What Goes Into an Emergency Preparedness Kit

While you may be at a loss of how to spend your time right now during the COVID-19 crisis, you may as well start prepping for when we can finally go back out and enjoy the summer! Though travel may not be appealing to some due to the current climate, there’s no time like the present to start getting your car ready to road trip. Read on to find out just what you should include in your emergency preparedness kit!

The things you should include in your emergency preparedness kit can be broken down into three categories: car repair items, safety/medical items, and miscellaneous items.

Car Repair Items:
In the case of a vehicle emergency like a flat tire, you’ll want to make sure you have an inflated spare tire, a wheel wrench, and a tripod jack. If you don’t know how to change a tire, never fear! Most car owner manuals include these directions and long with pictures of how to do so. But it’s always a great skill to learn, so practice, practice, practice. You’ll also need jumper cables, a tool kit, reflective triangles, and potentially a reflective vest so other drivers can see you on the road.

Safety/Medical Items:
First and foremost, you’ll want to pack a fully stocked first aid kit that includes any frequently needed medications you or your family take (like insulin or blood thinners). There should also be a supply of non-perishable foods like nuts or protein bars along with drinking water. These should be checked every six months and replaced when expired.

Miscellaneous Items:
As for miscellaneous items, you may wish to include a flashlight with extra batteries, a compass, a car charger for your cell phone, a fire extinguisher, duct tape, and a rain poncho. Depending on the time of year and where you’re going, you may want to include warm clothes, a blanket, a small shovel, and cat litter for traction.

While this is just an essential list to get started, feel free to add anything else you might need!

If you’d like to donate your car to help someone recover from a natural disaster, reach out to cars2ndchance@gmail.com to donate a vehicle that runs, and clunkers4charity@gmail.com to donate a vehicle that does not. Check out their respective websites https://cars2ndchance.org/ and https://www.clunkers4charity.org/.

Oakland RiteCare Childhood Language Center

Today’s children are tomorrow’s trailblazers, and innovators, and leaders, which makes their education and well-being of vital importance to the continued success of our society. Since 1983, the educational and speech-language therapists at Oakland RiteCare Childhood Language Center (formerly known as the Oakland Scottish Rite Childhood Language Disorders Center) have provided free services to pre-school to high school-aged kids and adolescents. Dedicated to supporting and assisting California’s children, they have invested time, resources, and care into our community’s youth that has improved thousands of children’s lives over the years.

 

Originally a philanthropy of the Scottish Rite, which is associated with the Freemasons, the Oakland RiteCare Childhood Language Center is one of the 170 Rite Care Centers across the United States. Located at Lake Merritt near downtown Oakland, this organization is a non-profit language and learning center passionate about its childhood language services, scholarships, and other charitable programs. This leading non-profit offers both neuroplasticity-based and reading interventions to children throughout California, as well as traditional speech and language therapy. 

 

With a team dedicated to childhood excellence and growth, the Oakland RiteCare Childhood Language Center’s overarching mission is to help California children develop their full academic potential. They do this by supporting student and professional education and training for the treatment and prevention of childhood language disorders. With services like Interactive Metronome, Fast ForWord, The Listening Program, and traditional speech and language therapy, kids work with educators to improve their speech and language as well as the development of behavioral, social, and motor skills. 

 

If you or someone you know would like to apply for services at the Oakland RiteCare Childhood Language Center, you can learn more about their eligibility criteria and application process here. Additionally, if you would like to donate to this fantastic organization making a difference in so many children’s lives, you can do so here. Your generous donation will help to purchase intervention licenses, assessment and therapy materials, and help to provide these much-needed services to kids in the community. Please share this article with anyone you feel might be interested in applying or donating, and for more information about the Oakland RiteCare Childhood Language Center, check out their website: https://www.oaklandspeech.org/.

