Dear partners and friends,

Those of you in the emergency and disaster preparedness field know well that September is Preparedness Month. This is a great annual opportunity for all of our communities to focus on personal and regional preparedness, and to reaffirm our commitment to this work.

We need not look any further than our national news, to be reminded of the devastating impacts that disasters can have on our communities. Our hearts go out to our colleagues and all those affected by Hurricane Florence on the East Coast, the gas line explosions in Boston and the recent tropical storms in Hawaii. We are continuing to monitor the impacts on healthcare and the broader community and will be working with our colleagues from the affected areas to identify lessons learned to improve our planning here at home.

I challenge all of you to take at least one step this month to improve your own personal preparedness. Do you have a family communication plan? Have you identified your out of state contacts? Do you have a disaster kit in your car and at your office? For more tips, strategies and resources, take a look at our 28 days of personal preparedness guide. Personal preparation doesn’t have to stop when September does.

The recent disasters over the last few weeks reinforce the importance of the planning we are doing here in Washington, to prepare for disasters locally. There’s a lot of valuable work happening in Washington state right now, so please take a few minutes to read through the newsletter and share it with colleagues.

With the Network’s recent expansion in Western Washington, we especially want you to be aware of the many different ways we’re changing to meet the needs of our larger service area. It’s only been a few months since the state announced the restricting of the coalitions, but it’s been a busy and productive time.

We deeply appreciate all the time that our new partners have given us. There is a lot of energy and optimism right now, and we’re excited to be a part of it. While the uncertainties of federal funding do put a little cloud on the horizon, we are moving forward on the work.

We will continue to talk with you about the issues facing our coalition and the communities we serve. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Sincerely,

Onora Lien, Executive Director
Onora.Lien@nwhrn.org