The Spark — Nov. 21, 2013

Just like having the right
information is necessary to make solid hiring and
lending decisions, being engaged in our
community is important. Data Facts is proud to
support the positives and be a presenting
sponsor of “The Spark.” State Systems is focused on
protecting life and property. As a local
privately owned company, our foundation was built on
providing all businesses with complete fire security
protection and infrastructure. State Systems is proud to be a
part of the Mid-South community and a presenting
sponsor of “The Spark.” Lipscomb and Pitts Insurance has
been serving the Mid-South since 1954. We have always focused on
supporting our community and believe in
promoting the positives, encouraging engagement
and leading by example. Lipscomb and Pitts is proud to
be a presenting sponsor of “The Spark.” Additional funding provided by
Christian Brothers University and Baptist Memorial Healthcare. Get better with Baptist. This month on “The Spark,” our
theme is expect the unexpected. We’ll learn more about a
public educational and outreach initiative that focuses
on emergency preparedness, a bank that is heavily investing
in our community and leading the charge to get more companies
and employees planning ahead, and an organization recognized
around the world for it’s mission of preventing
and relieving suffering, especially after
natural disasters. Have you ever been
excited by a new idea? Inspired by watching
someone lead by example? When we talk about
creating change, we start by sharing the stories
of everyday heroes who are making a difference in their own
way so we can learn and do the same. This truth is the power behind
this show which is focused on business and community leaders
that are leading by example to give back, fuel change and
create new opportunities for the Mid-South. I’m Jeremy Park and
this is “The Spark”. With the theme of
expect the unexpected, we’re gonna lead off
with Ready Shelby. And so, we’re here with the
programs officer for the Asissi Foundation, which is the
facilitator for Ready Shelby, Karen Kitchens. And you did a lot of research
on the front end putting this together. There’s a free website
out, Readyshelby-dot-org. Give us, though, a little bit of
the history in terms of pulling Ready Shelby and all of
these pieces together. Well following
Hurricane Katrina, the community came together
from all the municipalities. And we decided that it would
be to the advantage of the residents in Shelby County to
better prepare them overall for an emergency or
disaster situation. And so, you’ve got the website. You have a calendar
out in the community, as well. A number of huge efforts but
talk about overall the goal and for the website. What’s the take away for? Because I know you
want to make it fun, educational. You’ve got all the
different links up there, all the information. But talk about just the goal for
the website and for the effort overall. The goal for the website is to
provide the community with a single source that they can go
to to learn and better prepare themselves and their families. It also provides a link to
various other resources in the community. So, they don’t have to guess
about where would I go to find about like.. I do a family
communication plan. So, I do want to point out this
is something that you’ve done and for Shelby County. But the reality is all of this
information is applicable no matter where you live. That’s correct. So, this is all perfect. And you stepped it out. There’s five major steps. First one is make a plan. Talk about making a plan. The family communication plan
really just entails the family sitting down and talking about
what they would do in the event of an emergency. One of the most important things
to include in that plan is to have an out of town contact. So in the event of an emergency
or disaster situation where the family members are not together,
they have a place that they can call and say I’m okay. Here I am. What do I need to do next? And also, too, for the kids,
it’s important for them to not just know grandma and
grandpa — the actual names. They need to know the name
of the out of town contact. And also, too, I think one of
the things that was neat in there was pointing
out little things, like, if you have a fire, you
want to have a designated place to go to so everybody
goes to the same place. You want to have the
out of town contact. All these little things that
you might not necessarily think about but they’re critically
important for making a plan. Next step is
putting together a kit. Talk about some of those areas. One of the things in when you’re
putting together your kit, it does not have to be
extremely expensive. There are items throughout
your household that you can pull together. And one of the most important
things is to have a sturdy pair of shoes in the event
that something happens. There’s broken glass. You have to kind of fight your
way out of rubble or whatever. Or if there’s a flooding that
people don’t realize all the things that, um, come
in with that water. You don’t want to
be walking through. And it’s important for
them to have medication, correct? And really enough
for three days worth. It’s the typical response
time in many cases to be overly prepared, at least for three
days worth of food and water and things like that, too — right? Mhm. And don’t forget your pets. Absolutely. So, you guys do a ton of