 

What’s Happened Since the Paradise Fires

California’s deadliest and most destructive wildfire, the Camp Fire, sped through the Sierra Nevada foothills in November of 2018, leaving a path of fiery destruction in its wake. With 153,336 acres burned, 18,804 structures destroyed, and 85 lives lost from start to finish, the world could only watch as the deadly fires ravaged Northern California. To the residents of Paradise, California, though, that loss cannot be quantified. They lost not only homes, stores, schools, and jobs; they lost their entire town. What was once considered one of Northern California’s most beautiful towns surrounded by wildlife and nature, was burned away in a matter of days.
Just about a year and a half has passed since this tragedy occurred, and while Butte County has rallied around the Paradise community, there are still countless reminders of what has been lost. While the Camp Fire has left a deep scar on Paradise that can still be seen in its charred trees and burnt out buildings, residents are working hard to rebuild. Almost all the debris from the fire has been cleared from Paradise, which at one time roughly 26,000 people called home. The combined amount of what has been removed so far is about equivalent to a total of four Golden Gate Bridges.

While many had to move away from Paradise immediately after the fires, about 4,000 residents have come back just over a year and a half from when the fires first began. Many of these 4,000 people now live in recreational vehicles like trailers and RV’s, but the spirit of Paradise is slowly coming back. The fire spared around 1,400 homes, and so far, the city has permitted that some new homes that are fit for occupancy. Some businesses on the main street through Paradise, Skyway Road, have even reopened their doors. Large signs loudly proclaim that life still exists in the small but proud Northern California mountain town, and people are starting to trickle back to Paradise little by little.

There are still issues to face, such as potable water concerns for certain businesses and residences. There are also obvious difficulties associated with rebuilding a town from the ground up, but for those who chose to remain or plan to come back, the challenge isn’t insurmountable. While it may not reach its previous 26,000-person population anytime soon, Paradise is slowly coming back, stronger and more resilient than ever. Time heals all wounds, and in just a year and a half since the Camp Fires, Paradise has shown just how strong the soul of the town truly is. While the old Paradise may be lost, a new Paradise is slowly on its way.
If you’d like to donate your car to help someone recover from a natural disaster, reach out to cars2ndchance@gmail.com to donate a vehicle that runs, and cars2ndchance@gmail.com to donate a vehicle that does not. Check out their respective websites https://cars2ndchance.org/.

Preparing for Disaster

With all the wildfires and natural disasters underfoot, now is the time to make a safety plan and share it with your friends and family. It is essential to know what hazards your home and community are susceptible to.

Here is a list to help you and your loved ones prepare before a time of crisis strikes:

Inventory Your Household
Do a walkthrough of every room in your home and write down what items you have. If you have the cloud, perhaps you can scan upload a copy just in case one that is in your notebook, desk, or safe gets lost or destroyed. The last thing you need when coping with the aftermath of a natural disaster is to have your insurance questioning about what you had and need to replace. Another good reason to have an inventory list is to evaluate your insurance policy.

Double-Check Your Insurance Policies
Are you underinsured? Boy, that would be a bummer not to have enough coverage to replace your home and items if disaster strikes. You want to be sure the total you are insured for is enough for that just-in-case.

Create a Disaster Plan
First, you will want to start by having a safe place to meet. Think up a place or home that will serve as your meet-up location, just in case you become separated from your family. Talk to your friends and family. It’s essential that your friends and family know what to do in case of an emergency, and you are unable to return to your home.

Plan Ways To Communicate
Have you thought up ways that you will communicate with each other in an emergency situation? How will you contact each other, or find each other after separating? Talk with your family and about a place to find one another during an emergency.

Evacuation Planning
During a crisis, there is often no time for talking and planning, so you will want to plan. Does each member of your family have copies of your emergency contacts? You want to make a list of contacts and give it to each member of your family.

Practice your Safety Plan
Does everyone in your family know how to turn off the power, water, and gas to your home? How about first-aid and CPR? Now is an excellent time to meet your neighbors, when a natural disaster strikes, your community is who you will be surrounded by. You will want to know who they are. What is up high that can come down and cause injury, it is an excellent time to secure these items to prevent unnecessary injuries. Is your fire extinguisher handy? It is a good idea to check both your fire extinguishers and smoke alarms twice yearly.

Talk With Emergency Services
Knowing what your community plan, evacuation routes, and emergency shelters are located will help keep you, your family and neighbors safe. The authorities are an excellent resource to talk about what types of emergencies to plan for.

