Sept. 30, 2011
Two King County organizations honored with first-ever Executive's Awards for Community Preparedness
VashonBePrepared and Carnation-Duvall Citizen Corps Council recognized for preparedness and response efforts
Two local organizations were recognized today by King County Executive Dow Constantine for their commitment to emergency preparedness and response. VashonBePrepared and the Carnation-Duvall Citizen Corps Council were both honored with the first-ever Executive’s Awards for Community Preparedness.
“When storms knocked out power and blocked roads last winter, I saw first-hand how members of VashonBePrepared jumped into action to open warming shelters and deploy a ‘bucket brigade’ to distribute fuel for generators – keeping Island residents from suffering in the cold,” said Executive Constantine. “I was also very impressed with the work of the Carnation-Duvall Citizens Corps Council to provide shelters and keep their community informed during flood events. I am pleased to honor the spirit of self-reliance shown by these hardworking volunteers and encourage others to follow their lead.”
VashonBePrepared was chosen for its quick action after last year’s Thanksgiving week winter storm that knocked down power lines and left many Vashon and Maury Island residents in the dark. Volunteers also coordinated the emergency response with King County and Puget Sound Energy to restore power to the area in half the time originally forecast.
“The impressive work done by VashonBePrepared in those cold, dark days went beyond the basics,” Executive Constantine said. “Their ongoing actions demonstrate a ‘whole community’ approach to disaster response.”
“Island communities can be isolated from emergency resources if disaster strikes. Preparation is the most important thing a community can do to ensure their safety,” said Councilmember Joe McDermott who represents Vashon and Maury Islands. “VashonBePrepared is a model for other communities, and I commend them, their volunteers and partner organizations, and all the people of Vashon and Maury Islands for their exemplary work preparing for the unexpected.”
The Carnation-Duvall Citizen Corps Council was also honored by Executive Constantine. The council, one of the first of its kind in King County, is a partnership of local volunteer groups and first responders who are active in disaster preparedness and response.
“Every year, residents of the Snoqualmie Valley experience flooding that impacts peoples’ lives and livelihoods,” Executive Constantine said. “Through the planning and education efforts spearheaded by the Carnation-Duvall Citizen Corps Council, residents of the Snoqualmie Valley are better prepared to take action when floodwaters rise.”
“The dedicated volunteers in the Carnation-Duvall Citizen Corps Council are a huge asset to the community, and they continue with regular training and drilling nine years after formation of the Corps,” added Councilmember Kathy Lambert, who represents the Snoqualmie Valley communities and helped establish the organization. “They offer community emergency response team classes with the breadth and depth of information and experiences that empower residents to respond to many emergencies. Their efforts were recognized by FEMA Region X as one of the first and most successful Citizen Corps in the country, and they continue to provide an excellent model of grassroots community coordination.”
“As we head into another winter storm season, with the prospect of a ‘double-dip’ La Niña on the horizon, it is more important than ever for communities to be prepared,” Executive Constantine said. “We encourage everyone to take the steps necessary to prepare themselves, their families, and their neighborhoods for emergencies.”
For tips and information on emergency preparedness, visit www.kingcounty.gov/prepare.