stuff in the community. Let’s go ahead and take
a quick break and show. You’ve got Ready
Shelby at the zoo, which is a neat community-wide
effort to help prepare the kids and the families. So, let’s take a quick look and
then we’ll come back and talk more about it. [music]
♪♪♪ So, that was
Ready Shelby Day at the zoo. It gives you a glimpse at some
of the community wide efforts and mobilization in
training that you’re doing. Talk about the next step. The next step is
creating a go bag. And so, a go bag, baiscally, is
a portable bag you can take out and run with. So, what needs to go in there? As I mentioned, shoes,
extra pair of clothing, any medications that you take
— and not just you take but anybody else in your family. Pets, too. Pets — you need to include
the things for your pets. A leash, identification,
things like that. One of the things that you
should know about your go bag is where to keep it. And what we recommend is that
people keep it in what we call your safe place. And that’s one of our third
steps is you need to know where to go in the event of
an emergency situation, such as a tornado. And everyone in your
family needs to know that. So for example, if you
live in a two-story house, people need to know when they
hear those sirens or they think there’s a threat of
weather such as that, get downstairs. And your safe place needs to be
downstairs in an interior room, preferably with no windows. Those are little things. But I remember growing up in
school where as soon as you’d have the tornado drills, you’d
have to tuck in the floor and, you know, get down as low
to the ground as possible. But yet, those are things
that make a huge difference. And that’s the
difference between life and, many times,
another circumstance. Not just being
prepared but being trained. Absolutely. And that goes to
the other step, too, is knowing C-P-R, Cert training. Talk about some of
those other aspects. Well, we recommend that people
learn compressions only C-P-R because that is not as involved
as the full C-P-R that people are most familiar with. And also, it’s something that
you can teach children fairly easily. The community also provides.. All the municipalities
have what’s called, uh, community emergency
response team training. And this is something
that is available for free. It takes some time. It takes like a couple of
days for you to go through. And specifically if
you’re a business, it is a great team building
experience for busineeses. There are at least three locally
of the Cert programs that will go to businesses and do
the training on site. I know that Susan will talk
about on her end where she’s pulling together
and having her team. And she’s getting them go
bags and getting them trained. Talk about how companies, how
individuals — how can they plug in to Ready Shelby and take that
next step to help us be more prepared as a community? Well, the easiest
thing is, again, go to our website and
look at those five steps. And check them off. Do them. And I would really recommend
employers encourage their employees to do that. And one of the things we
have also been recommending.. This is a great way to get
people better prepared is include this in
your orientation. Perfect. Well Karen, greatly appreciate
your spearheading and being the facilitator for Ready Shelby. We greatly
appreciate everything you do. Well, thank you. [theme music]
♪♪♪ They’re a big,
bright part of the Memphis skyline from
Downtown to East Memphis, the big ‘I’ from
Independent Bank. I’m here with the
co-chair and the president, Susan Stephenson. And you have a very personal
story attached to Independent Bank, especially
with the founding. So, give us a little bit of
a glimpse of the story and founding Indenpendent Bank. Well, my business
partner, Chip Dudley, and I are truly entrepreneurs. We decided to start
this bank in 1998. We opened our doors. We have had a long history
in the community and banking. And we knew that we had the
committment and the expertise to do something that would be
important for this community, which is to serve them with
a bank that was independent, locally owned and focused on
the success of our community. So, that’s what
we’re been about. Lastly, I want to focus on
the success of the community. So, it’s traditional
banking obviously. But you have so much more. I mean you’ve got
mortagages now. You have auto loans. So, talk about just the scope
of the services for Independent Bank. Well, we know that consumers
have lots of needs over the course of a lifetime. We have a robust auto lending
group that’s actually all over the Mid-South, the
southeast — actually, in the southwest
and midwest now, as well. We also have a mortgage
operation that’s been open for almost two years now. It’s, again, a focus on helping
serve our customers in the most significant financial investment
they usually make in a lifetime, which is a purchase of a home. Sure. And then finally, we have a
wealth managament group that is focused on helping us plan not
just for today but for the long term to make sure that we can
use money as a tool to achieve our dreams. And that’s the key is you’re
looking at it from a dream standpoint. We’re helping you fulfill the
dreams and the money is that vehicle that
helps get you there. So, a big part of today’s show
— why I love you personally — is that you’re so heavily