If you’d like to donate your car to help someone recover from a natural disaster, reach out to cars2ndchance@gmail.com to donate a vehicle that runs, and cars2ndchance@gmail.com to donate a vehicle that does not. Check out their respective websites https://cars2ndchance.org/.

Partner Highlight — Automotive Service Councils Educational Foundation ASCEF

When it comes to good work around California, it doesn’t take much to realize that the Automotive Service Councils Educational Foundation (ASCEF) is doing its fair share and then some. For decades now, the push has been strong to send ALL children to college. Our culture values academic success and presented the picture of a successful America steeped in white-collar workers. It was long believed that kids with high trade/mechanical knowledge and skills were somehow less than those with high academic skills. That couldn’t be further from the truth.

As we head into a new decade, it is blatantly obvious just how much we missed the boat on that one belief. Newer research has revealed the inherent flaws with standardized testing and considering academic intelligence as the true measure of a person’s aptitude, ability, and potential success in life. Not only are other forms of intelligence equally as important, they are necessary to our very survival. Imagine if we had NO: farmers, mechanics, plumbers, electricians, etc? Our entire way of life would be eradicated.

We are shorthanded in every skilled-trade imaginable thanks to this extended line of thinking over the past decades. It’s harder to find a qualified mechanic than a good doctor. When we find one, we’re afraid to move because of how hard it was to find the one we have now. Auto repair shops are struggling to find qualified staff because of the shortage around the country for skilled, trained auto mechanics/technicians. We need qualified mechanics!

The ASCEF not only recognizes this dilemma, but they are working hard to correct the issue knowing that it won’t happen overnight. They encourage highschool students to explore auto repair as a possible career and even offer scholarships to help cover the cost of their education.

If you would like to apply for a scholarship, you have until March 31 for this year’s application period. If you would like to donate to the cause, this organization is always accepting donations! Please share this article with anyone you feel might be interested in either applying or donating or anyone who might like to know the good work that’s being done in our local community. For more information about the ASCEF and their scholarship process, check out their website: https://www.ascca.com/education/asc-educational-foundation.

How Helping Others Improves Your Health

When you take the time to help other people through volunteering or donating money, it not only helps them, it makes the world a better place, but it also improves your overall health and wellbeing. Research has indicated that when you give, it increases your happiness along with your health. 

Increase your lifespan: When you help others, it’s been shown that it increases life expectancy. How? Studies have shown that when you volunteer at a therapeutic horseback riding facility for at-risk youth or serve food at a homeless shelter, it increases your ability to manage stress, decrease depression, and increase your overall satisfaction with life. Volunteerism helps alleviate loneliness. All of those factors increase lifespan. 

Paying it forward: When you do something kind, it makes other people want to do something kind. This can then ripple through your community making it a better place to live. Just think of how it makes you feel when someone has performed a random act of kindness that affected you. 

3. Helping others adds to our own happiness:  

Scientists have discovered that when we give back, we receive a neurochemical sense of reward. Sociologists conducted research following more than 2,000 people over 5 years. They concluded that when a person volunteered at least 5.8 hours a month, they were far more likely to report themselves as being very happy. 

  1. Reduction in chronic pain: 

When someone with chronic pain volunteers to help others with chronic pain, they often experience a reduction in their own symptoms. 

  1. Lowers blood pressure:

A study showed that when participants volunteered for at least 200 hours a year, their risk of hypertension decreased by 40%! It is believed that this is due to the decreasing of loneliness and the stress that comes with being lonely. 

  1. Has a positive impact on teens:

When teens volunteer, not only do they get better grades, but they feel better about themselves. Regardless of age, when we help others it makes us feel good. 

  1. Increases life satisfaction:

When we volunteer, it gives us a sense of purpose. When we have a sense of purpose, we feel better about ourselves. We see a decrease in depression and a reduction in stress. 

There are so many reasons to get involved in our communities that it can be difficult to see how it might positively affect our own wellbeing. What are you passionate about? At-risk youth? Veterans? The elderly? Animals? There is always a place to volunteer your time, money, and energy. Look for something that you connect with and feels good. You can’t go wrong when you help others!

