The last bus left our shelter just before 6pm CDT, headed for the train station (and a looooong trip south). I didn't end up on site today, but rather was in the command post instead. I really wanted a chance to say good-bye to Mr. E and his traveling companions, plus the other neato folks I met during the past five days.

I must confess that curmudgeonly me did a good deed this week. One of the more quirky residents (who told me on the first day that I was mighty friendly for being a Yankee), lost his reading glasses about halfway through his stay. On the very first day he said he was content to be wherever he was because he had a couple of books to read. He was nearly heartbroken two days later because he'd lost his glasses and could not read at all without them. I mentioned to him yesterday that I might be able to fix him up with glasses. You should have seen his face light up. I told him I couldn't make any promises, but I'd do my best. Well, this morning I left for work an extra bit early so I could stop at Wal-Mart and pick up a pair of reading glasses for Mr. N. I wrapped the shopping bag up in a piece of paper with his name on it and asked one of our "couriers" if they could take them to the shelter for me. At the end of the day she hadn't seen him pick the glasses up but that the clinic staff was going to make sure he got them. I hope he did. I know I'd go bonkers if I was stuck somewhere with a couple of books, way too much time on my hands and no ability to read.

Lessons Learned
Our regional staff learned a LOT about incident command and getting organized to run an operation. We'll have a debriefing in a week or so to discuss what worked well, what worked not-so-well and what failed miserably. Overall, I think we did a great job, but there is certainly room for improvement. We got off to a very disorganized, non-communicative start, but we learned quickly from our mistakes and recovered well, which is very important. That shows we're able to adapt and overcome, regardless. I think the whole event also brought our command staff closer together. None of us took the tensions and raised voices personally. At the end of today we were laughing our heads off and generally being silly, mostly out of exhaustion. Finally, we all know we'll do better next time and I'm absolutely certain that is true. It was a good experience, triumphs, hiccups and all.

And now I must retire to my comfy chair for some therapeutic knitting and drooling on myself!


Popular Posts