When my colleague and good friend LisaMarie from NFPA’s Public Affairs office suggested a Wildfire Community Preparedness Day 2014 photo album to showcase the awesome pictures we received from dozens and dozens of May 3 activities throughout the nation, I totally cringed. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the idea of sharing the amazing photos participants took the time to share – but I still have my grown kid’s photos from when they were babies stuffed into shoeboxes and over flowing bins. Photo albums are just something I’ll never hear someone say is one of my strengths.
Like a knight on a white horse rushing in to my rescue, our talented, organized and efficient social media staff (whom I think very highly of) swooped in to make LisaMarie’s vision a reality. Soon after the photos were in their possession they had them posted and ready for the world to peruse. When I opened the photo album for the first time a wide smile crossed my face from ear-to-ear; much like what I’m sure will happen someday twenty years from now, when my personal photos finally reside in some sort of organized fashion. It gave me goose bumps to ponder the amount of work and time that organizers and volunteers alike committed to achieving an astounding amount of wildfire preparedness work. It was a moment when you fully realize the combined impact that the more than 100 diverse wildfire awareness, education and mitigation projects undertaken that day had on communities everywhere. I believe the word hero can be and is often overused, but in this case the participants from these events have become my May 3 heroes! They accepted and acknowledged that they live in an area with a wildfire risk and took personal action to reduce its impacts.
Without further delay, I want you to take a look at what took place that day too; grab an ice tea and your laptop and browse through the photo album and try to comprehend the massive benefit of the efforts that occurred across the country from Florida to Hawaii. I’m convinced you will instantly be impressed and motivated, so don’t be surprised when you find yourself jotting down notes and cultivating ideas to get you started in planning your neighborhood’s 2015 Wildfire Community Preparedness Day activity!
Our sincere thanks to State Farm for their generosity in providing campaign funding and twenty project awards to communities to implement projects.