I Don’t Know What To Say: How To Show Empathy For Others After A Traumatic Experience

I Don’t Know What To Say: How To Show Empathy For Others After A Traumatic Experience

When something bad happens to a friend or family member, it’s often a challenge to find something to say. It can be awkward, but that’s okay too. We want to fall back on common phrases we’ve learned over the years that rarely help anyone to feel better.

“Time heals all wounds.”
“She’s in a better place now.”
“This too shall pass.”

When we use these phrases, it doesn’t help us connect with how the person is actually feeling. It’s not that we do this on purpose, it’s just because it’s what we know and have heard others say to us. When we can use true empathy, we connect to what the other person is feeling. We connect with their pain and are trying to understand how they are feeling.

A better approach is about action rather than words. Listening is a great place to start. People in pain want validation that what they are experiencing is a challenge. Acknowledge their pain and how they are feeling.

“That sounds tough.”
“Wow, that’s terrible.”
“I’m sorry you’re dealing with this.”
“Of course that’s painful.”

You don’t have to totally get it, but whatever you do, don’t diminish their feelings or their experience of what happened. Share your own feelings and don’t afraid to say that you don’t know what to say.

“I can’t begin to imagine what you’re going through right now.”
“I wish I could take away your pain.”
“It makes me sad to know this is what you’re dealing with.”

Let them know that you are grateful they chose you to open up to because it shows they trust you. It’s an honor that they did and don’t be afraid to acknowledge that it may have been hard for them to do so. You are establishing yourself as a safe harbor where they can safely be vulnerable.

“Thank you for trusting me enough to share your experience.”
“I’m honored that you shared this with me.”
“Thank you for opening up to me.”

When you show interest, it’s opening the door for connection. Everyone wants that and especially those who are going through challenging times. This is the time to listen to them and let them share with you.

“How are you feeling about everything?”
“What I heard you say is _____. Is that right?”
“What has this been like for you?”

Take time to encourage your friend or family member. Everyone needs encouragement and that’s especially true when going through a rough patch. Don’t try to fix their problems or try to make them look on the bright side. This is a great time to share what you admire about them and remind them that they are loved.

“You are a true warrior.”
“I’m on your side.”
“I’m proud of you.”

Show you care: give hugs, send flowers or handwritten cards, offer to help around the house. These are actions that helps them to feel loved and supported.

“What can I do to help?”
“What do you need?”
“I’m here when you need me.”

It can be difficult to support our loved ones going through hard times, but it can make all the difference to them when we make the effort. The worst of times often lead to isolation, despair, and loneliness. Take time to show your support and that you care. The empathetic approach is much stronger than empty words. We hope this will give you the words and actions you need to help a loved one.

Rebuilding Their Lives: What’s New With The Paradise Rotary Club?

It’s hard to believe that it’s been an entire year since the Paradise Fire forever changed our community. To some it feels like a lifetime ago, for others as if it was yesterday. It’s difficult to fathom the pain of such destruction and how it has impacted the lives of so many. It’s a ripple effect, with the strongest impact at the center.

We’ve only just begun to recover, knowing that this is an event we will forever carry in our hearts. For some it will remain on shoulders for just as long. The economic impact for some is greater than for others, but regardless, it will leave a scar with us all. We have all felt some level of despair, but there is great hope that shines through. We are a strong community that has rallied together in an effort to move forward and support each through these challenging times.

There are organizations out there with fund for many who apply. PG&E has a Wildfire Assistance Program and is accepting applications until November 15.

PG&E Wildfire Assistance Program Accepting Applications for Aid

The Paradise Rotary Foundation also has grants available to help: https://paradiserotaryfoundation.org/

For the latest recovery news, here are a couple of very helpful websites:

http://www.paradisechamber.com/

Paradise Recovers

If you want to help out, here’s one of the many ways:

How You Can Help
Rotary Club of Paradise’s Camp Fire Relief Efforts
Donate (by credit card) to the Paradise Rotary Foundation through our GoFundMe campaign. (Note: GoFundMe keeps 3% of your donation.)
Donate (write a check) to:
Paradise Rotary Foundation
45 Jan Court., Suite 170
Chico, CA 95928
The EIN for your tax records is: 26-2754805.
More Information and Forms at ParadiseRotaryFoundation.org.