involved in the community. You’re leading my example. You serve on a ton
of non-profit boards. You are heavily engaged and
you’re very strategic about your philanthropy, as well. And so, you’re
looking at it from art. You’re looking at
it from education. You’re looking at it from
family safety and security. And also, too,
leaderhsip, development, retention and activation. And so, share with us a little
bit about your philosophy and some of those
engagements overall. Well, we made a decision when we
started the company that we were going to take part of what we
made in profit and reinvest it in the community
that we are serving. And so, we wanted to focus on
education as a way to fuel our talent, not just for today but
for the future of our community. We wanted to make sure that we
were developing leaders in our community, all
across our community. We are really proud to support
a number of initiatives in that area. The New Memphis Institute, who
helps to develop leaders at the executive level, and all the
way through the community, including a focus on educators
and partnering educators. The youngest in talent — the
most talented folks who are investing and helping us build
a world class urban education system. We are focused on issues that
deal with women and children in our community. The Womens Foundatin for a
Greater Memphis had helped us really focus on helping
all of us achieve economic self-sufficiency in our
community and developing philanthropy and schools
in our community for.. The majority of people who live
at or below the poverty level in our community are
women and children. And then finally, a new
initiative that my partner has been instrumental in and
that is a Family Safety Center. Right. They focus on helping the
victims of domestic violence by bringing together resources from
across all different segments of the community and making it less
challenging for them to really find their way out of a
really difficult situation. So, that’s the
perfect segue to actually.. Let’s show viewers what’s going
on at the Family Safety Center. Family Safety Center is one stop
shopping for victims of domestic violence. So, they get access to all
the services that they need. Typically, they’re needing
assistance with civil legal assistance, housing,
financial assistance and also, access to counseling
and support groups. Also, we have the order
of protection office here. So, anytime someone needs a
temporary order of protection, they would come to the
Family Safety Center for that. Or if they needed to speak with
an investigator from Memphis Police Departments
Domestic Violence Bureau, they would come to the Family
Center in order to do that. We see individuals
from all walks of life. We’ve seen individuals from all
over Shelby County as well as Arkansas and Tennessee —
mostly females with children. But we also serve men, as well. I think it provides one location
really for victims to come and know they are gonna get help,
know they’re gonna get access to information,
access to resources. There are some wonderful
organizations doing a lot of great work. And we try to provide a space
where they know they can come to and don’t have to go through
mulitple doors in order to get to those organizations. When they come to the
Family Safety Center, they’re gonna meet with a
compassionate and knowledgable staff member that is going to
hold their hand through the entire process. [music]
♪♪♪ So, that gives us
some perspective of the Family Safety Center, which you’re
personally heavily involved with, especially
with Independent Bank. And disaster preparedness,
expecting the unexpeced — that’s the theme for today. Something obviously very
near and dear to your heart. Why? Well as a financial institute,
of course we are required by law to be prepared to
recover from a disaster. And you have to be certain as a
customer that you have access to funds when you need them. But what we’ve
learned over time, certianly as we’ve experienced
flooding and Hurricane Elvis.. We’ve learned that if we are
not helping our team members be prepared
personally for a disaster, then they can’t help our
business be fully prepared for a disaster. So, we’ve learned that it’s
important to step back and help our coworkers build their own
strategy and plan to survive a natural disaster. Exactly. So, you’ve partnered
with Ready Shelby. And you put together.. And this is the part I love
is you’re helping your team. You’re actually putting together
go bags for them and showing them what all
needs to go in there, correct? That’s correct. In fact, it’s a
really simple process. I would tell you that all of us
can do this because Ready Shelby has done al the
hard work for us. They’ve already
given us a checklist. And it’s making
certain that you.. Our team members
are building a bag, a go bag, to be
ready for a disaster. Things you wouldn’t
think about ordinarily, making sure you
have the proper shoes, a copy of a photo ID,
perscription medicines, a plan for your pets
— which all of us, in a disaster.. You certainly want to make sure
that all of your family members, both furry and the rest of us,
are prepared for a disaster. So, it’s really a process of
just really encouraging people to step back and be prepared. And we know that when our team
members are prepared perosnally, then they’re able to quickly
process that initial family recovery period, a
communcation plan, making sure that you’re able to
