Hey Mother Nature, quit picking on Iowa!

Bilde4_3 It ‘s been a very difficult and tragic few weeks here in Iowa. 

Between tornadoes destroying towns like Parkersburg and taking the lives of 4 boy scouts last night and the flooding that is destroying homes, businesses and putting lives in jeopardy — we’re feeling a little picked on.

I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the e-mails and calls from all of you, checking on us and offering your prayers and thoughts.

One of the silver linings of a disaster/s is watching humanity at its best.  Sure, there will probably be some people who try to take advantage, but for the most part — people are  scrambling to find ways to help.   Fund raising efforts to re-built Parkersburg have exceeded expectations. 

People and businesses aren’t waiting to be asked, they are just showing up to help with the sandbagging and flood rescue efforts.   Bilde2_2 Businesses who are out of harm’s way are offering extra office space to anyone displaced by the water.  Hotels are making rooms available to families who have lost their home.  Volunteers are calling a hot-line number to find out where they are needed and going without question.  Restaurants are delivering food to sandbagging sites.

And the rain beats on relentlessly, adding to the danger and challenge of trying to prepare/recover.

It reminds me of how we as a nation responded after 9/11 or Katrina.  When someone’s in trouble — it brings out the best in us.  People don’t stop to ask "what’s in it for me" — they just act honorably and give.

Bilde1 I thought about twisting this story into a marketing lesson (because you know I‘ve done that before!) but I decided a lesson in humanity and human kindness was probably a better choice for today. 

While the power of the rushing water is awesome, the power of the human heart is even more awe inspiring.

Update:  Sorry — should have been more clear.  Yes…me and mine are fine and dry.  Had some serious basement flooding damage but in the grand scheme of things, that’s nothing.  House is in the ‘burbs so we shouldn’t be at any high risk.  Might lose water/power for a few days. Office is downtown, but I think we are on high enough ground.  Time will tell.  As best I know, all the Iowa bloggers you know and love are also safe and dry. 

Photos courtesy of Des Moines Register’s online photo galleries.

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14 comments on “Hey Mother Nature, quit picking on Iowa!

  1. John Rosen says:

    Drew:

    Critical qustion: Are you and yours OK? I hope so. You are right, of course, about disasters bringing out the best in us. One can think of hundreds of examples over the past 100 years or so.

    I’m supposed to visit my niece and nephew in Kansas City in a week. I’m told the damage has not been so bad that far south.

    John

  2. Hey Drew:
    Seems to me marketing is always “a lesson in humanity and human kindness”. Actually humanity and human kindness is the real driving force behind true marketing, isn’t it? Though the weight of the need is very different, marketing is always about helping Human Beings in need of something. This is what I have been seeing between the lines of you message to the marketing community.
    We often forget to make this connection. It takes these kinds of disasters to wake us up from our commercial slumber and remember that Life comes down to people helping each other have as good a Life as possible. This is why I feel you are doing a “great work” keeping us reminded that marketing is about serving the needs of people.
    While I agree with your sentiments, I do see a valuable marketing listen in your post.
    Arlin

  3. Shama Hyder says:

    Hi Drew,

    If there is anything we can do here in Texas, please let me know!

    Wishing you sunshine…and fast!

    -Shama

  4. Drew – I’m so glad you and yours are ok…been thinking about lots of my friends in Iowa (I’m a University of alum – go Hawks!) and getting in touch. Thankfully all ok so far. Please let me know if there’s anything your friends and colleagues here in Chicago can do to help.

    Best – Amber

  5. Jane Sink says:

    Hi Drew, From Jane the LURKER…:-)
    My goodness, it seems like every part of the country has something wired going on…Glad you and your family are ok.

  6. Chris Brown says:

    Drew:
    Everytime I hear more news about more water in your area I think of you & your Panera meet up crew.

    Since my son was a boy scout from 1st grade until last year when he went to college, I really relate to the Boy Scout story. My heart aches for the boy scouts at the camp hit by the tornado.

    Thanks for the update.
    Chris

  7. Great to hear you are well, and also nice to see people pulling together in adversity.

    The tragedy at the Scout Camp was just unbearable – really heartbreaking. We’re thinking of you over in Scotland, where we know all about rain. Best wishes to you all, David.

  8. John,

    Other than the basement — we survived unscathed. My office building is in the heart of downtown but fortunately, we were not the area where the levees broke.

    So, now Iowa waits for the water to recede and hope that the levees hold until that happens.

    I hear KC is fine…so you should be able to enjoy your visit. Thanks for checking in on us!

    Drew

  9. Arlin,

    Thank you for your kind words. I agree with you — a key in marketing is human interaction and connection. And you’re right, we sure have seen some amazing human interaction over the past week.

    Thanks for pointing out the marketing message even when I didn’t think there was one!

    Drew

  10. Shama,

    Your wish was Mother Nature’s command. The weather report looks like sunny and dry for most of the week. Hopefully that will help as the water slowly recedes.

    We’re just keeping our fingers that the levees hold. Thanks for your good thoughts!

    Drew

  11. Amber,

    Thanks for your good thoughts. As you know, Iowans are amazingly resilient. People are linking arms and helping each other.

    It’s been wonderful and affirming to hear from so many people, like yourself, with offers to help.

    Makes the world feel very small and warm indeed.

    Drew

  12. Jane,

    Geez — it took a flood to get you to leap out of lurkerdom! 🙂

    Thanks for your well wishes and for keeping an eye out for us!

    Drew

  13. Chris,

    The devastating deaths of the 4 boy scouts has captured all of our hearts. It’s such a tragedy.

    As best I know, all of the Iowa bloggers are okay and safe. Which, in the grand scheme of things, is all that matters.

    Drew

  14. David,

    I think the tragedy at the boy scout camp made everything Iowans have been enduring way too real for all of us.

    I too keep thinking about their families and how horrible it must be to turn on the TV and see the news being told over and over.

    Thanks for all the good thoughts!

    Drew

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