FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Sandi Scheinberg
Twisp, WA (May 19, 2015)— The Methow Valley Long Term Recovery organization is launching an education campaign called MethowReady to help the community prepare for an emergency or disruption of services. It is introducing itself to the community as part of a disaster preparedness fair on Saturday, May 23, 2015, at the Twisp Farmer’s Market, 9 am – noon.
MethowReady and its partnering organizations will be on hand to answer questions and give tips on how to prepare oneself and one’s home to be more survivable in case of an emergency. There will be informational materials and give-aways, including a drawing for an emergency hand-crank radio and first aid kit.
The goal of the campaign is to have every resident of the Methow Valley be “MethowReady”, or prepared with supplies for at least three days—to be self-sufficient in case of a disaster, emergency or shut down of services. As the community experienced from the 2014 Carlton Complex fires, and subsequent floods and windstorms, local responders may not be able to reach residents immediately, or they may need to focus their efforts elsewhere.
“We will face another disaster or emergency situation—whether it’s a fire, mudslide or power outage. We just don’t know when,” says Cindy Button, executive director of Aero Methow Rescue Service, who is part of a team overseeing the campaign. “Being prepared means people will be able to cope better, be less stressed, and be more able to help neighbors in need.”
The campaign is emphasizing that being prepared not only benefits individuals but the community as a whole. “When individuals are prepared, it frees up emergency responders to be able do their jobs and focus on handling the emergency,” says Don Waller, Chief of Okanogan Fire District 6, which provides fire, rescue, and emergency response services throughout the Methow Valley, and is a partner in the MethowReady campaign.
As a part of its disaster preparedness strategy, MethowReady is helping residents organize themselves into groups to support each other and share resources during emergency situations. The approach is based on the award-winning Map Your Neighborhood program developed by LuAn Johnson, Ph.D, at the State Of Washington's Emergency Management Division.
The program, which has been adopted across the United States, consists of neighborhoods led by readiness “captains.” The captains collect information regarding the tools, resources, skills and special needs from each neighbor so that their neighborhoods are ready to respond to problems and help the most vulnerable when disaster strikes. The structure is flexible enough to accommodate the rural neighborhoods of the Methow Valley.
Anyone who is interested in being a captain for a neighborhood group, or who would like to connect with their neighbors, is invited to contact MethowReady’s preparedness coordinator, Sandi Scheinberg, at email@example.com.
The MethowReady campaign is a project of the Methow Valley Long Term Recovery organization, which was formed following the historic wildlfires and floods of 2014 in order to help the Methow Valley recover from these events, and to ensure that the Methow Valley is better prepared for future disasters.
Aero Methow Rescue Service
Carlton Complex Assistance Network
Okanogan Conservation District
Okanogan County Electric Co-operative
Okanogan County Department of Emergency Management
Okanogan County Public Utility District
Okanogan Fire District #6
Town of Twisp
Town of Winthrop
Twisp Police Department
Winthrop Marshal’s Office
For more information, contact Sandi Scheinberg at 509-470-5456 or visit www.methowready.org.
An Aero Methow Rescue Service Program
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