really focus on your business from that point forward. And so as a last conversation,
what would you encourage for other business owners that
are watching this or business leaders — what’s
that first step? First step I would say is
help your own team be prepared. Start with helping them organize
their own go bags so that they are personally prepared. And then, we also need to be
aware that in our community, we are fortunate. We have the ability to build our
own go bags for our team and our team members. But we want to make sure that
everyone in our community is prepared for a disaster. And we need to support raising
funds to make that a reality. And that’s that next step is
getting everyone prepared here in the Mid-South. Absolutely. So, we greatly appreciate
everything you do not only on the business front but
also on the community front. Thank you. Thank you so much. [theme music]
♪♪♪ They’re a
household name all across the world, especially for their work
with relief efforts and also, the military. I’m here with Laura Vaughn. She’s the executive director
of American Red Cross in the Mid-South. And when I say
American Red Cross, definitely know the symbol, the
logo — everything you guys are doing. But talk about the four key
areas of service for American Red Cross in the Mid-South. Here in the Mid-South, we
provide disaster relief, which many people have seen. Anything from fires to
flooding to tornadoes. And our amazing
volunteers, you know, get up in the middle of the
night to provide that food and shelter. In addition to that, we
also do international tracing. We reconnect families from all
over the world who are displaced from one another
during times of conflict. We also provide a host of
services to our military families to help them deal with
the challenges of deployment and provide those emergency
communications to one another during deployment. Then lastly, we help prepare the
community both on an individual and a corporate level to ensure
that our community is ready and resilient for times of disaster. And that’s the
perfect transition. The theme, obviously, today
is expect the unexpected. And so, let’s start
with the business side. Talk about Ready Rating. Sure. Ready Rating is a
free online program. Again, free online program — to
help business start that first step of building a
continuity plan. You know four out of
five small businesses, if they don’t have a formal plan
in place will not recover from a disaster —
disaster of any size. That’s why this program
— they just go online, register, answer
the 123 questions. And it will rate them in terms
of their preparedness level in different areas
of their business. It then tells them what they
need to do to improve their preparedness
level in those areas. So, it creates a
road map for them. It’s not a matter of
completing it and walking away. It’s a road map and a plan for
your business and it changes as your business changes
and your business grows. That’s amazing. And one of the things that.. You said on the frontlines —
and we’re going to transition it into the individual side. But you said on the
frontlines for — like, you alluded to the
fires and floods. Talk about how many of those. Because I think people don’t
really understand how many fires you face in a year. Just what that devastation can
be like in terms of the number or the magnitude. Give us a little bit
of a glimpse of that. Sure. Last year alone, we assisted
over 800 families here in the Mid-South that were
imapcted by a residential fire. You know 94% of everything we
do is executed by a volunteer. And our amazing volunteers get
up in the middle of the night to respond with the fire department
to those fires to ensure that the families’
needs are met — food, shelter, clothing and just hope. And that switches over
to the safety house. Talk about the safety house. Amazing tool originally put
together by FedEx and Medtronics and now supported Grainger that
teaches children how to prevent and respond to residential fire. It also teaches them what to do
if a tornado was to come through their community as well. So, let’s go and let’s show
viewers exactly what we’re talking about with
the safety house. [music]
♪♪♪ The safety house is what
I like to refer to as a visual aid where we can put hands on. We take it to our
neighborhood churches, schools in our area. And we try to teach about safety
in the home so that we can try and cut down on the number of
fires we have here in our area, which is our
number one disaster. We try to help people
prepare for disaster, prevent disasters and
also recover from disasters. And in doing so, this is one of
the tools we use to help prevent fires in the home. In the safety house,
we have a kitchen area. Our number one reason for
fire in our area is cooking. We also have a fire
extinguisher in there. We try to promote that each home
should have at least one fire extinguisher in it. We do a 9-1-1 call. We went through a microwave
setting where we ask kids what they should not put
in to a microwave. Next is our living area, in
which we have a fire place in there. And with our fire place, we tell
the kids about not playing too close to the fire. We try to get kids to understand
that fire is dangerous and they should be no where near a
fire while they’re playing. We try to demonstrate how far
they should be from the source of the open flame. We also try to tell them what
