September is National Preparedness Month


​September is National Preparedness Month, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.  To help ensure our own community is prepared to respond to – and recover from – natural disasters, PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center is hosting a series of free seminars by emergency management expert Marcus Deyerin. 

Deyerin, Public Information Officer (PIO) for the Northwest Washington Incident Management Team, has a Master of Arts in national security policy and technology from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. and teaches the theory and practice of emergency management at Western Washington University. He also operates the Center for Community Readiness and Resilience

“These seminars are not about prepping for doomsday,” said Deyerin. “It’s about understanding what ‘being prepared’ really means, and making informed decisions to become prepared for the emergencies and disasters likely to affect our region.”

The preparedness seminars – “Disaster Readiness 201” – will be 2-4 p.m., every other Sunday, Sept. 15 through Nov. 3, at the St. Luke’s Health and Education Center (HEC) at 3333 Squalicum Parkway in Bellingham. 

Each of the five sessions will cover practical ways to prepare for, and become resilient to, emergencies and disasters. The session will explore: 
  • How Government Prepares for and Responds to Disasters
    • Understanding how public sector emergency management works, and why individual / family preparedness is necessary and important
  • Prepare for What? How to Assess Your Own Hazards and Risks
    • Simple but effective strategies to identify and assess what hazards and risks are most likely to affect you, your family or your community;
  • Key Ingredients to an Effective Preparedness Strategy
    • What makes an individual, family, or community truly prepared for the immediate impacts of the most likely disaster scenarios for this region;
  • Long-Term Disaster Recovery Strategies
    • The importance of thinking beyond survival – including a recovery plan as part of your preparedness efforts; and 
  • Developing “Community Resilience” in Your Own Neighborhood, Workplace or School 
    • ​“Next step" options for taking the concepts and strategies into each person’s local community, developing increased resilience for emergency and disaster situations.