So, I had a new experience last week. My first Florida hurricane! Having grown up in Virginia, and experienced a few tropical storms as well as a weak hurricane or two I considered myself totally prepared for what was to come. What I wasn’t prepared for was the empty bread and water shelves at the grocery stores; the gas stations with lines around the block and the others that were deserted after having run out of gasoline.
People take hurricanes very seriously around here… and for good reason. It was pretty tense in Miami for the 48 hours leading up to the storm. School was canceled, people were let off of work, and it just seemed like there was a mutual understanding by the people of Miami that preparation for this storm was essential. In Miami we got very lucky. A little rain, a little wind, but nothing nearly as bad as it would have been had hurricane Matthew taken a more westward path. But, seeing how seriously people take these storms made me check myself, and adjust my smug attitude.
It was my fiancé that brought up the instruments as we were preparing the house for the storm. I was shocked. I am normally so hyper-careful with all of my instruments, but it hadn’t even occurred to me that we needed to include the instruments in our preparations.
So I learned a few lessons… which I’ll share here. I am by no means an expert, and I would love to hear anyone else’s experiences and advice on how to protect your instrument in nasty weather!
Hurricane Harp Prep:
- Get your harp to high ground!!
- If your house is 2 levels, get some help and bring your harp upstairs
- If your house is a single level, find a safe place that can handle the weight of your instrument that sits above the ground. Place a Lever harps on top of a coffee table, couche, or even toilet! Lay a pedal harps flat on a bed.
- Don’t have a suitable place to store your harp during the storm? Consider putting your harp into your car before the storm hits. If flood waters loom high enough you will need to get out anyway, and this way your harp is ready to go!!
- Place harp away from windows!
- Ensure that travel cover, dolly, and sheet music is secure, and in a place where they won’t potentially get wet.
- These accessories, especially the travel cover and dolly, are expensive and essential to the transportation, maintenance, and use of your instrument. Their safety is just as important as the instrument itself!!
Earthquake Harp Prep:
I haven’t ever lived in an area that has to worry about earthquakes… so I can only go off of what I have read from others experiences. Here are a few of the ideas that I found to protect your instrument during an earthquake:
- Stabilization cables. Hang two cables from the ceiling at a length to hold the harp in two places; at the neck and right before the column. Keep these cables connected anytime you are not actively using your harp, ensuring it remains upright even when the ground shakes!
- Strap it to the wall. This may seem simple… but sometimes simplicity saves the day!
- Store it in a corner, with extra padding in the area closest to the wall. If it falls at least it won’t fall far!
Tornado Harp Prep:
Honestly… I have no idea. Harpists who live in tornado-prone areas: How do you ensure the safety of your instrument when disaster strikes??
We can’t control the weather, but we can control our reaction to it! If something happens to your instrument because of a natural disaster, first, don’t panic! Even though are instruments often seem like an extension of our own souls, at the end of the day, that harp is just a thing. You can always replace things. With that said… be sure to cover yourself by always protecting your investment through your homeowner’s insurance or coverage through a private instrument insurance company for your harp.
Do you have any experiences with your harp in natural disasters? How did you protect your investment?? Comment below to share your stories and advice for how you protect your harp when the weather gets bad!