Monday, February 8, 2010

Weather, disasters, and other challenges

This year has started out strong with many challenges. Haiti had an earthquake that devastated the island country. Much of the East Coast around Washington, D.C. is shut down because of a snow storm that reached blizzard conditions in places. California has been in the news as they have had serious mudslides due to heavy rains.

Grange members have contacted me about some of these events and asked what they could do. I would suggest that we work together with other organizations to bring relief where it is needed. Our members may choose to help Haiti or they may want to aid their fellow citizens, it is their choice.

As we look to the future, each Grange should consider creating a plan in case of disaster or extreme weather. Can your Grange hall be an refuge for people if something happens in your community? Can you arrange for power, heat, and water at your hall if the lines go down?

How can your Grange members share information to ensure that as many needs are met as possible? Who is going to check in on members who don't have family in the community?

These questions and more are important if you want to develop a plan to help your community. Talk with your local fire department and law enforcement agency. Make sure to consider what they have to say about emergency planning.

Grange members have a history of pitching in and helping during times of extreme weather or natural disasters. In this day and age, it only makes sense to create a plan so that everyone in your Grange knows what to do and who to check with. After all, it is our community.