The cover for this edition features Bob Seger, who will play Huntington Center March 26 and March 31. Education Champions: The Learning Club helps struggling students succeed and program keeps smiles on students. “The 72-Hour Survival Plan” is offered . There is a special “Leadership Toledo” section . Creadio hits the right notes. Former UT football star Chuck Ealey is using success to help local youth. Vicki L. Kroll talks to Ben Taylor, who will play a sold-out show with dad James on April 2 at the Stranahan Theater. The issue also features Michael S. Miller’s column on Bob Seger.
Archive for March, 2011
Crossing the border, the Canadian duo Dala has something to declare: “We are fearless/ And we are here.”
That’s part of the chorus of Dala’s song, “Alive,” from their U.S. debut, “Everyone Is Someone.”
“It’s amazing,” Sheila Carabine said of the January release. “It’s opening so many doors for us, getting our music into people’s ears, which is all we ever want.”
Dala’s catchy folk-pop is getting a lot of attention. Carabine’s alto voice and Amanda Walther’s soprano create rich harmonies for witty, thought-provoking lyrics. They are favorites of NPR’s Folk Alley and played at the 50th anniversary of the Newport Folk Festival.
The two met in high school in Scarborough, Ontario, and wrote their first song in 2002. They came up with Dala by combining the last two letters of their names.
“The friendship was special from the minute we met; we’re kindred spirits,” Carabine said. “And when we added music to that relationship, it just took it over the top.”
The two are flying since being named vocal group of the year at the 2010 Canadian Folk Awards. And they received a Juno Award nomination for roots and traditional album of the year by a group for the PBS special, “Girls From the North Country,” a live concert that will be released in the States this year.
“We’re so honored; it’s kind of the Canadian Grammys,” Carabine said during a phone call from Collingwood, Ontario. “We’re looking forward to hopefully seeing Neil Young; he’s supposed to appear at the event. And Aracade Fire are going to perform, so we feel like we’re part of a moment in time in Canada music history, and that’s really cool.”
Three days after the Juno Awards, Dala will perform at the Ark in Ann Arbor at 8 p.m. March 30. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15.
The singer-songwriters both play guitar and piano.
“We also started to incorporate the ukulele in our set,” Carabine said. “It makes me feel like a giant when I’m holding it.”
That sense of humor is prevalent in Dala’s music. Take the single, “Levi Blues,” for example, which finds the pair singing, “I’ll go to China, write ‘I love you’ on the wall/ And maybe London, catch a show at Albert Hall/ I’ll see the world in my Levi blues/ But I’ll always come back to you.”
“It’s a song that’s tongue and cheek; we list all the places we hope our music will take us around the world. And it’s also a love song for the people that we have to leave behind in Toronto every time we go on tour,” Carabine said.
That sweet optimism is all Dala.
“I hope that people notice the little things in their own lives and find inspiration after listening to our songs,” she said.
For more information, visit dalagirls.com
Youth Leadership Toledo will benefit from each smile whitened by a Sylvania dental office over the next several months.
Brookview Dental is participating in a nationwide fundraising program called Smiles for Life, in which all proceeds from teeth-whitening from now through June will be donated to charity.
“If you’ve ever thought about having your teeth professionally whitened, there’s no better time than right now,” said Dr. Peter Urbanik.
Urbanik, a member of the current Leadership Toledo class, owns the practice at 7135 Sylvania Ave., in Sylvania, along with Dr. Brad Barricklow and Dr. Todd J. Schultz.
Half the proceeds from the whitenings go to the Smiles for Life Foundation, which supports the work of children’s charities across the U.S. and Canada, including the Children’s Miracle Network, St. Jude’s Children’s Hospitals and the Kids Cancer Care Foundation. The other half is donated to a local charity of the dental office’s choice.
This year, half of the money collected will be donated to Youth Leadership Toledo, a program of Leadership Toledo that works with young leaders at area high schools, helping the teens realize their full leadership potential in their schools and communities.
