2016 Year in Review: Point Roberts Emergency Preparedness

By Virginia Lester

PREP has focused on our primary mission to provide public education that can help develop, promote, increase and maintain individual and community capacity to respond to emergencies. We have focused on the idea of “Neighbors Helping Neighbors.” This concept embraces having knowledge of the needs, concerns, hazards, available equipment and help in a prescribed area of homes. This is an ongoing process, neighborhoods are always changing.

We know that disasters will disrupt our organized living but being prepared helps to mitigate the amount of disruption. The fire hall is the command post in an emergency. The community center and school are shelters where people may go if their homes are not safe or have no heat. The food bank has generously provided small amounts of food for these locations and the US Border facility. Additionally, the fire department has given PREP space in their storage container for additional items such as blankets, cots and pillows. Facebook provides an avenue for additional up-to-date preparedness information. If you have an emergency or need help, call 945-PREP, leave a message and we will return your call.

The Point Roberts Auxiliary Communications Service (PRACS) a subsidiary group of PREP is very active training ham operators to respond to disasters. Point Roberts PRACS was represented in the June FEMA-supported Cascadia Rising exercise, designed to determine the strength and weaknesses of the official response teams in Oregon, Washington and BC.

Throughout the year, PREP, CERT and PRACS participated in monitoring the practice burn of a home on Marine Drive, a drill conducted by fire chief Carleton on damage assessment of homes following a disaster, the fire hall open house and the Point Roberts Arts and Music Festival.

Upcoming activities: CERT refresher class on January 28, 8 a.m.–5 p.m.

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