Debriefing after a disaster

Upper McKenzie Community Center plans to host future coping classes


February 8, 2024 | View PDF

RAINBOW: “We thought it would be a great idea to get together as a community and try to figure out what went wrong and what we could do better,” was the way Upper McKenzie Community Center president John Carlile kicked off a “Disaster Debriefing” last Saturday. He also detailed some challenges the organization faced when it was decided to open the building as a warming center following a severe ice storm that delivered a hard hit to the region.

“All the redundancies that we thought were in place failed, didn’t last long enough, weren’t in the right place, or had to be sorted out,” he said. Specifics that were dealt with included getting a new standby electric generator to work as advertised and an unexpected need for another to run the center’s water pump.

During the afternoon, people were able to relate problems they had to deal with and often heard from someone else in the room who had real-world solutions.

Some of those solutions are now posted on a new Community Information Board at the center along with lists of area services. Plans are also underway to host more community meetings that will focus on addressing topics ranging from backup power systems to keeping lines of communication open when cell phone or Internet connections aren’t working.

To view a video of the meeting, go to:


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