Brookview is the only dental office in Northwest Ohio participating in Smiles for Life. This is the second year the office has participated. It also donated to Leadership Toledo last year.
“Last year we kind of got our feet wet with it and were able to raise about $1,800, half of which went to Leadership Toledo,” Urbanik said. “This year, our goal is $10,000, so we’ve set our sights quite a bit higher, but we’re not going to stop there. We’d go forever if we could.”
All professional whitening supplies for Smiles for Life are donated by Discus Dental.
“These are the same professional materials we use to whiten teeth year round,” Urbanik said.
The usual fee for professional whitening is $170, but Brookview Dental will accept whatever a patient decides to contribute, said practice manager Shane Ferguson.
Both Urbanik and Ferguson said it’s important to Brookview to give back to the community.
“Our office just has a very high mission to give back to community,” Ferguson said. “We just believe in that. We’re serious about collecting some serious money to give to our community.”
The Smiles for Life Foundation is a children’s charity associated with the Crown Council, an organization of leading dentists in North America. The foundation has raised more than $27 million since 1998, benefiting nearly 500 children’s charities across North America, according to a news release.
For more information, visit www.brookviewdental.com or www.smilesforlife.org or call the office at (419) 885-1115.
New Bethel Church of God in Christ hosted its 12th annual Truth Marches on Conference in Toledo. A crowd of nearly 400 attendees packed the church, which spanned three days from March 9-11 and featured renowned musical guests and speakers, including Elder Christian Davis, Lisa Page- Brooks, Evangelist Sandra Riley, Pastor Smokie Norful and Dr. Marvin Sapp.
Dr. Marvin Sapp, Gospel recording artist and pastor of Lighthouse Full Life Center Church in Grand Rapids, Mich., told the audience a personal story of overcoming the death of his wife MaLinda Sapp and expressed his deep love for her.
He said to the audience, “Get married for the right reasons. Don’t get married for the wrong reasons. Find someone you can share your vision with.”
Sapp said losing his wife whom he referred to as his best friend was difficult, but said the Lord gave him strength to make it through his ordeal.
He delivered a powerful sermon based on Bible scripture Ezekiel chapter 37 titled “Valley of Dry Bones.” He immediately engaged his audience into his sermon by asking the congregation to look their closest neighbor in the eye and say “Live!”
Before leading the congregation into song, he said “Right now in this country, we are having problems with issues like the economy and foreclosure. And at times you may think you can’t make it. But just know you are still standing.”
Evangelist Sandra Riley delivered a sermon on the Bible scripture Book of Daniel, “Daniel and the Lion’s Den.”
She involved her audience into her message by telling them to look to their closest neighbor and say, “Neighbor, God is going to get you out of this.”
Riley’s sermon — which sparked much crowd reaction — applied the specific scripture to modern day issues. She spoke of negative people and obstacles that may get in the way in individuals’ lives.
Nellene Arnett and her brother Robert Arnett attended the event and said they were glad to be involved.
“It was a success I am glad to be involved,” Robert Arnett said.
Nellene Arnette agreed.
“A wonderful spirit came over me,” she said. “A word spoke to me as soon as I walked in the door. All I needed to hear from God, I heard from it tonight.”
Nellene Arnette further elaborated that Riley spoke to a situation she is currently facing.
“Everything she mentioned about Daniel and the Lion’s Den applied to what I am going through right now,” she said. “The message she got across was don’t let what people say or feel about you get in the way of what you’re doing for God. She said to keep your eyes on the prize and not be discouraged.”
Cecillia Wallace, coordinator of the Truth Marches on Conference, said she was pleased with the outcome of the event.
“The speakers did excellent,” she said. This is the third time Dr. Marvin Sapp has been with us and he is an awesome man of God.
Smokie Norful is just a dynamic speaker. This was the first time I had heard Evangelist Riley speak and I really enjoyed her as well.”
Wallace said the theme of the conference related to scripture John 8:32, which is “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” She said she thinks all attendees were inspired by this conference.
