Guide will provide easy access to emergency information

ZACH BARGER, left, and Tim Chrulski show a model of an emergency guide that the 2014 Hancock Leadership class is producing to distribute to households in Hancock County. The guide will provide information on what to do during emergencies and will be particularly useful when access to radio, television or Internet is not available. (Photo by Sara Arthurs)

ZACH BARGER, left, and Tim Chrulski show a model of an emergency guide that the 2014 Hancock Leadership class is producing to distribute to households in Hancock County. The guide will provide information on what to do during emergencies and will be particularly useful when access to radio, television or Internet is not available. (Photo by Sara Arthurs)

By SARA ARTHURS
STAFF WRITER

With today’s technology it’s easy to assume any information is readily available. But what about when the power goes out, and you need emergency information?

Soon, every household in the county will have a copy of a guide that lists information and resources for a variety of emergencies. The guide is the project of this year’s Hancock Leadership class.

Hancock Leadership is a nine-month program sponsored by the Findlay-Hancock County Chamber of Commerce. Participants get an in-depth look at the community and pledge to provide volunteer leadership. During the year, class members plan and implement a project to benefit the community.

Zach Barger, an attorney, and Tim Chrulski, operations director for Garner Transportation Group, said the class decided on the emergency guide project in December.

Chrulski said several projects were considered but Hancock Leadership chose this one upon wondering “what kind of a footprint will we leave behind?”

Barger said this project will have the greatest impact for the greatest number of people.

Chrulski said much of the information in the guide is available online but if a household loses power they cannot go on the Internet to find information.

“And not everybody has access to technology,” Barger said.

The spiral-bound guide has colorful tabs, leading users to the right topic. Chrulski recommends placing it in a prominent location in the home.

Among the topics the guide covers are medical emergencies, severe weather, natural disasters, utility outages, and evacuations and shelters, Chrulski said.

There is also a page for non-emergency numbers. For example, a baby sitter might want the number of a neighbor, Chrulski said.

Chrulski said Family Resource Center helped Hancock Leadership get information about area resources.
To produce the guide, the Hancock Leadership class split into three teams. A fund-raising committee worked on raising funds and a sales committee worked on getting sponsors, while a content committee determined what to include and what to leave out. A priority was to include information about flooding, given Findlay’s history.

Barger said not many of the class members had experience working on a project of this type. Barger was on the fund-raising committee and Chrulski on the sales committee.

Barger said part of the proceeds came from a comedy night the organization’s alumni association hosted. Another event was a beer tasting.

Chrulski said the goal was to raise $25,500 in order to make it possible to distribute the guide to every household in the county.

“We did reach the goal,” he said.

In addition to the fund-raising events, Hancock Leadership members sought out sponsors whose ads appear on pages of the guide.

The guides are being printed by Impact America, which has printed similar guides in other communities. The company helped with the format and aesthetics of the guide, however, Hancock Leadership members decided on the content, Barger said.

Chrulski said it’s hard to quantify the importance of the guide but it’s meaningful “at the end of the day, if you save one life” with the information.

The goal is to distribute the guides to every household in Hancock County after June 5, when printing will be completed. Chrulski said members of the Hancock Leadership classes as well as some other volunteers will be distributing them.

Arthurs: 419-427-8494
Send an E-mail to Sara Arthurs

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