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Ready in Renton Campaign a Great Success

October 13, 2010

Deborah Needham, Emergency Management Director 425-430-7027
Preeti Shridhar, Communications Director, 425-430-6569

City Teams Up to Reach Out to Non-English Speaking Communities
City Encourages Continued Preparedness Efforts

RENTON:   In a presentation made to the City Council on October 11, 2010, Emergency Management Director Deborah Needham outlined the many successful achievements experienced in this year’s Ready in Renton campaign.  This year’s theme was “Get Ready and Get Connected.” Throughout the month of September an emphasis was placed on providing resources that help residents receive vital information before, during and after an emergency. 

A new and very successful element of this year’s campaign included a significant effort to reach out to many of the city’s non-English speaking communities with preparedness information.  This was made possible through one of Renton’s primary initiatives that is dedicated to creating partnerships and identifying representatives who can assist in helping the city reach many underserved and diverse communities with relevant and vital information. 

“I am proud of the way our community has come together to embrace this important program,” said Mayor Denis Law. “Together we have been able to bridge a gap and in doing so have helped our community become better prepared for all kinds of emergencies –whether it is a winter storm or something more serious.  The City of Renton is dedicated to continuing to build strong partnerships that will produce lasting change and increase opportunity for all Renton residents.”

In conjunction with this outreach effort and Ready in Renton, a number of workshops were provided by Renton’s Office of Emergency Management to audiences in the Vietnamese, Chinese, Hispanic and Filipino communities.  In addition, informational videos were translated by community liaisons into Spanish, Mandarin, Tagalog and Somali.  The videos were then posted on the city’s website and distributed to the community for use in homes, gathering places and meetings. In an effort to incorporate preparedness efforts throughout the year the city will continue to collaborate with other communities to provide additional preparedness workshops and opportunities.

Julio Amador, community liaison and member of Renton’s Hispanic community said, "I appreciate the opportunity to work so closely with the City of Renton to better prepare my community.  Being able to share this important information in a way that everyone can understand will go a long way in making us more confident in the event of a disaster.”

Representing the Filipino American Community of Renton, Violet Aesquivel said, “The use of the liaisons to translate the videos is an excellent way to overcome the language barriers and make sure that everyone receives important information that is needed to prepare themselves and their families for emergencies.” 

Gilbert Leow of the Chinese Information and Service Center stated, “Working together with the city on this emergency preparedness effort demonstrates the city’s genuine commitment to doing all it can to protect the health and safety of all of the people that have made Renton their home.”

Somali Youth and Family Club Community Director and community liaison Hamdi Abdulle shared, “These partnerships the city has created have given our community a mechanism to plan and implement real strategies that will only strengthen our city and bring us closer together.”

All throughout the month an array of educational and outreach efforts were provided that included a special edition of the city’s newsletter focused on disaster preparedness. Open houses were held at Renton Fire Stations to provide an opportunity for citizens to tour fire stations in their neighborhoods and learn how to prepare for an emergency.  In addition, a variety of video programs aired on the city’s cable access channel 21 providing tips on preparedness, while videos on disaster preparedness were posted on the city’s website. The Renton Emergency Preparedness Academy provides a number of training classes and opportunities throughout the year. For a complete list of classes being offered this fall go to rentonwa.gov.

As the city’s annual Ready in Renton campaign comes to an end citizens are reminded of the year-round importance of emergency preparedness.  Ready in Renton, which runs in conjunction with National Preparedness Month, makes great strides each year in reaching more and more residents with important life saving messages.  “While it is often difficult to measure the community’s preparedness level,” said Deborah Needham, Emergency Management Director.  “We know this campaign helps.  Emergencies can happen at any time and we must continue to focus on helping the community be aware of the possible hazards we face and the steps necessary to prepare.”  Having the right information at the right time can make all the difference in a person’s chances for survival.  The city continues to encourage residents and businesses to sign up for the resources listed below.

  • CodeRED Emergency Notification System gives the City of Renton the ability to make emergency information calls to targeted areas or the entire city. Residents and businesses are encouraged to sign up and register their Renton-based business, cell phone or TDD/TTY phone at www.rentonwa.gov.
  • Renton E-Alert service subscribers can receive city-wide emergency alerts, email notifications,
    e-newsletters and text messages on topics of interest by signing up at rentonwa.gov
  • Critical Emergency Information Page on rentonwa.gov provides the latest emergency information in a timely manner.
  • Emergency Alert System (EAS) interrupts radio or TV programs with critical information in case of a nationwide emergency.  EAS warnings can be automatically received as a text message, a pager message or email by signing up at www.emergencyemail.org.
  • NOAA Weather Radio is a valuable piece of equipment that can warn households of an impending weather related emergency or other kinds of crises and can be found at local stores and online.

If you have questions about the Ready in Renton campaign or want to learn more about emergency preparedness, please call the City of Renton’s Office of Emergency Management at 425-430-7000 or email dneedham@rentonwa.gov.