She said she was personally inspired by Dr. Sapp’s sermon “Live,” which was the basis for his message and also a universal message.
Referring to Sapp’s message, she said, “In spite of the obstacle in your life, you need to brush through them, trust the Lord and just live your life to fullest.”
Empowered by last year’s elections, Republican leaders in about half the states are pushing to require voters to show photo ID at the polls despite little evidence of fraud and already-substantial punishments for those who vote illegally.
Democrats claim the moves will disenfranchise poor and minority voters — many of whom traditionally vote for their candidates. The measures will also increase spending and oversight in some states even as Republicans are focused on cutting budgets and decreasing regulations.
Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett, a Republican, said he believes his state’s proposed photo ID law will increase citizen confidence in the process and combat fraud that could be going undetected.
“I can’t figure out who it would disenfranchise,” Hargett said. “The only people I can think it disenfranchises is those people who might be voting illegally.”
Hargett said the measure currently moving through Tennessee’s legislature _ now controlled by Republicans _ would accommodate people who don’t have IDs by having them sign oaths of identity, which provide more prominent warning to potential fakers than the standard name-signing.
Party leaders advanced several ID proposals this week with successful votes in Alabama, Arkansas, Kansas, Ohio and Texas.
About half of states are considering measures to create or strengthen ID requirements this year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Many are considering stringent controls that would mirror laws in Georgia and Indiana, which require voters who don’t have photo ID at the polls to return to election offices within days and produce that kind of identification in order to get their votes counted.
The Ohio House has approved a bill that would require Ohio voters to show a photo ID before casting an in-person ballot.
Supporters say the measure is aimed at keeping people from trying to vote more than once. It would require voters to present photo identification at a polling place on Election Day or when casting a pre-election absentee ballot in person.
The GOP-led House on March 23 voted 56-38 in favor of the bill, which was introduced eight days earlier. It now goes to the Senate.
In the South, the issue comes with a burden of history for black residents who recall past barriers to voting such as violence, literacy tests and other methods. The Voting Rights Act still requires a number of Southern states to get Justice Department approval of redistricting efforts to ensure that minorities’ voting strength is upheld.
William Barber, president of North Carolina’s chapter of the NAACP, said the photo ID measure amounts to “nothing but nuanced, 21st Century Jim Crow.”
Henry Frye recalled the literacy test he failed in 1956, after he’d returned from serving in the Air Force and tried to register to vote. One of the questions asked him to name a U.S. president — the 13th, if he remembers correctly.
Frye, who eventually became North Carolina’s first black Supreme Court justice, spent 14 years as a lawmaker in the General Assembly and focused much of his time trying to make it easier for people to register and vote. He said the photo ID measure appears to be a first step back in the wrong direction.
“I think we need to do what we can to encourage voting rather than discourage voting,” Frye said.
Elections officials in North Carolina said most of the voting fraud allegations they investigate turn out to be unfounded. Over the past five years, the state has referred about 350 cases to district attorneys for investigation, mostly in cases of felons who cast a ballot without first getting their voting rights restored. There are more than six million registered voters in the state.
States already have ways to check the identity of voters when they register and when they go to cast a ballot. North Carolina’s current law requires residents to provide documents proving their name and address in order to register to vote. Those who register improperly can be charged with a felony.
At the polls, North Carolina voters must declare their valid name and address in order to get their ballot. Impersonating another registered voter is also a felony, as is voting more than once in an election.
In Georgia, which has had a strict voter ID law on the books for years, Republican Secretary of State Brian Kemp said he’s not aware of anyone caught committing fraud. He argues that the rules help prevent people who try to file improper votes from having them counted.
Republican Secretary of State Brian Kemp said he’s not aware of anyone caught committing fraud because of the law but argued that it has helped make elections more secure.
Kemp said about two-thirds of people who cast provisional ballots because of missing photo IDs — there were about 1,200 during the 2008 presidential election — do not return to election offices. He suspects those people either knew the outcome of the election and didn’t feel the need to confirm their vote, or they were trying to commit fraud. He doesn’t see any signs that minorities or any other people are participating less because of the law.
