Martha (Marty) Walters - Japan Disaster Coordinator
 
Our speaker on February 3 was our newest member Martha (Marty) Walters, who though not the scheduled speaker gave an excellent presentation on her experiences as a General Electric employee working in Japan at the time of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami and subsequent nuclear accident, the level 7+ meltdowns at three reactors in the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power reactor explosion where G.E. had equipment and personnel.  Marty was living outside Tokyo with her teenaged children who were in school when the event happened.  Transportation was almost at a standstill.  Marty had worked out communication with her children in the event of an emergency so she knew they were safe.
Unexpectedly, Marty became the disaster coordinator for all the employees and facilities in Japan.  Many of the procedures she, in consultation with people from the U. S. and elsewhere, had to develop as circumstances arose during the aftermath, such as finding a way to transport employees and family members from the threatened areas.  The government was not forthcoming with much information, she said, so relying on social media became one of the important sources of information.  Many of the stateside employees were trying to get out of Japan as soon as possible but travel out of Tokyo was not available.  They had to go to southern Japan to get flights. 
There was also the fear of unsafe levels of radioactivity from the nuclear accident.  One of Marty’s efforts was to work with people stateside to figure out what was a safe level and relay the information to the employees.  She spoke of working 20 hour days with their offices in the States and a number of consultants just to manage of the many issues involved and answer the employee’s questions which were coming at an overwhelming rate.  They were able to set up a single site where information would be available. 
In a way, it was the earthquake and resulting eventsthat brought Marty to Quincy and our club.  Her current business as a consultant came via her work as disaster recovery coordinator when one of the firms consulting with GE offered her a new position.  It was an exciting and well-presented program. 
 
Our latest Blue Badge Member, Darryl Swarm
 
 
Craig, Jim and Siegfried distributing dictionaries to 3rd graders at Quincy Elementary.