This is not the post I woke up to write today.
But early this morning, I learned that my sister-in-law’s brother, Andrew Barnes, had been killed last night in a tragic motorcycle accident.
Andrew was 26 years old. But he was so much more than that…..a military veteran, a husband, a father to two young children, a son, a friend, and yes, even an emergency preparedness geek like me.
You all should know by now that I’m passionate about the words “whole community” because emergency preparedness must engage every single one of us. Sometimes, I think we relegate emergency services to “emergency service professionals” but if we do, we fail truly as a community because disaster knows no profession and strikes near and far to where our “hired” resources exist.
Andrew was inspirational to me because he truly was an “everyday Jack.” With his brother, Stephen, they managed the website www.EverydayJacks.com which aims to share the whole community message and illustrates one of his passions to ensure that his community was more ready to face the unthinkable. Andrew’s brother, Stephen, wrote this tribute to his “master-at-arms” earlier today.
We can all honor Andrew’s memory by being our own everyday “Jacks” and “Jills” when we take seriously our role in our local communities, aim to prepare our neighbors and focus on the fact that being ready is EVERYONE’s responsibility.
My heart hurts today, but I am thankful for the conversations that Andrew & I had over the years about emergency preparedness. And, in his honor, I will continue to be passionate about wildly, diverse engagement in emergency management.
Rest in Peace, Andrew. Your life touched so many, including mine.
If you are interested in honoring this special family with a small financial contribution to support Andrew’s surviving spouse and young children, there is a link on the front page at www.EverydayJacks.com available.