Susie Malone

Education retirees learn disaster preparedness

The Franklin County Education Retirees’ guest speaker for April was John James.

Mr. James, a 25-year retired firefighter, travels as an emergency management employee teaching disaster preparedness at various locations.

Information he shared with FCERA included:

  • Check the forecast often and know how to get tornado warnings. Media broadcasts and smart phones can alert residents of severe storms capable of producing tornadoes.
  • Create a family plan that includes an emergency meeting place and shelter spaces. Pick a safe room in your home, such as the basement, storm cellar or interior room on the lowest floor with no windows. Practice your plan and don’t forget pets if time allows.
  • Disaster preparedness is important, so plan to have water, food, flashlights, candles, first-aid and any other needed supplies.
  • To assist emergency management, make sure your address is visible from the street.
  • Keep important documents, such as health insurance cards, prescriptions and life insurance policies, in a safe place.
  • At the workplace or school, follow the tornado plan and proceed to your tornado shelter quickly and calmly. Stay away from windows and do not go to large open rooms, such as cafeterias, gymnasiums or auditoriums. Sheds and storage facilities are not safe.
  • If you are in a vehicle, drive to the closest shelter, and if you are unable to make it to a safe shelter, either get down in your car and cover your head or abandon your car and seek shelter in a low-lying area, such as a ditch or ravine.
  • Communication is essential. After the storm, let your family and close friends know you are OK so they can help spread the word through text messages and post updates on social media.
  • Contact utilities if power lines are down and stay away from them. Stay out of damaged buildings, and if you see someone injured, call 911.

FCERA President Sandy Gibson presided over the meeting. CB&S Bank provided a delicious luncheon for the attendees. Beautiful spring plants were given as door prizes by CB&S.

Elizabeth Daniel chose “A Time to Laugh” for the inspiration. She read several anecdotes on aging:

“Don’t let aging get you down. It’s too hard to get back up.”

“First you forget names, then you forget faces, then you forget to pull your zipper up, then you forget to pull your zipper down.”

“You’re only as old as you feel.”

“You used to lie about your age; now you brag about it.”

In the business session, President Sandy Gibson gave a report on the annual AERA meeting held in Montgomery. Two Constitution amendments were adopted regarding the Term of Office of the AERA Board and the by-laws regarding quorum.  Gov. Kay Ivy, a retired educator, addressed the AERA meeting.    

The Nomination Committee submitted names for the 2022-2024 FCERA officers. They were Sandy Gibson, president; Brenda Oliver, vice president; Judy Baker, treasurer; and Faye Swinney, secretary. The members approved the slate of officers.