Community Disaster Preparedness Seminar to Focus on Key Ingredients for a Preparedness Strategy
As we prepare for extreme winter weather, a series of workshops sponsored by PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center titled “Disaster Readiness 201” covers how to assess, prepare for, and recover from disasters in our community.
The free series, offered on alternating Sundays 2-4 p.m. at the St. Luke’s Health and Education Center (HEC) at 3333 Squalicum Parkway in Bellingham, began Sept. 15. The session this Sunday, Oct. 13, is titled “Key Ingredients to an Effective Preparedness Strategy.”
The workshop will be interactive, and cover elements of anticipating and planning for potential disaster. Participants will be guided through development of a strategy to prepare their own vehicle, worksite, family or neighborhood for disasters ranging from fire or flooding to major earthquake.
The workshops are taught by emergency management expert Marcus Deyerin, the Public Information Officer (PIO) for the Northwest Washington Incident Management Team. Deyerin 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
"A lot of people think ‘preparedness’ is a box of stuff in the closet or the trunk of their car,” said Deyerin. “But real preparedness starts with a well-considered plan, and true resilience is an everyday mindset.
“Then you figure out the stuff you need to support that."
The preparedness seminars – “Disaster Readiness 201” – will continue through Sunday, Nov. 3. Each of the sessions covers practical ways to prepare for, and become resilient to, emergencies and disasters. The final two seminars in the series will explore:
- 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.