Strengthening Disaster Response Through Partnerships
In early 2020, the West Pierce Emergency Management Coalition (WPEMC) was created. This is a partnership between WPFR and the cities of Lakewood and University Place.
The purpose of the partnership is to create cohesive, comprehensive emergency management plans so when a disaster strikes, everyone is operating under the same guidelines. The coalition was just starting to create these plans when the challenges of COVID-19 hit.
The WPEMC worked together to make decisions that would benefit the entire community as whole. The group met virtually to ensure all agencies were moving in the same direction. Discussions included topics such as supply acquisition, policy creation surrounding working from home and working safely in the office, and economic recovery strategies, just to name a few. The key benefit of this partnership has been the power of collaboration.
A portion of this program is funded through the Washington State Emergency Management Preparedness Grant, while the rest of the costs are shared amongst the partners.
Through this partnership, it was possible to acquire supplemental grant funding to create pandemic plans for all three agencies, based on the lessons learned through COVID-19. The early results of the WPEMC are promising and WPFR is looking forward to seeing how it will benefit the communities in the coming years as this partnership grows stronger.