Were You Ready, Today?

ENIVRONMENT WEATHERA tornado touched down off of Highway 280 today.  No one was injured, but almost all witnesses were shaken.  Currently, as lightening bolts streak outside of my office window, I remember when I was a victim of a tornado during my childhood and I question, “Now that I work in disaster recovery, am I or my family more prepared should a disaster strike, again?”  Unfortunately, I’m not sure of the answer.

Here’s what I do know:  Severe weather  is such a frequent occurrence here in Central Alabama that we often overlook what we need to do to “be ready.”   In fact, there are multiple ways that I can prepare to help my family, friends, and neighbors in the event of disaster.

First, I know I should have a 3-Day disaster kit on-hand, which includes the following items:

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That’s What We’re Talkin’ About!

Regularly, we talk about taking action, making a difference, and thinking outside of the box in regards to your approach.  Well, lo’ and behold, a proactive and creative woman in Utah accomplished just that.  Upon her co-worker’s car being burglarized, the woman pursued the suspected thief and subdued him with an unconventional move – the classic wedgie.  Kudos to Ms. Morris for humorously setting an example for all of us.

YP Innovation in India

Politics aside, there are large, complex issues facing our community on a local, national, and international stage.  So, how do you play a part in proposing and implementing a solution?

Young professionals in India decided to assume responsibility for community change by creating an awareness tour around their issue of choice, climate change.  What started as a small effort soon grew in participants and activities to include dancers. engineers, activists, musicians and so on.  Their motivation for this effort:

We wanted to find a way to bring people together around existing solutions to inspire more action and more innovation. There’s no time left to just talk about the problem…the world needs crazy ideas to change things, because the conventional way of thinking is not working anymore.

Obviously, these young professionals are taking their countryman Gandhi’s charge to heart. 

Take a moment to think about your own responsibility in creating change around the issues in our community.  Tell us your “unconventional” solutions and let’s see if we cannot start a caravan-for-a-cause (name  your issue) of our own here in Alabama.

Happy Friday

hands-heart…and that other thing too.

Enjoy a 3rd-Grade Valentine’s Day

candy_hearts2My guess is you cannot help but recognize that Valentine’s Day is only two days away.  Internet postings, commercials, and drug stores have been reminding you of this holiday since New Years.  Typically, this consumer-oriented holiday push elicits two types of responses: the super-romantic or the holiday cynic.  I do not fall into either of these categories.

I love Valentine’s Day, but the more platonic children’s holiday rather than the grown-up one.  My favorite part of the holiday was making “mailboxes” out of construction paper and paper doilies and then delivering action-figure themed valentines to all of the kids in my class (My mother said it wasn’t nice to leave anyone out).  I continue this practice today by sending Thundercat and Pirate valentines to friends and co-workers.

Why?  Because, for me, Valentine’s Day serves as a reminder to tell all of the people in my life (and sometimes even strangers) how much I appreciate them.  It’s a fantastic day to bring cheer or even a random act of kindness to someone.  You would be amazed at the joy people express upon receiving a valentine (sometimes only an e-valentine) featuring Jem, Mr. T, or Voltron! 

So, this Valentine’s Day, instead of planning another extravegant dinner for two (who has the money lately, anyway), sweating over the most appropriate gift for that new beau, or settling in for an “anti-valentine” movie night, why not revert back to your elementary school days and just use it as an opportunity to make someone’s day?  You can do it through a simple card or, if you’re looking for a Valentine date idea that’s a bit more unexpected, you and a loved one could “show some love” to a complete stranger by volunteering together at a local shelter, soup kitchen, or nursing home.  Talk about a memorable holiday!