We interviewed Brock Long, the FEMA director at the time. And he said, if it rains where your house is, it can flood. Yes. Period. Yes. So everybody should have, or think about having flood insurance.

Cheryl Nelson:

Mm-hmm . Absolutely. It's just one of those things like health insurance, like I said before, it's important to have.

George Siegal:

And to understand that collector car in your garage that you think is paid for, or that coin collection that's worth a lot, or that house that you got as a legacy house that didn't have a mortgage. So you don't have insurance, it still has a value. And it has a replacement value that people don't think about that.

Cheryl Nelson:

No, no, they don't. And we have to definitely change our mentality on that. It is worth it. I I'll admit, I hate writing the checks or paying those bills. I hate it, cuz you're just, you feel like you're taking money and you're just throwing it away, but you're not, it's it's a cover your butt type of situation.

George Siegal:

Yeah. In Detroit, we used to have stories on the news every year, where when there was flooding, people would set their house on fire because they had fire insurance. Oh. But they didn't have flood insurance. And eventually they're gonna investigate. What I always tell people is they don't just give you the money when you make a claim, they're gonna investigate the claim and you can't lie to them at that point. Mm-hmm , their goal is not to pay you. Right. In my opinion, don't give them a reason.

Cheryl Nelson:

Oh man. People need to realize too that sometimes following a disaster. You yourself are your own first responder. A lot of the times you can't rely on everybody to come help you when you and all your neighbors need help. So you have to rely on yourself, your family, maybe some of your immediate neighbors, but FEMA might not get in there for quite some time to give you the assistance that you need. That that can be scary. And that's the other reason why you should have a plan and be prepared and have the insurance.

George Siegal:

So when you tell people that they need to evacuate, how important is it that people listen to that advice?

Cheryl Nelson:

If your town, city, if they issue a mandatory evacuation go. They're saying that for a reason, they've been collaborating with emergency managers, with meteorologists, local officials, they're saying, this is, this is dangerous, mandatory evacuation orders. A lot of that, like with Katrina, they flat out said, this is not survivable. When Katrina hit Louisiana New Orleans. And so when that type of thing is issued As much as you don't wanna go, you gotta go and you gotta be ready to go. You gotta have your stuff packed that you want to take. Take your pets with you, please. The people who leave animals behind breaks my heart, animals are part of the family. Always research hotels ahead of time that accept pets that way, you know, where you can go or maybe a friend or a family member out of town where you can go and bring them, but don't roll the dice. And if Jim Cantore from the weather channel shows up in your town for hurricane, that's not, that's not a good thing. Jim Cantore is a buddy of mine. He's a friend. And, and I know this when he's in town, you probably should get out of town.

George Siegal:

Yeah, no, I love him. I will watch every storm. And I think those guys do do an amazing job, but I do always scratch my head going, why are they really out there risking their lives? I had a news director that when there was this tsunami warning used to send us down to the beach and oh no. And my thought process was okay. They're probably just thinking it's a joke, but there was enough of a thing that they issued the warning. Why are we going down there to cover that? Shouldn't we be going the other way? And so it's just, it's, you know, it's just mind boggling.

Cheryl Nelson:

That drives me crazy, tsunamis. That's what you don't mess with the tsunami. First of all, I, I have nightmares about tsunamis. The other thing that drives me crazy is, and I've worked in news. You've worked in news. We know the news directors want to get the footage, the best video, the first ones to capture everything. When you're in a area that has a lot of trees or heavily wooded, like much of the east coast. Why do you have storm chasers? And let's send a reporter out in the car and go try to go into the tornado warned area and try to get some video. I'm sorry, but they are not trained to go in storm chase. That is so dangerous. Even for, to send a meteorologist out there, if that meteorologist is not used to storm chasing, or if everything is so obstructed by trees, what are you doing? I'm gonna get on my soapbox about that one. I know I've been out there in a few storms myself, where I felt like I was gonna blow away and I. I'm, I'm not a big person, so it doesn't take much to blow me around, but some of the places they go, the flying debris and, and you see stop signs flying by in tree branches and that type of thing. It's, it's, it's not safe. And I'm glad that a lot of them are wearing helmets now and they're wearing goggles and at least some of that protective gear, cuz that could be really scary.

