Hunger Is Not a Disease

Meetings, Meetings, Meetings: Preparing for the next Big One

“If one person, just one person does it they may think he’s really sick and they won’t take him.  And, if two people do it, in harmony, they may think they’re both faggots and they won’t take either one of them.  And if three people do it, three, can you imagine three people walking in singing a bar of Alice’s Restaurant and walking out, they may think it’s an organization.” – Arlo Guthrie

Disaster Preparedess, Response, and Recovery

Hudson Valley Farm Fresh

Shelter Committee

Volunteer Workforce

Feeding Committee

Community Animal Response Team

The list continues.  Groups have been meeting  for months.

THE FOCUS IS ON THE NEXT BIG ONE.  I’ve attended some because, as a pantry coordinator,  I’ll be involved somehow.    After a hurricane or other disaster, the people visiting  a pantry can be frightened, confused.

A pantry coordinator after Irene and Sandy, I experienced first hand the face of tragedy worn by the shoppers after they lost homes, jobs, cars.

AFTER IRENE AND SANDY, I TRIED TO INTEREST WOODSTOCK PEOPLE IN PREPARING FOR THE NEXT BIG ONE.   I was too soon.   The response was silence and cold stares.

Now, a group works to minimize future damage.  The thought, planning, preparation, is significant, thorough, detail oriented.  Many people are  important in this endeavor:  Michael Berg from Family, Robert  Lamoree from Community Action, and Michael Raphael from American Red Cross.   Beth McLenden from UlsterCorps, John Scott from Bruderhof, Stacey Rein and Su Marcey from United Way, and a deeply involved group supporting these people.  Representatives from FEMA, Homeland Security, Office of the Aging, Alcoa are doing their part to move this preparations along.

THERE ARE OTHERS – MANY OTHERS.  What’s important is not  the names.  Everyone does whatever is necessary  to minimize disaster damage and to be more effective responders:

They’re seeking out community leaders and residents to identify shelters, feeding stations.

They’re planning innovative strategies to reach more people.

They’re making efforts to identify those who will need assistance.

They’re working to get as many people trained as possible.

FOR MANY, THE EFFORTS ARE HERCULEAN   I see legacies being left as people work.  I  see careers boosted.  But, let me state here:  I don’t think  even one person is focused on either legacy or career ladders.  Everyone is focused on disaster preparation, response, and relief.

Every Monday afternoon at 2, Reservoir Food Pantry volunteers gather behind Robert’s Auction and distribute food to people whose lives were seriously impacted by Hurricane Irene and Superstorm Sandy.  Many still do not have their lives repaired.

Our disaster preparation focus at the pantry is how to feed shoppers during and after a disaster.   We’re trying to identify the older homebound persons who might not be on anyone else’s radar screen.

FOR THIS, ‘HYPER LOCAL KNOWLEDGE IS NEEDED’.  Unfortunately, Ulster County is a large, diverse plot of land.  Few know the entire county intimately.  Disaster Preparedness, Response, and Recovery Committee people are scouring the entire county and gathering information, planning…working hard to have Ulster County ready for the next Big One.


On Tuesday, August 26th at 10 am, there will be a Phoenicia/Shandaken Area Disaster Workforce Planning Meeting at St. Francis deSales Parish Hall in Phoenicia at 109 Main St.


On Tuesday, September 2nd from 5 to 9 pm, there will be an introductory training at the Ulster County Sheriff’s office, 380 Boulevard, in Kingston.  I’m going to attend this one.  Can you come too?

And, on Saturday, October 18th, Alcoa/American Red Cross will sponsor an Emergency Preparedness Event from 10:30 am to 3 pm at Alcoa Fastening Systems, 1 Corporate Drive, Kingston.


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Peace and food for all.

Thurman Greco




    2 comments already | Leave your own comment

  1. 8/25/2014 | 10:52 pm Permalink

    Good to know the dates!

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