September 16, 2011

Haynes outlines importance of being prepared

SEPT. 13, 2011: The good news: We don't have to worry about volcano disasters in Charleston, according to Cathy Haynes, chief of operations for the Charleston County Emergency Management Department.

But that's about it, she told Rotarians in a presentation that outlined the behind-the-scenes activities of the department. That's why we have to plan for so many contingencies -- natural disasters from flooding, tornados and hurricanes to man-made disasters from hazardous material situations, terrorism, radioactivity and more.

Disasters generally share three things in common:

• They're relatively unexpected
• Emergency personnel will be overwhelmed
• Lives, health and the environment will be endangered, she said.

Haynes outlined the roles played by local governments in disasters. Among their responsibilities:
• Developing emergency plans
• Determining evacuation routes
• Providing public transportation for people in harm's way
• Setting up and supplying shelters.

She said state government supported the roles of local government, particularly the county in several ways when needed by:

• Mobilizing the National Guard
• Prepositioning assets and supplies
• Operating a state Emergency Operations Center
• Calling for federal help through a request of a disaster declaration.

Similarly, the federal government supports state government by:

• Meeting state requests for funding help
• Providing logistical support for search and rescue operations
• Providing food, water and ice
• Opening disaster centers
• Processing claims
• Removing debris, and more.

Haynes also encouraged individuals in the community to take personal responsibility during disasters by protecting their families, being prepared and getting engaged in the community. She said people could be prepared by getting a disaster kit, making a plan and being informed. More information on kits can be found at the county's Web site:

Submitted by Andy Brack, Keyway Committee

September 8, 2011

The Roots of Gullah Culture

September 6, 2011: Our speaker, Herb Frazier, is a life-long journalist, having worked for the Post and Courier as well as papers in Columbia and New Orleans. He has traveled and lectured extensively in Africa and was awarded the 1990 Journalist of the Year in South Carolina.

Recently, the Daniel Island Foundation asked him to conduct interviews of survivors of a by-gone era and write a brief paper. His work developed into a book "Behind God's Back". In 1955 Harry Guggenheim purchased Daniel Island and in later years sold it to the Daniel Island Corporation. Before they developed it he became a benefactor for the preservation of the area culture. Prior to the construction of the Mark Clark expressway and the bridge over the Wando River, the small Gullah community on Daniel Island was almost isolated. Frazier's book revisits these people along with folks from Cainhoy, which was originally called "Kenha".

To make their living in the early years after emancipation of the slaves, they harvested timber and later made "moonshine" during prohibition. Among the many persons he learned about through interviews with their heirs was Nurse Broughton who served as a mid-wife in downtown Charleston. She also pulled a trailer medical office throughout the Cainhoy area to provide health care. One entrepreneur of the time established a ferry service across the Cooper River.

While bridges, highways and elegant homes now dot the area, Frazier's book gives us a snapshot of the lives of the Gullah people who originally were the area's inhabitants.

Submitted by Fred Sales, Keyway Committee

September 2, 2011


August 30, 2011: Paula Matthews, District Governor, gave the club an inspirational address which began with a brief history of our club, noting that we have had Paul Harris and Emelia Earhardt as speakers in the 1930's. DG Matthews joined the Spring Valley Rotary Club in 1971 and was its president in 1977. She has held many positions in Rotary and is the recipient of the International Service Award.

She recently returned from an international leadership conference in which International President Kalyan Banerjee stressed service to FAMILIES through programs to improve water, sanitation, literacy, child health and economic development, all of which begin in the family. He further focused on CONTINUITY, in which every member contributes, and CHANGE, in which we all must ask ourselves what we can do differently to improve the lives of all around us.

DG Matthews challenged us to focus on membership, noting that our club has continued to lose members over the past 6 years, losing 15% of our members per year, a loss that would be critical to a small business. She noted that 20% of our members have been with the club less than 3 years, and that this is the group that turns over and must be saved. At this point she gave a personal recognition to past president Earl Walker, noting that he has brought 25 members to the club in 5 years!

Her next challenge related to the Rotary Foundation, telling us that we need to increase the number of sustaining members, members who give at least $100 annually to the foundation [at the present time we have but 40 members who do this].

She suggested that our club adopt two goals: 1. To receive the President's Citation, and 2. to become Club of the Year in our size bracket.

Finally, she focused on the upcoming District Convention in Hilton Head, giving each member a "Moon Pie" with the convention logo: HAPPY DAYS!. In closing, she asked each of us in the coming year to:
Sponsor a new member
Become a sustaining member
Have a great time!

Submitted by Fred Sales, Keyway Committee