Reusable Resources in rural emergency management scenarios is a Godsend, really. For rural communities with practically no emergency management budgets and limited resources to begin with, reusable resources could solve a lot of huge challenges for rural emergency management. But is it possible to have reusable resources in emergency management situations? I think it is through innovation and that is the reason I have decided to write this article today. This article is about reusable resources for rural emergency management and is intended to discussion the possibilities of reusable resources and to encourage further innovation for rural communities who agree with this idea.


Reusable Resources

Source: USDA


Reusable Resources: Natural Resources

A lot of potential natural reusable resources go to waste in smaller and rural communities. We waste these potential reusable resources without really realizing the waste that is taking place. Two things come to mind when I think about natural reusable resources…snow and trees.


Snow – most rural communities in America witness winter weather events that dump a lot of snow on our communities. It happens, we cope and the snow melts away thereafter. However, why are we allowing all of the snow to melt away and never tapping into the potential reusable resources that snow can provide? Imagine this…water tanks being packed with snow. The temperature raises and the snow melts into water. The water is then stored for future use in drought scenarios. Why let snow go to waste when it can become a vital reusable resource for rural communities?


Trees – Tornadoes, windstorms, hurricanes and the likes are often responsible for taking down trees all over rural areas that are badly hit. Most of these trees are cleared and burned. Why not cut them up and create a stockpile of reusable resources for those who have wood burning heating and stove system – a common feature among homeowners, especially in rural communities. Winter weather hits, power outages occur, the community can now ration bundles of cut tree logs to various citizens of a community who are trying to stay warm during the power outage. Debris that would had been wasted for nothing can be used to save the lives of our neighbors.


What other natural resources can you think of that could be used as reusable resources for rural emergency management needs?


Other Reusable Resources for Rural Emergency Management

Besides natural reusable resources, there are plenty of other types of resources that can be reused for emergency management efforts. Bottled water is a great example of this. At some point, a large quantity of bottled water pallets are going to expire and become undrinkable by any living species. This doesn’t mean that the water should be thrown out. This water can be used to fill tanks on fire apparatuses, it can be used to cool down equipment used in disaster response and it can be used for anything else that requires water for its use. Just because humans can no longer use a resource for what it was intended to be used for doesn’t mean that the resource can be used for something else.


This is the time to horde… Reusable resources in a rural environment is a big deal and could really save a lot of money for communities that don’t have a lot of money to begin with. We, rural communities, tend to adapt to the challenges we are faced with from being rural and not having the financial resources that larger communities and cities seem to have a lot of. Look at all the resources they waste, the resources that could easier be reused. Maybe legislation needs to be made for these bigger cities to donate these almost wasted resources to rural communities that could really use them. Reusable resources is just something to really think about…


What are some other types of reusable resources that you have in mind?

What reusable resources could a rural community benefit from in terms of emergency management? Has your community in specific utilized any sort of reusable resources for emergency management or other types of reasons? Please comment below with your thoughts, ideas, opinions and questions about reusable resources and related innovations for rural emergency management.


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This article was written by Shawn Joseph Gossman. Shawn is professional in rural emergency management and rural business continuity. Shawn is professionally certified in emergency management, holds a Master of Science in Emergency Management and Public Health and has various experience in rural emergency management situations. Shawn is passionate about his lifelong focus on improving rural emergency management and rural business continuity.

About the Author

Shawn J. Gossman
Shawn J. GossmanB.S., M.S., M.B.A., SEM, PDS
Shawn J. Gossman is an article and publication contributor of rural and remote-based emergency management, continuity and public health topics. Shawn holds a Master of Science concentrating in Emergency Management and a MBA in Hazardous Environment Logistics and Supply Chain Management. Shawn is dedicated to helping rural communities and organizations be a part of the Whole Community approach of National Preparedness.