Cynthia Brian Receives Silver Medal of Achievement
In the National
2020 GardenComm Media Awards
July 8, 2020 – Cynthia Brian received the 2020 Media Awards Silver Medal of Achievement for Journalism Newspaper Article, presented by GardenComm: Garden Communicators International.
This national award recognizes individuals and companies who achieve the highest levels of talent and professionalism in garden communications. The 2020 competition had more than 160 entries in the category. Recipients of the Silver Medal represent the top winners who will now compete for best of group in the areas of writing, photography, digital media, broadcast media, publishing and trade.
Cynthia Brian received the Silver Medal of Achievement for her Digging Deep with Goddess Gardener, Cynthia Brian article in the Lamorinda Weekly Newspaper entitled Scary, scary night. “The GardenComm Media Awards showcase the writers, photographers, editors, publishers and trade companies that have pursued excellence in gardening communication,” says Becky Heath, past president of GardenComm. “The Media Award winners have been judged by industry experts and show significant distinction and merits that exemplify exceptional work.”
Cynthia Brian, known as The Goddess Gardener, has been a columnist for the Lamorinda Weekly Newspaper since 2008 where she writes Digging Deep for the Home section. Besides being a gardening expert, Cynthia is an actor and a New York Times best-selling author of eight books, a producer and host of StarStyle® radio, a lifestyle and media coach, and the Founder and Executive Director of the literacy and positive message charity, Be the Star You Are!®. Her two gardening books include Chicken Soup for the Gardener’s Soul and Growing with the Goddess Gardener. Cynthia grew up on a farm where she drove tractor, raised chickens, and worked in the fields to fund her university education. No matter where she travels, she seeks out gardens and country life. “I’m exceedingly honored with this national prestigious award. The California fires have been devastatingly destructive and horrific. To have personally experienced a middle-of-the-night evacuation with fires flaring at my property line, gave me the additional incentive to share my experience and expertise to help others survive future disasters by reducing the threat of fires through appropriate landscape choices,” Cynthia recounted. Find out more about Cynthia Brian at https://www.CynthiaBrian.com.
The GardenComm Media Awards program recognizes outstanding writing, photography, graphic design, books, newspaper stories, magazine articles, TV, radio, and works focused on gardening.
GardenComm, formerly GWA: the Association for Garden Communicators, is an organization of professional communicators in the green industry including book authors, bloggers, staff editors, syndicated columnists, free-lance writers, photographers, speakers, landscape designers, television and radio personalities, consultants, publishers, extension service agents and more. www.gardencomm.org.
Read Scary,scary night at https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1318/Digging-Deep-with-Goddess-Gardener-Cynthia-Brian-Scary-scary-night.html and at https://blog.voiceamerica.com/2019/11/15/starry-scary-night/
When it’s 2:15 in the morning, the power is out, the air smells of smoke, yet you are fast asleep, then you realize that firefighters are pounding on your door shouting, “Evacuate Now”, what do you do?
I thought I was very prepared for an emergency with packed Go Bags in our vehicles and one in our hall closet that had a list in large letters of what to grab. But when my husband and I were given exactly ONE MINUTE to get out because the fire was only 100 feet from our house, there was no time to gather items. In the dark, with a flashlight leading the way, there was just enough time to throw on clothes, grab my computer, purse, phone, keys, and Go Bag. Outside the front door, I put on my garden clogs and off we went as two trucks of firefighters battled the blaze from our driveway.
Here are the cliff notes of what I learned that frenzied and frightful morning that could have improved our one-minute evacuation.
- 1.Put keys, wallet, handbag, phone, glasses, and other essentials in the same place every time. My husband left without his wallet and glasses.
- 2.Everything on your list should be stored near your Go Bag. On my list, I had written: computer, back-up discs, passports, insurance papers, family DVD’s, and my first-edition books that I wrote. There was time to only get my computer.
- 3.Have duplicate keys to homes, offices, or other keys you may need in your Go Bag. We were allowed to only evacuate with one car. My car had everything we needed in it, but we were directed to take my husband’s car that had nothing.
- 4.Keep a pair of shoes near the front door. Check!
- 5.A headlamp is the best flashlight option when you are searching in the dark, attempting to find things. Two hands are better than one when you can take only what you can carry.
- 6.Bring a warm coat, blankets, socks, and maybe your pillow. It was cold and the two thin blankets in my emergency bag were not sufficient. I wish I had stuffed my pillow in my bag.
Today I’ve amended my emergency Go Bag. This may be the new normal.
The firefighters were calm, professional, and truly heroic in saving lives and homes. Our sincerest gratitude to all these brave men from many fire districts who orchestrated a successful save. Bravo!
All is well that ends well.
EMERGENCY SUPPLY KIT-GO BAG
by Cynthia Brian
In the midst of the many disasters that seem to be continuous, I encourage clients to put together an emergency “Go Bag”. Whatever the calamity, it will behoove you to have an emergency supply kit in every vehicle and a larger one in your home. Make sure you know where all of your important documents are located. Make copies and put everything you need either in your Go Bag or next to your Go Bag. Know how to manually open automatic garage doors and gates. Sometimes, as is the case with our California wildfires or earthquakes, a matter of minutes is the difference between life and death.
Make copies of your passport, driver’s license, credit cards, and have some small bills available. Pack duplicate chargers for phones, tablets, and computers. Back up your computers and keep files in the cloud or off-site. Make a plan for your pets and animals and have a bag ready for them as well. Know your neighbors and their contact numbers to keep in touch to make sure everyone is safe. Have a list of a network of friends that you can call in an emergency. Know where you can go in evacuations.
Most of all, remember that saving your life and that of your family is the most important. Everything else can be replaced.
Fill a backpack or small case with the following and keep one of these in ALL of your vehicles and one in your home:
First Aid kit
Bottled water (1 gallon per person per day)
Personal hygiene kit with a toothbrush, soap, medications
Flashlight and headlamp with extra batteries
Breathing masks (Niosh-N95)
Extra set of keys to home, office, etc.
Bottles of Wine (optional)
I hope that we never have to use these emergency kits, but it’s best to be prepared.
Cynthia Brian is the columnist for Digging Deep with the Goddess Gardener. www.CynthiaBrian.com
Starstyle® Productions, LLC
PO Box 422 * Moraga, Ca. 94556
925-377-7827 * www.CynthiaBrian.com * Cynthia@Star-Style.com