When you try to listen to the news these days, there are several popular themes: the upcoming election, terror attacks all over the world, refugee crises. The motto of our lives, “If you see something, say something,” has become the slogan you hear from dusk to dawn in the streets, in the subway, on the news. Emergency preparedness has become part of our daily routine, even if we do not realize it. Driving through the streets of our great city, you can see signs: in case of emergency go there, do this. Be prepared, be vigilant, watch, listen, report! Scary!
Who would imagine that one can find fun and humor in such a serious topic as emergency preparedness? But guess what, here in Touro College we did so! For several years now, our Emergency Preparedness Department has organized annual appreciation luncheons for those who have voluntarily become emergency responders at Touro College. I have gone to these events for several years now, and the event which took place on Wednesday, July 13 was by far the best. It was real fun. No long speeches or guest speakers (who can easily put you to sleep).
After short expression of gratitude to those who decided to become volunteers in extraordinary situations in the life of the Touro community from Director of Emergency Preparedness Shoshana Yehuda, Executive Vice President Rabbi Moshe Krupka presented a service award to Administrative Assistant Amy Jacobs. Senior Vice-President of Operations, Mr. Jeffrey Rosengarten, said warm words to all emergency responders. After that brief official part, the real fun began.
For the first time ever, we were suggested to play Emergency Preparedness Jeopardy. Four contestants were suggested to answer questions in several categories. Everybody had a buzzer with a different sound, and an honorable jury was there to determine the winner. If the participants did not know the answer, the rest of the group had a chance to show their knowledge. The categories were: Natural Disasters, EMP Acronyms, Cooking Safety, Fire Safety, Fire Science, EMP at Touro College, Emergency Action Plan.
And guess what, Touro College Libraries have our own stars! Our Director, Bashe Simon (Natural Disasters category), and Librarian Carrie Levinson (Fire Safety category) got two answers right. As a result, each got as a reward a wonderful beach towel with the Touro Logo on it. And although the winners did not get a million dollars for the Grand Prix, they got wonderful prizes of very useful things, not only for an emergency but useful for everyday life too.
So, be prepared, be vigilant, but do not forget to be optimistic and have fun!
PS: Midtown library can suggest for your information a book “The gift of fear: Survival signals that protect us from violence” by Gavin De Becker. This national bestseller will tell you how to protect yourself and others in our dangerous times.
Contributed by: Marina Zilberman, Chief Librarian, Midtown