Anyone ever heard of a derecho before this week? I know I hadn’t…
…and I hope to never experience one again! The storm that quite literally blew through Iowa without advance notice recorded winds in excess of 100 mph and devastated 770 miles of Iowa and neighboring states. Most of Iowa was affected, including Des Moines and our beloved P.E.O. Executive Office. It was like a giant tornado and a hurricane all rolled into one. But after all, it’s 2020, so what should we expect?!
Thankfully, employees are safe, although some had property damage and some remain without power at home. The office was spared, with the exception of a large tree in the front lawn that took out power lines on the way down. After 2 ½ days our power was restored (although thousands are still without), but both our primary fiber optic and our backup internet cable are still providing spotty service. The power company will not release the area as safe for internet repairs until at least Monday, August 17. We will then be on a list with thousands of other customers for repairs. As a business, we hope to be considered high priority. Even as things begin to come back online, we may experience sporadic outages until everything is repaired in the area.
What does this mean for P.E.O.s? As many already have discovered, our websites have been down and therefore, access to P.E.O. resources and project applications may not always be available. Our phone lines are currently not operational and mailboxes are full without the ability to retrieve messages. The access to our membership database has not been consistently available and it is limiting our ability to communicate directly with chapters via email, phone and mail.
It also means our return to business meetings and social meetings under new guidelines originally scheduled to begin September 1 may be postponed as we work to get updated materials to chapters. Preserving the integrity and versions of documents as well as providing resources to local chapters is very important to us—and even more so for our President’s Book. We are very aware of the ripple effect of this and appreciate your assistance in sharing with your local chapters:
Your patience and understanding during this unexpected natural disaster is appreciated beyond measure. Thank you for your continued dedication to our Sisterhood.
Wishing you and your loved ones health and safety during these unprecedented times.
Kathy A. Soppe, Executive Director