One of the greatest things about living in Chicago is that we are close to some of the best minds in the business. It is a huge asset to be able to interact with inspiring people when you are stuck on something.
Yesterday, Tracie drove up to Chicago and we met with Dan Migala at his Chicago office. We spent most of our day brainstorming with a bunch of super minds and making plans for the upcoming year. Working away from our Norman office can be uninspiring, so Tracie and I make sure to get out and interact with each other and our clients.
And it isn’t a complete Chicago day without some Lou Malnati’s pizza, which we shared (kinda) with our friend Brad from the Chicago Fire. The Fire is such a great organization and it is amazing to hear about what they are doing to drive ticket sales.
In true Old Hat style, we finished the evening recapping the day at the pub. Being able to meet new minds and hear new ideas is what makes Old Hat the best. We strive to always keep our ideas fresh by surrounding ourselves with amazing people.
My mom could breathe easier after she received that text from me.
Monday, May 20, 2013 is a day I will forever remember. I was at work, and happy to already be there because whenever there is a bad storm coming, we go to the office. Our building is safe and has a basement.
As the afternoon approached, everyone around the office was following the weather on the local news stations and various social media outlets.We went along with our workday as usual and occasionally stopped to check the weather. All of a sudden, we lost the TV signal.Next, we lost our phone connections, both landlines and cell service.Finally, we realized the Internet was out too.We had no way of really knowing what was happening only 10 miles north of us in Moore.Some of our Old Hatters live in Moore and have family in the surrounding areas.It was difficult to reach out to them to find out exactly where the tornado hit and if everyone was okay.
Slowly, texts started to go through, but calls still would not.However, we were able to use our smart phones to track the radar and receive social media updates that way.
Not sure about everyone else, but at least for me, my cable and Internet did not come back until after 9 pm.My roommate and I spent four hours switching through the local news stations’ live streams on my phone.We also kept up with photos and videos that emerged through Facebook and Twitter.
One of the most astounding tweets I came across was a report that people were using social media to ask for help to be dug out from rubble.Excuse me?Social media saved some lives yesterday.Victims that might not have otherwise been found under piles of debris used their phones to notify family and first responders of their locations.Simply amazing.
Even without TV and phone calls, I was able to stay updated to the minute because of social media. Without Twitter, I would not have known that all the children from Briarwood Elementary made it out safely, and their parents could pick them up at a specific location nearby. The Thompson family might not have found their three-year-old child who was waiting for them at St. Anthony’s. I know I said amazing already, but these situations prove to me yet again how amazing the power of social media truly is.
I didn’t quite know how to feel that day. I have watched and followed the recent tragedies our country endured, but I have never been so close to one. Thinking back to those moments when we were watching this tornado rip through Moore and not aware of the mass devastation at the time makes my stomach hurt. Knowing that people’s lives instantly changed forever, while I continued my ordinary day, it’s just weird. I’m sorry I don’t have a better way to explain it, but it’s just a very strange feeling. It could have been any of us.
This tornado is officially more devastating than the May 3rd, 1999 tornado. Just like with the other tragedies, please don’t forget about Moore, Oklahoma, just because the media stops talking about it. So many people are left with nothing. Their lives will NOT just go back to normal in a few days.
Hearts are heavy this morning at Old Hat World Headquarters. Just before 3p.m. CST yesterday afternoon, the town of Moore, Oklahoma, approximately 10 miles north of our offices, was devastated by an EF4/5 tornado
Those who are looking for family members can visit www.safeandwell.org.
The Salvation Army Arkansas-Oklahoma Division has dispatched disaster response teams.
Donations can be made to:
The Salvation Army Disaster Relief P.O. Box 12600 Oklahoma City, OK 73157
Designate Oklahoma Tornado Relief on all checks.
Donate by phone: (800) 725-2769 Text GIVE to 80888 for a $10 donation to the Salvation Army.
FEED THE CHILDREN
The Oklahoma City-base non profit is currently seeking donations of boots, gloves, tools, bottled water, non-perishable food items and cash.
Doantions can be made online at http://www.feedthechildren.org/site/PageServer?pagename=dotorg_homepage
Team Rubicon unites the skills and experiences of military veterans with first responders to rapidly deploy emergency response teams.
Similar to our response to Superstorm Sandy, TR will activate volunteers from across the country to deploy to Oklahoma. Strike teams will work in the community, going home to home, providing damage assessments and expedient home repair.