Accomplishments (2005-2011)

Please note that as VashonBePrepared is a coalition of some dozen local groups, most of the accomplishments on this and subsequent pages are in reality due to the tremendous work of volunteers within those individual groups. VashonBePrepared strives to be a lean organization that empowers and coordinates other groups - who do the real work. Still, this is a great place to pull together highlights of all those volunteers' collective accomplishments! 

Refer to the subpages for more recent accomplishments - and other periodic summaries.

Key Accomplishments

  • Coordination of disaster preparedness efforts for Vashon with our 11 partners to respond to earthquakes, windstorms, snowstorms and other eventualities.
  • Citizen and business education and motivation through our web site, Facebook and Twitter, articles in local papers and countless presentations
  • Recruited and trained hundreds of volunteers in many position specific skills and more recently in compliance with national (Incident Command System) ICS and National Incident Management System (NIMS) guidance
  • Operated in numerous real-world activations (most due to winter storms, but also due to oil spills, severing of fiber-optic cables providing 911 and communication to islanders, and pandemic flu concerns) to open shelters, communicate resources available to islanders, and communicate situational awareness from locals on up the line.
  • Creation of VIEMA, the Vashon Island Emergency Management Area, as an officially sanctioned part of King County on April 18, 2005 due to efforts of Dow Constantine, Vashon/Maury Island's representative on the King County Council.
  • Raised funds for Voice of Vashon’s Standing By, emergency alert radio station at 1650 AM with 3 transmitters across the island.
  • July 2005 Earthquake Study - Four Vashon-Specific Scenarios” report identifying  earthquake’s potential impact
  • Creation of ARES Local Area Communication Centers (LACCs) and CERT Command Posts at each local fire station, enabling local communication and coordination with the central EOC. Our Winlink system provides robust email communication over ham radio.
  • Conducts regular major disaster preparedness drills, including several all-island drills involving hundreds of volunteers and all of our partners. These, more than most other activities, has spurred development of specific checklists and strategies for handling the aftermath of disasters. We’ve supported and played roles in most major regional exercise scenarios this past decade.
  • Coordination with local government units such as the Vashon Island Fire and Rescue, Vashon Island School District, King County Office of Emergency Management, Washington State Ferries, King County Ferry District, King County Sheriff, King County Roads Division, King County Library System and others.
  • Helped create the 2009 Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan for Vashon Island. The plan was organized by Emergency Support Functions (ESFs) - well before other local partners adopted this method. The plan also innovates by presentation of a list of stakeholders with their assigned responsibilities.
  • Inclusion of key participants in Vashon’s Emergency Operations Center with a regularly exercised, comprehensive set of desk manuals, annexes and activation procedures. Rewired the EOC for enhanced UHF/VHF and Internet communications. Establishing procedures between King County OEM and VIFR for handling resource requests in event of a disaster.
  • Coordination with Washington State Ferries and King County Ferry District for handling transportation after an incident. Creation of a contract ahead of time with a local barge company to speed establishment of logistical resupply in the event of a failure of the ferry docks or other aspect of the ferry system.
  • Numerous meetings with local utilities and infrastructure service providers over the years. Creation of an infrastructure contact list.
  • Upcoming update of to provide a blog, wiki, content management based document repository, incident log and easy volunteer editing. Incident Log has seen several iterations but automates electronic delivery of key information to our LACCs and KC ECC Liaison.
  • Meet and support with off-island citizen groups at the local, county, regional and state level.  Helped organize the South King County Organizations Active In Disaster through creation of their web site (
  • Participation in many King County meetings and initiatives, such as the Mass Care Workgroup and other KC ECC forums. Work with KC OEM on their ground breaking Regional Incident Management System (RIMS).
  • Worked with local businesses on development of a Community Food and Water plan
  • Staffing a Vashon Island liaison at the King County Emergency Coordination Center to act as our own ombudsman.
  • Facilitated 2010 donations of mobile 130 KW & 300 KW emergency generators. Working toward future installation of standardized interconnect system allowing these to be used at a variety of potential locations.
  • Acquiring and prepositioning of a Disaster Emergency Response Trailer (DERT) in 2010 with an additional 100 ADA compliant cots. Earlier last decade we purchased and stocked several shipping containers with cots and basic shelter and food stuffs.
  • Creation of a medical cache (circa 2007 & since) with beds, key pharmaceuticals, and other medical supplies.

Local Innovations:

  • Emergency Operations Center (EOC)– at a smaller scale than the typical municipal or county level EOC.
  • Operating at a local geographic – but not political – level within unincorporated King County.
  • Working with the legislature to correct an oversight in the statewide REW affecting volunteers from unincorporated regions.
  • Creation of Vashon Island Emergency Management Area (VIEMA), to formally authorize a region of unincorporated King County to take action if cut off from the rest of the county.
  • Creation of a local Traveler Information System (TIS) licensed radio station for communication with islanders during a disaster.
  • Training medical staff and care givers in disaster medical skills
  • Partner in a unique Memorandum between the Vashon Island School District, King County Office of Emergency Management, VIFR and VashonBePrepared that establishes beforehand the legal and administrative framework for having the school campus serve as a disaster recovery center for the island.
  • Work with KC OEM to contract with Camp Burton to house up to 200 potential emergency workers for up to 30 days, given Vashon’s tenuous ferry based connection to the rest of the county and dearth of motel or hotel rooms.

Recognition & Awards

VashonBePrepared honored with 1st Executive's Award for Community Preparedness

    • Recognized by Washington State House of Representatives resolution 2005-4627, by Representatives Cody and McDermott on February 25, 2005, for Islanders’ efforts to become aware and prepared.
    • Volunteer (not government) led preparedness efforts, since adopted by West Seattle Be Prepared
    • Creation of Local Area Communication Centers (LACCs) by our ARES, CERT, Public Information and Message Center teams, helped inspire Seattle’s Emergency Communication Hub network.
    • VashonBePrepared received the 2010 Vashon Island Fire and Rescue Fire Commissioners Award
    • VashonBePrepared was honored on September 30, 2011 by King County Executive Dow Constantine with his inaugural 2011 Executive’s Award for Community Preparedness: Two King County organizations honored with first-ever Executive's Awards for Community Preparedness