Lion Jane Jarrow, Tri-Village Lions District 13-F Lions ALERT Committee

How ironic.  On Saturday, a large contingent of Lions from the Tri-Village Lions Club listened to Lion AJ Westlund talk about the Lions ALERT program and the District 13-F grant from LCI to distribute information and training regarding disaster preparedness.  Little did we know that (literally) as we listened, there was a disaster happening at home.

You may have read about the house that exploded in Upper Arlington on the 21st of March.(

A quiet, pleasant Saturday afternoon was rocked by a natural gas explosion that reduced a family home to matchsticks in the blink of an eye.  Miraculously, no one was seriously injured in the blast, but the damage to property (and peace of mind) in the surrounding neighborhood was extensive.  Eight more homes in the immediate vicinity sustained such significant damage that the residents had to seek shelter elsewhere.  Throughout the neighborhood, windows were shattered, garage doors buckled, pictures were blown off the walls, china cabinets rattled, and collateral damage from falling debris all served to extend the impact of this event far beyond the single-family dwelling that was destroyed.  The Tri-Village Lions have at least two dozen members who live within two miles of the blast – a blast that was heard by folks as much as five miles away!

Up in Worthington, Ohio, we heard Lion AJ talk about the importance of having an emergency kit handy, of keeping critical information and phone numbers up-to-date and readily available, and of generally being prepared to respond to unanticipated emergencies.

Back home, we had a practical example.  For those folks who were displaced by the explosion, having an emergency kit in a handy location would likely have made their safe departure for shelter a lot less anxious.  For those who stayed behind (and were faced with the aftermath of their gas and electricity being shut off for 12+ hours), emergency kits would have provided temporary alternatives, while checklists of “to do” items following such a shut down (from checking pilot lights and resetting critical timers, to determining what perishables could be kept/should be tossed) would be tremendously helpful to those effected.

THAT is what the District 13-F Lions ALERT grant is meant to do.  It will put important information about disaster preparedness in the hands of Lions throughout the district.  OUR job is to put it in the hands of community residents.  Those of us from Tri-Village have a ready “hook” to convince our neighbors that this information is important for them.  When you are ready to spread the word in your area, you can show folks a picture of 3418 Sunningdale Way in Upper Arlington and say, “would YOU have been prepared?”

Watch for more information from the Lions ALERT committee on how to bring the message home, using the materials created by the grant and distributed to the clubs of 13-F.




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