George Siegal:

But you're right. They do know the safer areas. They understand where the storm's coming from, what structures to be behind. Yes. Other people should not even be out there messing around with that stuff.

Cheryl Nelson:

No, and I, I wish we could talk to news directors about this very issue. Say, Hey guys, look, think about what you're doing here. What were, what would happen if all of a sudden there's the tornado? Oh, great. You got live footage of it, but then it picks up your news vehicle and your photog and your reporter. And. And that's it.

George Siegal:

They don't care. They just wanna know that you're still rolling. I worked for a guy that used to get so excited when bad things were happening to other people. When we had this flood in San Antonio in 2018 houses were washing away and this little guy was running around so excited that all this destruction was happening, cuz he wanted ratings and it just so nothing. Yeah, nothing surprised me. Did you ever go up in the hurricane hunter?

Cheryl Nelson:

I did, I did. I didn't get to go during an actual hurricane, but it was during hurricane awareness week. And so they took me up on a flight with them. They were flying from one hurricane awareness stop to the next one. It was down, I think two stops in Florida, but they, they let me take control of the plane for a minute. Wow. Oh, yeah, it was really cool.

George Siegal:

You go, I wouldn't get in that plane. My boss wanted me to go during a hurricane and I I'm too much of a wuse to do something like that.

Cheryl Nelson:

Really?

George Siegal:

Yeah. I'm you know, if the storm, my attitude is, if the storm's coming from the east, I'm going west

Cheryl Nelson:

You're so funny. I guess I'm an adventure junkie. Cause I think you saw in my real, I flew with the blue angels as well.

George Siegal:

I was gonna ask you about that. Did you, did you get sick? You were talking about getting sick?.

Cheryl Nelson:

Should I, should I tell people or should I have them watch?

George Siegal:

I, I couldn't tell from watching cuz I was multitasking. It looked like you bent down. Like you did get sick. Let's let's bust the myth right here. Did you get sick?

Cheryl Nelson:

All right. Okay. So I pulled seven point 4g. I will say that they don't give you G suits or anything. I did that. My vision went black. I almost passed out I all the oxygen. It, it was crazy. And I remember saying everything is black. I can't see everything's black. And then slowly the vision came back into my eyes. But shortly after that, yeah, I, I, I got sick. . George Siegal: Yeah. See, I wouldn't wanna be that that blooper video or that moment. I, you know, I don't even like Ferris wheels and I was doing a live shot one time and they set me up and turned it on during the, the weather forecast. And fortunately that was before social media and everything. So you're, you're a heck of a lot braver and gung ho than I am. I don't think I would put myself in that position. oh man.

George Siegal:

So good for you. So what advice would you have? It seems like you have a true entrepreneurial spirit of, of, of doing things and you genuinely wanna make things better. Yes. With the things that you do, what would you tell the person sitting out there with an idea or a thought that they have to get them motivated to do it so they could just try to do some of the stuff that you do?

Cheryl Nelson:

Yeah. So as far as preparing for disasters, I always try to make it relatable to them. And I would say, who do you love the most in your life? Who could you not live without? And for some people it's, oh, my, my spouse, my kids, my pets, and I say, okay, Imagine if you were not home and that loved one, or that animal was home alone and you had no plan, no disaster kit. You had no neighbor to check on kids, pets, and something happened to them. How would you feel? And then they go, oh man, when you put it that way, Exactly. Cause a lot of people don't wanna prepare for themselves, but they'll prepare for their loved ones.

George Siegal:

And, and you wanna encourage them to do it in advance. We, when we were covering the fires in Malibu, we were with a fire mitigation expert. He said, no one wakes up the day of the fire and makes their plan. No, the planning comes early.

