As Hurricane Ida approached, Betsy and Steve made the decision to stay in New Orleans, but rather than ride out the storm in their home, which they had just spent a full year renovating, they rounded up their kids and sought shelter in Betsy’s parents’ house just blocks away.
It was a nerve-racking experience. “We were glued to the news, watching this storm that just seemed to stretch on and on. But of course our kids thought it was cool to watch things flying around outside.”
When the storm finally passed, Betsy got to it, navigating her way around shattered tree limbs and downed power lines to check on things at her house and at her clients’ houses.
“My first thought was, 'This is when my clients need me most. This is why I do this.’ And, as I got around, I started to realize that not many people stayed. I was the boots on the ground.”
“My house was fine, thankfully. We would really have been crushed if it was destroyed just after the renovation...to have to start that all over.”
It was about this time that Bill called Betsy to file a claim for his wine collection. He has several thousand bottles; most are kept at a wine storage facility, but about 300 of his best bottles—including some very rare ones—are in a temperature-controlled cellar in his home. As a native of New Orleans, Bill knows hurricanes, and given Ida’s speed, he knew he didn’t have time to safely move the bottles from his home to the storage facility. He and Karyn packed a few things in their car and headed to her parents’ home in northern Louisiana. As he watched reports of the damage on the news, Bill knew it would take weeks before the power would be restored, so he assumed his collection would be ruined.
Betsy contacted PURE, specifically Regional Claims Executive, Tiffany Alvey, and Sales and Marketing Manager, Lauren Steinhardt. Knowing how much the collection meant to Bill and its value, the three were not ready to give up. “It hadn’t even been 24 hours,” says Betsy. “So we started to strategize a plan. We needed someone to pack it up, catalogue it and transport it. And we needed somewhere to store it.”