Sunday, August 5, 2007

And We Go On .....

Most of the world now knows about the collapse of the I-35W bridge.

It, like to everyone else, has made an impact in my life. On a personal, professional and perspective level. Where to start?

Professionally. I work in the PR field and serve as a PR volunteer for the Twin Cities Red Cross. So my job as a volunteer is to relay info from the disaster team to the communications team and then to the public. I also manned the media relations phone and set up interviews for Red Cross spokespeople. So I arrived to the Red Cross HQ at 9:10 p.m. on Wednesday, August 1st. The Red Cross had set up a Central Control Room similar to what a war room would look like. Each sections of the tables having responsibilities -- weather, disaster technology, services, mental health, public affairs (me) and so on.

Did I mention that August 1st was my first night as an on-call volunteer? Well it was.

So everything I learned was trial by fire and just being in the situation as using all of my skills to best help the organization, the media and the community.

As a professional, especially as a PR bitch, there is a bit of a weird feeling for handling a call from the BBC. You like it. You think "ohmigod I'm on the phone with the news director from the BBC." But then, also as a PR person, you come to terms that the only reason the whole world wants to be on the phone witht you, is because of disaster and tragedy.

Personally, I don't know anyone who is missing or has perished. I do know that I have seen the woman who worked at Thrivent Financial in their cafeteria when I used to work a block away from Thrivent. I know of a worker Monica Segura, who was on the bus with all kids getting off of it safely. I know Jay Reeves from the Red Cross who was one of the first on the scene. As giving Mpls is three degrees of separation, I feel, like others prolly that I will know someone who had a loved one on the bridge or hurt by it.

I know that I am a MPLS girl at heart with Northland roots. That is apparent. I know there is no where else in the world I would rather live, be and raise a family, when that comes to the point of having little mr./miss mpls'. I know that this community has always been resilient and will continue to prove that in the upcoming years. I know with the world watching us that we all stepped up in our own individuals ways to help. I am proud. And I'm still a tad sad. But the beat goes on, the divers continue to search, the Red Cross continues to help, and for those of us in MPLS, Twin Cities and Minnesota we will continue to hug our loved ones a little closer and determine the best ways we can help our Minnesota tribe. Because that's what we are. Whether in Duluth or Warroad, Rochester or Olivia, Minneapolis or St. Paul we are all moving forward. And it hurts that it takes a miracle or a tragedy to remind us of how united we are. But united we will remain as we move forward. Love to everyone -- Ms. Minneapolis.

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