Seminar aimed at preparing for the unexpecteds

Published 8:26 am Wednesday, May 13, 2009

FRANKLIN—June Dunlow surveyed the devastation of last spring’s Suffolk tornadoes and put herself in the shoes of the victims.

“The thought crossed my mind: What would I do if my home were destroyed by a tornado, a fire, or whatever? Where do you start?” said Dunlow, office manager for Southampton Memorial Hospital’s Multispecialist Clinic.

From that experience evolved the concept of “Are You Ready?” — a disaster-preparedness seminar for area families from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, June 4, at Paul D. Camp Community College’s Workforce Development Center.

Two affiliates of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs — the Sedley Woman’s Club and Tarrara Woman’s Club — are co-sponsoring the event with Southampton Memorial Hospital and PDCCC’s Division of Workforce Development.

Area businesses and organizations are invited to set up display tables as part of an information fair that will begin at 5 p.m.

Dinner will be served at 6 p.m., followed at 6:30 p.m. by guest speakers with expertise in the areas of health care, insurance and finances.

Participation is free, but participants must register in advance by calling 569-6128 or 569-6182.

Dunlow said the event, while patterned after the hospital’s “Healthy Woman” series, is designed for couples and single parents.

“We’re real excited and hope it all comes together,” she said.

Guest speakers will be Franklin attorney Taylor Williams, who was a solo practitioner before becoming city attorney in 2007; Melissa Boyce of Bronco Federal Credit Union; and Jim Jervey of Farm Bureau Insurance.

Discussion topics will include advance medical directives, also known as living wills; power of attorney; senior services; financial preparedness; budgeting; identity theft; credit-card debt; life insurance; how to store and replace personal documents; organ donation; long-term health care; and advance funeral arrangements.

“Also, under the health aspect, we’re going to cover pandemic flu and how you should be ready for that in case it were to become issue in our area,” Dunlow said.

After the speakers’ remarks, participants can return to the information tables to ask questions and get more information.

“At some point in time, all of us are faced with something unexpected – a disaster, losing a loved one, a lost job, whatever,” Dunlow said. “The seminar will be about things that we all need to do but that we don’t think about until we have an emergency or crisis and are forced to do it. An emergency is not a pleasant thing, but if you’re prepared, you can deal with it a little bit better.”