Fall has officially arrived! For Meals on Wheels staff, fall brings means wrapping up projects, preparation for upcoming holiday meals, and emergency planning for likely wintery weather issues.
Each year we re-evaluate our snow days protocols in an attempt to ensure that our processes best serve our senior clients while still providing safety for our dedicated volunteers and staff. In addition, we review and re-train staff to make sure everyone understands their roles as we get ready for that first snowfall.
One of the measures we take on behalf of our homebound clients is the preparation of emergency boxes of food to be used if volunteers are unable to deliver our normal meals. In late October or early November, volunteer drivers will deliver boxes of these emergency meals to all our home delivery clients. Items in the boxes are non-perishable items such as soup, granola bars, and fruit cups. The boxes can just be stored in the cupboard and do not require refrigeration.
Emergency boxes have been very helpful to clients not just when there’s been snow. We’ve been unable to deliver for many oddball reasons over the years. Delivery has been impeded in the past by parking lot paving, auto wrecks, and flooded streets. We’ve even encountered a few police standoffs that have locked down entire neighborhoods.
Our local Emergency Response teams encourage all of us to be prepared with supplies like bottled water, canned foods, blankets, and flashlights. And of course, we should all have an emergency plan in place so that we’re well-prepared for any crisis.