The Paradise Rotary Club has stepped up from the very beginning in helping this community remain strong. We are “People of Action” and we won’t stop. Our love of Paradise and the people who make it such an amazing place to live fuels our efforts. Here’s to another strong year of recovery!

Sunshine Buttercup Farms

Gardens, horses, people oh my! What a great combination to instill hope. Giving a hand up and not a hand out helps everyone to connect and grow and find purpose where it may have been lost. Nestled in the foothills of Mt. Diablo in Clayton, CA, Sunshine Buttercup Farms offers people an opportunity to learn and grow in a safe environment all the while creating a sustainable future. 

The garden at Sunshine Buttercup Farms produces delicious fruits and vegetables based on environmentally sound and healthy practices. It’s a one-acre farm that produces wonderful food as well as healthy, positive change in the people who are attracted to come and participate. 

What started off as a word-of-mouth organization, quickly shifted to something much more. Sunshine Buttercup Farms continues to build partnerships with other nonprofits that focus on creating positive change in people as well as around the globe. They aren’t like most other nonprofits in that all of the workforce are volunteers. That’s how they can guarantee that your donations go strictly to the people who will benefit the most instead of getting caught at the administrative level. 

Sunshine Buttercup Farms was founded in 1986 and is a California based 501(c)(3) whose mission it is to “help others help themselves.” Their original goal was to provide housing, purposeful activity, and mutual care. They now have locations in South American, Europe, Asia, and Africa and thrive through the generosity of donors and volunteers. Learn more about them and what wonderful contributions they are making to our local and global communities at https://www.buttercupfarms.org/. Feel free to give them a call at (925) 672-1474 or (925) 673-0785 or email us at: jorie@buttercupfarms.org.

 

Top Reasons Why Having A Reliable Car Makes Life Easier

As Americans, not only do we love and cherish our vehicles, but we often take them for granted. We are shocked when we walk out our front door one morning and find that our battery died or we somehow got a flat tire during the night. Most of us don’t even like to travel without the convenience of a rental car on the other end. To most of us, a car means freedom.

From the moment we held that precious driver’s licence in our hot little hands, we felt FREE! Freedom from our parents and freedom to roam. We tend to think of driving as a right instead of the privilege that it truly represents. Ultimately, however, driving is how we are able to earn a living and so much more.

How having a reliable car makes life easier:

We can make it to work on time every day.
We can get our kids to school on time every day.
We don’t have to worry about how we can come up with the money to fix our vehicles every day.
We can easily get to the bank, the grocery store, the park, play dates every day.
We don’t have to be on high alert wondering if we are going to make it to where we need to be every day.

The stress, alone, of having to constantly worry about the expense of an unreliable vehicle along with wondering if we will make it home today is enough to bring a person down. When we have a car that we don’t have to worry about, we sleep better at night and are less likely to snap at our children for the small things. Think about a time in your life when you needed your car and in some way or another, it wasn’t there for you. That didn’t feel good, did it?

Everyone needs reliable transportation. It’s a part of life in our world today. Without it, it is difficult to do some of the most basic of daily-living needs. When you consider how difficult life is without a reliable vehicle, you’ll begin to understand what life has been like for many of the Paradise Fires victims as well as many other families in need.

Here’s a brief story about the cars pictured above and how they are making the difference for one local family:

“The Kinsey family acquired its second Cars2ndChance vehicle on April 5, 2019, a 1999 Mustang V6 Coupe. The Kinsey’s first Cars2ndChance vehicle was a 1995 Honda Accord, purchased in 2017 which serves as Emily Kinsey’s daily driver. The Mustang got a spirited shake-down cruise through Marsh Creek Canyon on Saturday April 13th accompanied by the Accord.

Cars2ndChance offers vehicles in good condition for further rehabilitation, restoration, and ultimately use and enjoyment. The Kinseys are looking forward to the fun with their new project Mustang.”

The next time you take your car for granted, think again! Consider donating your used vehicle to help make a positive difference in the lives of a family who needs to be able to get to work, drop their children at school, and do all the things we need to do to survive. Spread the good word!