Growing up in Jasper, I never thought we would ever need an emergency plan to deal with the events of the world. My church has developed plans with the other churches in Rogers and neighboring cities to keep our citizens safe. The first of the series was to let members of the church know what to do in case of a tornado, an earthquake, fire, or other natural disasters. This past Sunday we were given an information packet letting us know what to do in case of Acts of Violence, such as Robbery, Hostage Situation, or Active Shooter in or around the church. 

Quake fear is taking place in California now and last month all the terrible things that come with flooding was felt on the Arkansas River area. What disasters do and how we react makes all the difference in the world. Can you imagine the fear each time the ground shakes? PTSD is true in many people. Could you imagine the feelings of the people around Fort Smith and other towns down the river each time rain developed? There are ways to prepare for earthquakes and in cases of flooding plans can be developed. Jasper has put in the paper the protocol developed by the Local Emergency Planning Committee for the use of the siren in times of weather emergencies.

As sad as it is, churches and schools are hiring people to keep everyone safe. It takes away the idea that schools and churches are the safest places to be. It makes me sick to think of having to lock the church doors while we are inside during worship and to lock the schools with doors having to be opened for parents to get in during the school day. And we used to think the worst thing we had to prepare for was fire drills, bomb scares (under the desk?), and tornado drills (in hall ways filled with glass doors?). Weren’t we naïve? Still living is exciting and is actually a happy place to be.

Just think of all the fun everyone had during the Elk Festival celebrating the Arkansas elk herd. So many activities are being planned at the Senior Center, activities at the library look exciting and the Mt. Judea Free Lending Library is open and ready for use all year. Find a way to get out and enjoy at least one new thing this week. Who knows you may be a budding artist at the Newton County Library! You may travel with the Senior Center group to the Ralph Foster Museum at College of the Ozarks or you could enjoy writing with the Writers group beginning on August 3.

Life is really good even with all the disasters we have and are planning for - just in case. Make your plans and get on with enjoying life!

Have a good week. Stay cool!

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