There are many people to interview about the 1962 Ash Wednesday Storm, but when you google the topic, one video comes up prominently. It’s a presentation from 2017 at the Slover Library in Norfolk by Jim Redick, that city’s guru on emergency preparedness for the past decade. Jim previously did the same for Hampton and Virginia Beach.
Redick has a bachelor’s in organizational leadership and management from Regent and a master’s in public administration from ODU, where he also teaches. Disaster planning, says Jim, is not just his job, it’s also his hobby. “I think I’ve lost my hair worrying about the worst things that can happen.” He’s also a military history buff (he served in the Navy for four years and Army National Guard for six) and is writing a book about a favorite subject, the Battle of Gettysburg, from the standpoint of a mass casualty event. “I have researched how that area in Pennsylvania responded to that pivotal and traumatic battle in 1863,” he says. “’We can learn so much about how to deal with tomorrow’s catastrophes by studying previous ones.”
Oh, are we lucky to have Jim Redick around to deal with Mother Nature’s furies, like the recent nearly day long snow-caused backup on I-95. “That could happen around here,” says Jim, “so I’m thinking about how to plan for it.” We’re counting on you Jim.
Here’s Jim’s 2017 presentation of the Ash Wednesday Storm.