Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Winter Weather

With crazy winter weather this year, we at Hope House must be very aware of all the things that can go wrong which can have a huge impact on our clients living in shelter and those coming to us for services. We implement emergency contingencies and go into hyper-planning mode to ensure that we are prepared if the worst case scenario happens. 

First and foremost, our responsibility is to those who are living with us and depend on us for their shelter and daily living needs. With school closings, we need to be prepared with enough food, as we’ll have the children here all day and will be feeding more than we normally would on a weekday.  

We need to have back up plans for electrical outages and emergency staffing plans for those who are working in shelter and those who cannot get in to relieve them. We do intakes and proceed as any other day, just like any other 24-hour facility. 

Our shelter and facilities staff outdid themselves this past storm. I am so appreciative of all of them and the way they handled the situation. They approached it with enthusiasm and determination. Shelter staff prepared themselves to stay for the long haul, and stay they did, doing 24+ hour shifts. They were real troopers. 

Facilities staff came in with shovels and the wonderful snow blowers that we received from our donors. They went to work first on the cars of the shelter staff so that they could go home as relief had arrived, then they went to work on the parking lots and sidewalks so people could get around.  

I am grateful to every one of them for their efforts and their dedication. They truly are heroes in my book.  We can’t stop doing what we do because of the weather and I am grateful for the staff who keep it all going.

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