“I don’t think it’s created any kind of burden for our citizens,” Kemp said.
Estimated costs vary for states to implement the changes and provide picture IDs for those who don’t already have a driver’s license or other qualifying identification. North Carolina estimates a cost of more than $3 million in the first year and about $400,000 each year going forward. Missouri estimates that a proposal in that state could also cost millions. Texas would spend $2 million in the coming year to implement the law there.
Tennessee’s law wouldn’t require the state to provide IDs, so Hargett believes the cost would be minimal.
Many of the state efforts are coming due to increased GOP influence, as Republicans now control 25 state legislatures and 29 governor’s offices. In Kansas, for example, the GOP-controlled Legislature approved a photo ID bill three years ago but then-Democratic Gov. Kathleen Sebelius vetoed it. The state’s new Republican governor, Sam Brownback, supports the photo ID rules, which are advancing through the Legislature now.
South Carolina is moving forward to require photo IDs, strengthening a law which already requires voters to show either driver’s licenses, voter registration cards or DMV-issued ID cards. The topic has been racially divisive in Mississippi for years and will now be on the ballot as an initiative after a petition authored by a Republican lawmaker got enough signatures. The new Republican majority in the Alabama Legislature is hoping to push a photo ID law through after years of discussing it.
“I think most citizens think it’s common sense,” Kemp said. “I think it’s important for people, not only from a fraud perspective, but to make sure that people have confidence in the system.”
The PGA Tour is finishing up its Florida swing and is inching ever closer to Georgia for its annual rite of spring, The Masters. It has been held each year since 1934 at one of the most gorgeous sites on earth, Augusta National Golf Club. The course was conceived by golf’s true legend, Bobby Jones. He and partner Clifford Roberts purchased a rundown nursery on the outskirts of Augusta, and commissioned famed Scottish golf course designer Alister Mackenzie to bring his dream to life. The results were astonishing. Mackenzie’s creation has lasted the test of time and with only minor tweaking over the years is still considered one of the most beautiful and difficult golf course properties in the world.
The tournament with its majestic beauty and regal presence is held each year at the beginning of April. It is a harbinger of spring and offers a rebirth of the golf season for most of the thawing northern United States.
It has one of the most impressive list of past winners of any golf tournament in history; Ben Hogan, Byron Nelson, Sam Snead, Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus, Nick Faldo, and of late Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson. The big names always seem to work their way to the top of the leader board by the start of the Back 9 on Sunday. The players are at the mercy of the swirling winds and the “Golfing Gods” as they enter “Amen Corner”. Eagles and birdies await on No. 13 and No. 15, the two par 5’s on the Back 9, but the tall stately pines tightly guarding the fairways, a seductively meandering Rae’s creek, as well as, the slick, undulating greens, rumored to be elephant burial grounds are always lurking to dash the dreams of donning the Green Jacket in Butler Cabin.
This year’s Masters should not disappoint. The PGA Tour is 13 weeks into their season and 20 some things have won 6 times thus far in 2011. Martin Kaymer, Dustin Johnson, Bubba Watson, Rickie Fowler, Rory McIlroy, and Ryo Ishikawa are just a few of the young guns who will not only be in the field but are all threats to top the leader board. Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson seem to be awakening from their long hibernations and appear to be finding their slumbering golf games. After all between them they have won 6 of the last 10 Masters tournaments. Throw in Lee Westwood, Graeme McDowell, Luke Donald, Justin Rose, Ian Poulter, resurging Vijay Singh, putter extraordinaire Steve Stricker, as well as, a host of other hungry veteran players seeking a major title to add to their resumes, it makes for a very tasty and satisfying full course menu.
If you are a golf fan you won’t want to miss all the story lines and subplots during this year’s Masters. When the leaders finish the front side and head to the Back 9 on Sunday, fasten your seatbelts and make sure the seats and trays are in the upright position, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.
