Events Worth Commemorating
Challenge coins are created for all kinds of reasons. One thing that unites most challenge coins ordered from us is that they are commissioned to commemorate something. A promotion at the office, moving up military ranks, recognition of some life-changing event like a wedding or graduation are some of the more common reasons customers reach out to us. These monumental events mark a major milestone that people want to remember forever. It makes sense to immortalize them in metal.
One kind of coin we see being requested more and more frequently, however, are coins commemorating natural disasters. When news arrives that there’s a hurricane bearing down on an Atlantic coast, or in the wake of a wildfire raging, orders are sure to come in for coins commemorating the event. For something that tends to have devastating effects on people’s lives, why would someone want to remember it on a coin? Because it’s about the bigger picture, and not the disaster.
Keeping the Focus on People
It’s a sight we’ve all seen a hundred times: First responders and civilians alike rushing towards danger to render aid to their neighbors and complete strangers. Firefighters, EMS professionals and government agency employees work hard everyday responding to emergencies, but they dig deep in the face of disasters to keep the loss of life to a minimum. There’s no natural disaster that wouldn’t be made far worse without the help of first responders willing to brave the storm and offer their services when called upon.
Challenge coins created in commemoration of natural disasters aren’t actually about those disasters at all. They’re commissioned by fire departments, EMS units and government agencies looking to honor the men and women who worked tirelessly during the event to protect and help as many people as possible.
Examples of Natural Disaster Coins
Over the years, we’ve provided coins to a number of government agencies. FEMA is no stranger to using our services in the wake of a natural disaster response. After Hurricane Maria, they had these coins created to commemorate their response.
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection Emergency Operations Center is often called in to support FEMA’s recovery efforts. In 2017, when hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria all made landfall, the CBP was particularly busy. They commemorated their effort with a unique coin shaped like a t-shirt and representing all three natural disasters at once.
As mentioned, individual fire companies have also been known to get into the disaster coin market. Some of the more interesting coin orders we’ve received feature actual images from the weather maps. Making for some very colorful proofs.
If you thought that hurricanes were the only disasters getting coins minted after them, think again. California wildfires are some of the most devastating occurrences in the country. The firefighters charged with battling the blazes face a uniquely difficult task as the conditions of the state generally lend themselves so perfectly to the fires burning indefinitely. It can take a herculean effort to succeed in the face of such conditions, and that’s why the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection ordered the following coins.
As explained, here at Signature Coins, we make challenge coins for all kinds of events. While a natural disaster might not be the first thing you think of when planning something to commemorate, just know that you’re not alone in wanting to honor the men and women who worked overtime to keep your community safe. If you need help deciding on a design for your own natural disaster coins, let us know and our artists will work their magic for you.