A coordinated effort to plan for Pierce County’s vulnerable populations during disasters will begin at the first High Risk Populations Emergency Planning Summit to be held in Tacoma June 12. The summit is open to any individual, agency, organization or business that is interested in emergency planning for the area’s high risk populations during catastrophic events.
As evidenced by last winter’s local windstorms and flooding, as well as hurricanes Katrina and Rita, vulnerable populations are often a forgotten group during disasters. By planning for self sufficiency in homes and coordinating systems already in place, caregivers, service providers, advocates, and other vulnerable population-serving agencies and organizations are hoping to increase survivability during future emergencies.
Christine Seymour, client and communication advocate for the Hearing, Speech and Deafness Center in Tacoma, will be the keynote speaker. While living in California, she participated in a number of vulnerable population coalitions in the Bay Area and was a member of the San Francisco Mayor’s Office on Disabilities Advisory Committee.
The summit will be held at the Oasis of Life Center, 1937 S. G St. from 8 a.m. to noon. There is no cost to attend, but reservations are requested and can be made by contacting Sheri Badger of Pierce County Emergency Management at 253-798-2204 or Sbadger@co.pierce.wa.us by June 8.
A population group is considered high risk or vulnerable because of significant personal-care or self-protection limitations including such factors as mobility, vision, hearing, communication or health and mental health status.