Less than three months into a tea party-flavored Congress, federal budget cuts amount to $10 billion. Government shutdowns total zero.
That translates into twin early triumphs for Republicans, who are determined to reduce spending and have so far defied attempts by congressional Democrats to cast them as an uncontrollable rabble that would just as soon shutter the government as downsize it.
“We’ve made it clear that a government shutdown is not an option — period,” GOP Rep. Hal Rogers of Kentucky, the House Appropriations Committee chairman, said recently as the House was voting to cut $6 billion of the $10 billion while keeping the government running through April 8.
The rhetorical threat of a shutdown is a recurring one, put to differing uses by various interests in the struggle over the size and scope of the government. As Congress returns this week from a break, that threat hangs over negotiations on legislation to enact tens of billions and keep the government running through the Sept. 30 end of the current budget year.
“If the government were to shut down, I don’t think it’s because we asked for too much,” Rep. Scott DesJarlais, R-Tenn., said recently, neither advocating a shutdown nor ruling one out.
Presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich counseled fellow Republicans on the subject over the winter. “Becoming one more promise-breaking, Washington-dominated, sellout group is a much worse fate — politically and ethically — than having the government close for a few days,” he wrote in The Washington Post. As House speaker in the mid-1990s, he led the party into two shutdowns that boomeranged politically, helping President Bill Clinton win re-election and damaging the GOP. Now he’s a presidential hopeful and seeks the support of tea party activists.
The current speaker, Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, says he wants no part of such talk. But Democrats seize on shutdown-related comments as they work to deflect attention from their own inability to unify on spending cuts, an issue of immense importance to the voters at a time the deficit is over $1.5 trillion and the federal debt exceeds $14 trillion.
“It’s clear that there is no path to compromise that goes through the tea party,” said Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., before Congress began its break. “We urge Speaker Boehner to push ahead without them. We are ready to work with him if he is willing to buck the extreme element of his party.”
Schumer spoke after the most recent temporary spending bill passed the House, and to underscore his point, he noted that 54 Republicans voted against the measure. Left unsaid was that 66 of the 87 first-term GOP lawmakers voted for it, along with 85 Democrats, a strong bipartisan showing.
Among Senate Democrats, liberals generally want less in the way of cuts than do the moderates, several of whom face potentially difficult races in 2012.
“There are way too many people in denial around here about the nature of the (deficit) problem and how serious it is,” said Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., who will face the voters in a state that Obama lost in 2008.
The difference in perspective is explained in polling shown privately to Democratic senators over the winter. In a survey by GarinHartYang, a Democratic firm, 63 percent of Democrats polled said their No. 1 priority for improving the economy was government spending to create jobs and help the United States compete globally. By contrast, 28 percent preferred reducing the deficit through spending cuts.
When independent voters were asked the same question, 50 percent favored cuts to reduce the deficit while only 39 percent backed government spending to create jobs. Obama has called for both.
The report also said that when it comes to re-electing senators, “voters have bigger concerns about not doing enough about the deficit than about going too far.” The margin was 48-41 among independents, and 50-40 overall. The survey results were obtained by The Associated Press.
Beyond the obvious appeal to Republican party activists, it’s unclear whether the shutdown talk within the party is designed to throw the Democrats off balance or perhaps warn Boehner and the rest of the GOP leadership to hold firm in the current negotiations.
In those talks, the initial bargaining positions are clear.
The House has voted for $61 billion in cuts. Senate Democrats haven’t agreed publicly to anything more than the $10 billion already enacted. In private negotiations joined by the White House, according to officials familiar with the secretive talks, all sides have acknowledged they must move off their initial figures. Boehner also is defending a series of contentious nonspending provisions that passed the House. Some of those may be acceptable to the White House, but nothing that neuters the year-old health care law or bans Planned Parenthood from receiving federal funds.
So far, though, the real surprise is not how hard it’s been to cut spending, but how easy.
The $10 billion total so far was drawn from administration recommendations. There was little Democratic criticism, and Republicans pocketed them gladly, each time calling for more.
