Tuesday, January 11, 2011
On Jan. 2, as the temperature dipped, the Hood River warming shelter program kicked into gear. The first host site, Hood River Alliance Church, was staffed with volunteers and warm welcoming beds. Although the first few days of operation yielded no takers, the many participating churches and volunteers are happy to be getting the program started. "The community is coming together and becoming aware of the needs of the homeless," said Jeff Mueller, pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church and site coordinator. "We need to build trust in the community and get the word out that the shelter program is now open," said Mueller. Another free training and information session is available for anyone interested in helping to shelter families and individuals this Saturday, Jan. 8, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The session will be held at Immanuel Lutheran Church at Ninth and State streets. "We still need more volunteers and people from the community to learn about how to help," said Andy Wade, warming shelter program coordinator.
ROTATING SHELTER SITE SCHEDULE: (Entry available from 7-9 p.m. when temperature is 35 degrees or below; doors close at 9 p.m.)
• Jan. 9-15 and Feb. 13-19 - Riverside Community Church, Fourth and State Streets
• Jan. 16-22 and Feb. 6-12 - St. Mark's Episcopal Church, 400 11th St.
• Jan. 23-29 and Feb. 20-26 - Immanuel Lutheran Church, Ninth and State streets.
• Jan. 30 to Feb. 5 - Hood River Alliance Church, Montello Ave. at Rand Road (in modular building to the east of the main building, southeast corner of main parking lot).
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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"
Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge