Sure, a wide scale emergency situation seems like such a foreign concept here in Tyler County. Even following the derecho which left West Virginia in a state of emergency this past summer, those storms seem to pale in comparison when we look at the destruction caused by Superstorm Sandy and its lasting impact on the state of New Jersey.
But unfortunately, destructive weather is not the only thing we have to worry about. In an area rife with power plants and the expansion of chemical-based industries, we must also worry about-
-Wait! What's that, you say? You're not worried?
Fortunately, there are members of our community who not only concern themselves with the multitude of potential disasters breathing down our backs, but they have dedicated a great deal of time and energy to preparing for the day when those inevitable crises occur.
Even if you feel that your time and energy are better suited elsewhere, these people are willing to accommodate for you in their ever-expanding plans. While the storms and subsequent power outages in Tyler County were no Superstorm Sandy, these emergency planners, many of whom are involved with the Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) and Office of Emergency Management (OEM), acted selflessly in caring for those who could not remain in their homes because their homes were extensively damaged or because they needed to stay in an air-conditioned environment.
So maybe preparedness is not for you, and sure, maybe we all get a little sidetracked sometimes, but the least we can do is make an effort to attend an LEPC meeting or OEM volunteer meeting. Such meetings are open to the public and regularly scheduled once a month. They also put on a variety of other educational events, many of which involve search and rescue. Guests are always welcome. Some of us even have a professional expertise or skill set we may be able to bring to the table when the unthinkable becomes a reality.
And if that doesn't work for you or you're still too busy, maybe just thank these upstanding citizens when you happen to see them. Let them know that they are appreciated. It will be appreciated.