EMA Deputy Director Rick Bumarch here,
I would like to take a few moments to let everyone share in my recent training experience. From the moment I arrived at Camp Mihaska the training staff and fellow Emergency Management colleagues were more than welcoming.
Camp Mihaska made for a beautiful educational experience with post-course learning activities to lessen the day’s stress of training, not to mention the cafeteria had a fully-staffed dining area that had coffee set up for the duration of our classes!
There’s not much to criticize about my accommodations, just know if you stay here be prepared to sleep in a bunk bed! Oh, yeah, you will get your cardio in when walking those steps to get to your room!
Now, on to what I learned! Did you know when it comes to donations that “Cash is King?” This includes gift cards. There’s a very good reason for that. When disasters strike, it can be difficult to find places to store canned goods, clothing, water, and other large items that take up valuable storage space. It also takes money away from the survivors in order to house these items. Many people are apprehensive about giving money, that’s why gift cards are a suitable replacement.
Were you also aware that private industry plays a major role in getting the community back on its feet? Companies like Tide who sends out trucks that have washers and dryers to disaster locations to aid in the effort, Anheuser Busch who converts their bottling line from beer to water, Walmart who is nearly always first to help neighborhoods with pallets of bottled water, are almost always the first to respond to large-scale disasters.
All in all my experience was favorable. I learned a few new skills and was able to reinforce the skills already taught to me by Director Sam Henley. I would recommend this course for others fortunate to be invited, just remember to bring your own towels!