Stockpiling water and canned food. Putting up storm shutters. Mapping out an evacuation route. For a Biloxi woman there's another important step to her severe weather preparedness plan. When it comes to her most valuable treasures, she doesn't take any chances with Mother Nature.
Denise Adams said, "I tape all our Christmases and all our Halloweens"
Whether captured on video tape or in a photograph, Adams can't stand the thought of losing her family's special moments. That's why birth certificates, pictures, trinkets dear to her heart go into the evacuation boxes.
"During the hurricane season I pack up all my pictures, everything, stays in a box," said Adams."When it's time to go, it goes with me. That's all I have of my family. My mama's gone so I have all those pictures that I'm not losing them to water or a storm."
Adams' family is still feeling their losses from Katrina when everything she left behind in her 7th Street house went with the hurricane.
"Everything in the house, we lost everything," said Adams. "There was nothing."
The tradition of taking her important treasures with her started a storm in 1969.
"Ever since Camille I've been terrified of hurricanes, cause I was 13 and we lost everything in our home then. I was just a little girl," she said."You watch your mom and dad go through all that stuff and you hope you never have to do it again."
If a storm heads this way, Adams wants to be ready for her and husband George to make a quick escape.
"It's hard to get him to leave. I've got to beg him at the last minute. It's always last minute going, but my pictures are going to be in the jeep before the storm gets here," Adams said.
No matter how many times she packs up, Adams say she'll always come back to Biloxi's Point Cadet.
"It's a scary thing. I hate hurricane season, but I'm not leaving. This is my home."
Denise and George Adams are in the process of moving into a new Katrina cottage. The couple plans to rebuild their home and stay in the neighborhood where they've lived all their lives.