United Way of Lane County is sponsoring a preparedness series for rural organizations. Giving a preview of the four sessions: Ana-Marie Jones.
[00:00:08] Ana-Marie Jones: I’ve been a preparedness nerd since I was a child. I grew up as a nerdy, nerdy child who loved safety and preparedness. So the fact that I do this as an adult is absolutely just, you know, literally 50 years of doing this and I believe preparedness is the answer to so many of our societal ills. And if we were to help nonprofits, particularly the smaller grassroots nonprofits, embrace preparedness and readiness and resilience as a way of being and as a way of expressing their mission, I do think we can kind of take over the world.
[00:00:44] John Q: Ana-Marie is a member of the International Women in Emergency Management Hall of Fame. She was honored in 2000 for her trailblazing work with CARD: Collaborating Agencies Responding to Disasters.
[00:00:56] Ana-Marie Jones: We really got to work with thousands of non-profits across the country and some internationally, very specifically to take on preparedness response recovery and that entire conversation, not from a place of, ‘Oh my goodness. There are disasters and all these things that could happen.’ But from a real place of being resilient agencies, ready to step up, contribute their time, their talent, their collective ability to make a difference for their clients, for their community.
[00:01:25] We spend a lot of time creating new tools, making it so that any nonprofit—and I do mean any nonprofit—can take on preparedness response and that whole conversation from a very different and hopefully very happy place.
[00:01:40] So my goal is sharing that so that no agency has to start from scratch. No agency has to have this be a difficult road. It can really be that easy, that straightforward and that uplifting.
[00:01:54] John Q: Organizers are hoping that each organization can send two persons to the four Zoom sessions, from April to June. Ana Marie said the more networking, the better.
[00:02:04] Ana-Marie Jones: Nonprofits are an absolute lifeline and the lifeblood of many communities. And so one of the things that I will always treasure is nonprofits being able to come together and share from their perspective. We will have speakers. We will have people who will come and speak to you and answer your questions, and present on things that are really important, for example, what are the things that we should actually be preparing for? What do we have? What do we not have? Right. That’s incredibly important for managing any kind of disaster. We want to know each other before.
[00:02:39] John Q: Ana-Marie gave a shout-out to Selene Jaramillo of Lane County.
[00:02:42] Ana-Marie Jones: So, and Selene is one of the people that really championed this and the reason our cohort was so successful back when we did that original cohort was because we really got to know each other, right. It helped so much for agencies to be able to learn from each other, to know each other, to have each other in their phone books and be able to call and reach out.
[00:03:04] John Q: Non-profits need to develop a ‘MacGyver mindset,’ named for the TV show hero. (Ana-Marie emphasized that she is talking about the old MacGyver, not the new one.)
[00:03:14] Ana-Marie Jones: For those of you who are not familiar with MacGyver, basically, it’s an ex-CIA agent named Angus MacGyver. He works for one of those quasi-governmental groups. And he literally saves the day every time, but he never does it because he’s dragging a Go Kit with him. He never does it with a gun. He never does it with anything that is traditional. What does he do? He uses innovation, right? He just looks around, finds stuff in his environment, and saves the day.
[00:03:41] Your job right now is ‘to MacGyver’ yourselves with a zip-top bag. I’d like you to consider that we’ve had an emergency (you can pick whichever emergency you would like in your own head) and you’ve got to make stuff happen. There’s been a crisis.
[00:03:56] All right. I’ll show you one thing. If I have a zip-top bag, the main thing I would do is take my phone, put it in a zip top bag. What have I done by putting it in a zip-top bag? I have waterproofed it. It is watertight. And you should know, you can still use your phone while it’s in the zip-top bag. So I have now made it that if I needed to, I could share this without somebody getting their fingers and whatever other things. If it were raining, I could go outside. If something fell under water and I needed to use the flashlight or capture a picture of it, could I do it? You can put your IDs in it, all your important documents. Put cat food in it. If you were a little kid, what would you want to protect or save? If you were a senior, if you were an EMT doctor, nurse, paramedic, what would you do with, so you could literally help people to make this a life-saving tool. If I needed to do some sort of first aid, I could put my hands in the bag and still do all the appropriate first aid. If I needed to get air, right. I can make this into an air thing and do that. If I put water in this, I could pop holes and use it for irrigation. You cut the corners out here. Can you see little plastic pants for your kids? If you didn’t have a diaper, you do now. The truth is, taking on ‘the MacGyver mindset’ can make all the difference.
[00:05:16] And many of our programs are developed like this, where we’re teaching you to use the resources you’ve got. So throughout this area, you’re going to be seeing the tools that work for nonprofits, as well as, how are we going to up our level of communication and connectivity.
[00:05:33] John Q: Ana-Marie Jones and United Way, helping our rural community organizations become more resilient. For more about the upcoming training sessions, contact Matt Penberthy at United Way of Lane County.