Cheryl Nelson:

You have to sit down and make that plan. A family communicated plan that everybody in your family knows. Where's your family meeting place. If you get separated, how do you turn off electricity or gas in the house? Where are you going to keep your disaster kits? Do you have money in cash in single dollar bills? Do you have an out of town relative you could contact or a place you could go. You have to write all this stuff out ahead of time and make sure everybody in your family knows. And then too, there's let's say there's. Your parents, what if they're older or your grandparents, do they have a plan? Is somebody going to care for them? You don't want, if, if they're not mobile, you gotta make sure that they can get to safety as well. So these things, these discussions have to happen while the weather is quiet.

George Siegal:

Yeah. There's a great one that we saw from this woman in, in Malibu. She had a go box and she had a note in the go box of things to grab in her house if they had to evacuate, because you see that commercial where people are, I think this is a car commercial where this a meteor is heading towards them and they're just grabbing stupid stuff out of their house because they have a big car, but you really have to think about that because you only get one chance at that.

Cheryl Nelson:

Mm-hmm that's oh, that's a really, really good point. And for me, I've got four cats, so I would get my four cat carriers and wrangle all the cats up and get them in there. I've got my disaster kit in a backpack. Which has most of my supplies in it. And then probably just a couple, you know, keepsake, memento, sentimental items. It's but it's scary to think about that, cuz I, I know the stuff we have around us in the house, it's just stuff, but I'm a sentimental person and I know it would be devastating to lose a lot of this stuff. So that's a good thing to think about in advance. What would you want to take with you?

George Siegal:

Now, I know, I don't know the answer. So I'm gonna ask you this anyway, are you a geek like me, if a movie like San Andreas or the day after tomorrow, or Twister comes on, even though, you know, it's embellished, do you, do you watch?

Cheryl Nelson:

I do. I just saw twister on TV a couple weeks ago. It was on, I, I wasn't doing anything and I all right. Let's watch Twister. Yes. I love, love these movies.

George Siegal:

Yeah, it's hard to turn away, even though, you know, they're taking some liberties. Yeah. It's still fun to watch.

Cheryl Nelson:

Ah, I know we all love that that theatrical make believe type of stuff, but what's scary is some of this stuff is becoming reality in some places with the extreme weather events on the rise. So while it's fun to watch on TV, we don't want it to happen to us in real life.

George Siegal:

Absolutely. And, and storms are intensifying so quickly now. I mean, we see that all the time where you think it's gonna be a little storm, just that first tropical wave that moves through Florida this year. I mean, I don't even know if it was a tropical wave when the hit dropped 10, 12 inches of rain in places.

Cheryl Nelson:

Right. People don't realize that that when storms are in their infant stage, tropical depressions, tropical storms, they think, oh, it's just a tropical depression, just a tropical storm. But they don't realize that if it's slow moving enough, or if it's large in size, it doesn't matter if it's a hurricane or a tropical depression. You gotta look at that. When you look at that cone and see if the cone is really fat from the national hurricane center, then that means it's moving really, really slow. If the cone is long and skinny over time, that means that the storm is moving fast. So if you see a shorter fatter cone, Over days where it's just Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, all kind of in the same place. That means you're gonna get a lot of rain.

George Siegal:

And if you see Jim Cantore run like hell.

Cheryl Nelson:

Yes. Yeah, you you wanna see Jim Cantore after the storm? Not, not when the storm's barring down on your area.

George Siegal:

Exactly. Now you have a ton of stuff out there for people to consume. What's the best way for people to follow you and get in touch with you. It's all. It'll all be in the show notes. I have all your social media, but what's the best way for people to, to follow you?

Cheryl Nelson:

Fabulous. So I am at Cheryl Nelson TV on all my social media platforms. My website has more tips and other information on it about preparedness and natural disasters. And that website is prepare with cher.com.

George Siegal:

Excellent. Well, listen, Cheryl, thank you so much for coming on today. I know how busy you are and I, I really appreciate your time and that I look forward to continuing to follow you.

Cheryl Nelson:

Absolutely. It's been so much fun. Thank you.

George Siegal:

That's gonna do it for this episode of the, Tell Us How to Make It Better podcast. I hope you'll check out the show notes to find out all the ways you can follow or get in touch with Cheryl. Thanks again for listening. We'll see you next time.