they should do if they do catch a fire. If their clothing
catches a fire, we try to explain to
them stop, drop and roll. It gives them opportunity to
put hands on and to actually visualize some of the things
that might go wrong in a home. That’s what our efforts are
for is to get kids to start recognizing these things. So, we just
saw your safety house. And one of the other things
that you do a ton of is C-P-R, A-E-D, all sorts of training. So, discuss some of the
training that you guys do. Sure. We do C-P-R, first aid, A-E-D
training for individuals out of our chapter and some with
our partners like Singleton Communtiy Center. Then we also go in to businesses
and teach their employees and get them certified in first aid
and C-P-R and A-E-D training as well. And so, you also will work with
companies and come in for free right in to a workshop
on preparedness education trainging, correct? Exactly. You know it’s not just about
going on and keeping the company prepared and having
them create a plan. It’s also vital that we
teach their employees how to be prepared not only
at work but at home, as well. So, all we need is an
invitation and we’ll come out. We’ll hold about a one hour
preparedness education seminar with the employees to just teach
them about our first aid apps that they can
download on their phones. And during times of emergancy. They’re all free. Exactly — free! It also teaches them about how
to create a kit and how to make a plan both at work and at home. So again, they themselves can
get back up and going quicker with their families and
return to work quicker. And that is a very important
piece of this is that you can have the best continuity plan in
the world but the reality is if your employees — if their
families aren’t prepared, then they’re not gonna be
able to get back to work. And so, that is one of those
where you take it for granted. But the reality
is on both sides, you have to be prepared. Talk about volunteers
because, obviously, you alluded to it — volunteers. That’s the lifeline. That’s the power
for a lot of these, especially with the relief
efforts — being out there in the middle of the night. So, so much of what you
do relies on volunteers. Talk about the
volunteer initiative. Sure. Due to the amazing generosity
of the F-C-C foundation, we are in year two of a
project called Join the 1,000. And again, you know we
stand ready 24 hours a day, seven days a week. And we could not do it
without our volunteers. And so with this program,
volunteers become a part of the Red Cross. We help to create a career path
for these volunteers and find out do they want to volunteer
in a public affairs position. Do they want to come do
interviews like we’re doing today? Or do they want to be on the
frontline of disaster relief? Or do they want to go out to
the businesses to help teach preparedness education? Then, we truly are a
volunteer led organization. I like the fact
that you make it easy. So whatever it is that I’m
interested in volunteering with, you’ve got an area that you
can use my skills and time and resources. And so, you just
plug right in, right? Exactly. Like we said, 94% of every thing
we do whether it’s delivering the emergency communications
through the military or it’s answering the
phones at the chapter, 94% of everything we do
is led by volunteers. Well, we greatly
appreciate everything. Thank you very much. Oh, thank you so
much for having me. [theme music]
♪♪♪ So, we’ve all done it. Put off today what
we can do tomorrow. But with so many unexpected
emergencies like tornadoes, fires and floods, the key is
taking action today so that you, your family and your
company are truly prepared. The best continuity plan of
the world is not gonna matter is employees and their families
are not prepared as well. The first step is
to make a plan. Like Susan mentioned, make sure
to include all family members, including your pets. Next, build a kit and store
enough supplies for at least three days. Be ready to evacuate quickly
with a pre-packed go bag. And make sure that you and your
family know where to go and meet when disaster strikes. There are free resources out
there like with Ready Shelby and the Red Cross. So, please take action today and
encourage others to do the same. Thank you for
watching “The Spark.” To learn more about each of the
guests and to interaction and hear stories of
others leading by example, visit TheSparkTV-dot-org. We look forward to seeing you
next month and hope you will join with us in creating a
spark for the Mid-South. [theme music]
♪♪♪ Lipscomb and Pitts
Insurance has been serving the Mid-South since 1954. We have always focused on
supporting our community and believe in
promoting the positives, encouraging engagement
and leading by example. Lipscomb and Pitts is proud to
be a presenting sponsor of “The Spark.” State Systems is focused on
protecting life and property. As a local
privately owned company, our foundation was built on
providing all businesses with complete fire security
protection and infrastructure. State Systems is proud to be a
part of the Mid-South community and a presenting
sponsor of “The Spark.” Just like having the right
information is necessary to make solid hiring and lending
decisions, being engaged in our community is important. Data Facts is proud to support
the positives and be a presenting sponsor of
“The Spark.”