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At the end of July the OGS staff participated in a disaster preparedness workshop led by Americorps Service Member, Gillian Scruggs. It was the perfect close to Gillian’s service term with OGS.  We are sad to lose her as a staff member but very excited for her new opportunity with the French Broad River Academy.

For her swan song, Gillian created a trivia game, a la Jeopardy, that was equal parts silly, hilarious, and informative.  We grouped into teams of 3 to answer questions ranging from how to protect animals during a disaster to what to do during a lightening storm.  The competition was fierce…but in the end Team Tomato prevailed (that’s how I remember it and I was on Team Tomato…where are the fact checkers?).  By the end of the game it was clear that we’d all needed a refresher and/or introduction to many practices pertaining to how to act during emergency situations.  Did you know that during a lightning storm you should squat with heels lifted and touching while also covering your ears with your hands?  Or that you should create livestock emergency kits that contain first aid items, insurance documents, and an animal inventory list?


I’m too embarrassed to admit how many of the questions I did not know the answers to.  I feel confident that I wasn’t the only over confident staff member to be deflated during the game.  Thanks Gillian for creating a super digestible, fun way for us to learn about disaster preparedness.


Ella McCoy

Author: Ella McCoy

Ella McCoy is a graduate of Appalachian State University’s MBA program and a native of Western North Carolina. She grew up reluctantly helping in her family’s garden and was as surprised as everyone else when she developed a passion for food advocacy and farming, while interning with Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture. Since moving to Asheville, Ella has been involved with the Grace Presbyterian Community Garden, OGS, F.E.A.S.T, and as an “unpaid intern” at her partner’s farm. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, beekeeping, photography, and as much reading as possible.

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