The White House wants more, too, as Obama looks ahead to his 2012 re-election campaign.
“We can agree to additional savings and we want to look and find the savings that we can all agree on,” says his budget director, Jack Lew. “It’s going to be somewhere in the middle.”
David Espo is AP’s chief congressional correspondent.
Editor’s note: Toledo Free Press will follow the Blank family of Millbury for one year as they rebuild their lives after a June 5 tornado destroyed their Main Street home.
The Blank family is planning to attend the March 27 groundbreaking ceremony for the new Lake High School.
The 2 p.m. event will have special meaning for the Blanks who lost their home in the same June 5 tornado that destroyed the high school. Casey Blank will start his senior year at the new school when it opens in August 2012.
“It feels good because it means we can move on and rebuild the school that we have all dreamed of,” Casey said.
As part of the ceremony, the Lake High School band and choir will perform. Casey sings bass for the choir.
Ed said he and his wife will return from a trip in time for the groundbreaking. They wouldn’t miss it.
“It is another phase of the rebuild for the community,” Ed said. “It just goes to show that progress is being made everywhere.”
The groundbreaking will feature remarks from school officials, the construction company Rudolph|Libbe and the architectural firm The Collaborative. The groundbreaking will be special for Rudolph|Libbe, which is located in Lake Township.
“It does mean a lot to us, we are a township resident,” said Gary Haas, vice president of Rudolph|Libbe. “It is going to be a very historic event for Lake.”
Haas has been involved with the project almost since the beginning. He thinks students like Casey will enjoy the “campus concept” of the design and the spattering of Lake’s blue and white colors throughout the building.
The new high school will be slightly larger than the old one. At 144,350 square feet, the building will include 34 classrooms, a media center and a multipurpose cafeteria that can serve as a gym. The school will also feature a gym with 1,800 arena-style seats, a 500-seat auditorium, as well as centralized administrative and district offices. The campus feel will be reinforced with a concession building and football locker rooms near the field.
The project is also environmentally friendly. The building will be constructed over the old footprint to reduce impact to the site. Low-flow plumbing fixtures will be installed in the school to reduce energy use.
The $25.5 million project is set to start this month with a finish date in August 2012. Haas said passersby will see work being done as early as March 28.
A lot of people don’t realize how much work it took to get to this point, in particular with the insurance issues of losing a school to a tornado.
“I have so much respect for the administration,” Haas said. “Nobody takes a course in Tornado 101.”
Toledo business owners have discovered a new way to promote their brands.
Creadio offers a custom Internet streaming service, giving businesses a custom radio and television station to promote their brand in-store. The radio service comes complete with disc jockeys spinning music, custom jingles and commercials promoting the business. The television station offers consumers content such as sports, weather and news, tailored to the business.
“When we build a new station, we build a station customized for the business,” Creadio creator Will Lucas said. “Everything from the bottom up is individually customized for the customer. What we do is empower brands by replacing traditional background music (like Muzak) with real radio stations.”
The 30-year-old Lucas began a career in radio at the end of his high school career in 1998.
“I never got into radio to do radio. I was always an entrepreneur at heart,” Lucas said.
While shopping in a department store in 2003, Lucas heard a local radio station being broadcast when a competitor’s advertisement came on. Lucas said he realized the absurdity of the situation and put his entrepreneurial spirit to work.
He spent a year trying to figure out what technology would best deliver his service. He first turned to customized 90-minute CDs and tested his product in a friend’s business. When the CDs failed to meet his vision, he turned to Internet streaming.
According to Lucas, all of the stations are supplemented with voice tracks — prescheduled inserts of a DJ talking. Live DJs are is available to subscribers at any point. Business owners are encouraged to call into the station with a song request or a birthday wish for an in-store customer. The on-air work is subcontracted to professional DJs — contacts Lucas made during his days working in radio. There is always a DJ on-site who can speak live on air at any time.
“We want the customer environment to be custom tailored by the consumer,” Lucas said.
