Ready, set, go! Stand down…GO!

Sunday night at 8:09pm I received a text from one of my local teammates and all it said was “Deploying!! Can you go?” To be honest, my first thoughts were “I’m not able to go…” I sat there trying to wrap my head around my hesitations…

You see, last week there was a possibility that I would be deployed and I “felt ready.” The timing seemed great, my team at work was fully staffed, I was feeling energized and rested. But, we ended up being told to “stand down.”

Quickly I recognized how selfish I was being, as pictures fullsizerfrom the news flashed through my mind from Hurricane Matthew. My heart was quickly softened as I thought about how hard these past few weeks must have been for the families and children in Fayetteville, North Carolina. I was overwhelmed as I started to think about the 11 children that are living in a shelter and have witnessed things far harder then anything I have ever experienced. I sent an emailing saying I would check in with my management team first thing Monday morning but would try to go…

Monday morning my management worked some magic! My team at work is amazing and supportive – I was cleared to go! I sent Children’s Disaster Services an email saying I was ready….that’s when the waiting began…

I received confirmation that I would be going and that details would be coming my way. If you know me at all, you know I am a planner and like to know what I am heading into, where I will be staying, what time I need to be ready, etc. If you have worked in the field of disaster relief at all, you are probably laughing at this moment…

Monday evening came and went and I had no information on what time I would be leaving. I set an alarm for 5:00am and began checking my email every 10 minutes. I became a bit anxious as my teammates (there are 4 of us going from all over the country) started to get their flight itinerary and I still had not heard anything. I have yet to meet anyone on my team but when I was sent the roster on Monday, I began texting one of them. I sat in my PJ’s sipping coffee at home as she was on her way to the airport with a flight itinerary in hand…

Around 10:30am it finally came, an email was sent and my flight was booked to leave out of Cincinnati at 2:35pm. I packed a bag with no more detail then I would be going with a team of four to Fayetteville, North Carolina where I will be assisting with disaster relief after Hurricane Matthew in a shelter that is housing 48 residents, 11 of whom are children. I don’t know where I am staying or if I needed to bring a pillow or sleeping bag (I didn’t bring one). My plane is boarding and I am on my way with a one-way ticket to Fayetteville, North Carolina!

-Heatherfullsizer_1