In September 2009, Lucas, attended a National Black McDonald’s Operators Association (NBMOA) conference. He turned his locally grown idea into a national business, with contracts in Los Angeles, West Virginia, Florida, North Carolina, Maryland and Kentucky, among others. Creadio can be heard in Toledo in The Andersons and McDonald’s.
“[Creadio] allows us to continuously do our own advertising as well as provide a good quality music offering to customers shopping in the store,” Dan Anderson, president of the retail group of The Andersons, said. “Our customer reaction to [Creadio] has been pretty darn favorable.”
Jon Harris owns eight McDonald’s restaurants throughout the Toledo area and is a subscriber to Creadio. He credits Creadio with the rise in dessert sales because of the in-store advertisements delivered via the radio and TV.
“The nicest thing about Creadio is you have the music and you have the TV. You never hear a competitor’s message on there. All you hear is [your business] advertised,” Harris said.
The Creadio radio service ranges from $28-$85 permonth and the television service ranges from $65-$95 per month. Call (419) 830-0710 or email email@example.com to subscribe to Creadio.
By Jeff Berry
If a sudden disaster struck your neighborhood, would you be prepared? To better equip the public to handle such a situation, the topic of the next Ready U session, “The 72-Hour Survival Plan,” is emergency preparedness.
The free, hourlong presentation is set for 7 p.m. March 28 at the Main Library, 325 N. Michigan St.
Chief Michael Wolever of the Toledo Fire and Rescue Department will discuss steps to be taken in an emergency situation, starting with first aid.
“Once those needs are taken care of, then you look at ‘Do I have water? Do I have food? Do I have clothing that will allow me to be warm in the winter and keep the heat and sun off me in the summer? Do I have the medication I need to survive?’” Wolever said. “So those are the kind of things we’ll talk about.”
Sheri Meeker, community disaster education specialist for the Red Cross of Greater Toledo, said she hopes the event will raise awareness and prompt people to think about a plan.
“Most people are not prepared,” Meeker said. “When we had flooding and when we had a grain elevator fire and people had to evacuate right away, many people didn’t have a plan for their pets, didn’t know what medications to have.”
Catastrophic incidents can temporarily delay emergency response services due to disrupted lines of communication, blocked travel routes or simply the magnitude of the emergency, Wolever said.
“I want to make sure people understand that there are emergencies of such magnitude that first responders may actually be family members or neighbors, and they have to be prepared to act as such,” Wolever said. “And then beyond that they have to survive and be self-sufficient for we’re saying 72 hours, but it could be even longer than that. Certainly for the first 72 hours, they very well need to survive without the help they are accustomed to getting by picking up the phone and calling.”
The recent tsunami in Japan has tragically highlighted the importance of having a plan in the case of unexpected and catastrophic events, Wolever said.
“In Japan I’m sure many, many people were aided by their neighbors because the rescue teams were several hours out,” Wolever said. “The U.S. sent two rescue teams over, but they’re not getting there in minutes. For hours and days people had to survive on their own and help their neighbors survive. And we had the same thing in New Orleans and Texas and the same thing here, not to that extent, but in Lake Township last year when the tornado went through. Neighbors were helping neighbors and in a big disaster, that’s where the first responders come from.”
Wolever said he hopes people will come away seeing the benefit of preparation.
“I hope they take away that one, there are limitations to what public services can do in a disaster, and two, they have to accept some responsibility for their own well-being immediately following a disaster and how to go about doing that,” Wolever said.
Blizzard Bill Spencer of 13abc will give a short presentation at the end of the session about severe weather and tornado safety, Meeker said.
An example disaster kit will be available to look at.
Ready U, a 10-session yearlong series presented by the Red Cross of Greater Toledo and the Lucas County Emergency Management Agency, is designed to educate the public and prepare individuals and families for potential emergencies in Northwest Ohio.
Attendees will receive reusable grocery bags and have a chance to win raffle prizes, including gift certificates from The Andersons, Meeker said.
Toledo Free Press is a media sponsor for the Ready U program.