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Town of Washington-March 17, 2021 – On March 12, The California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) approved the FY 2020-21 Community Power Resiliency allocation in the amount of $101,024 to serve the Town of Washington. The successful application received by the Washington County Water District was the result of careful review of the specific needs of the community and grant-writing support provided by Nevada County Office of Emergency Services and local grant writers, MD&M Consulting.
The approved funds will be used to prepare the Town of Washington for power outages due to Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS) and other events that result in loss of power. Two standby generators will be purchased for the Fire Station and Water Treatment and Filtration Plant, as well as handheld, battery operated radios for the Fire Department. Resources will also be allocated to update the emergency plan in accordance with Cal OES guidelines covering power outages and other disasters.
“Grant funds like those in our Community Power Resiliency program are some of the most powerful ways we can assist our local partners like Washington to dramatically increase their emergency preparedness and community resilience at the hyper-local level,” said Cal OES Assistant Director Brad Alexander. “Emergencies never happen at convenient times and it takes a whole-community effort to protect the places we work, live and play.”
These funds are in addition to the grants already secured by local leaders including; $9,000 from the California Fire Foundation for fire prevention and evacuation signage, and $10,500 received for roadside fuel reduction along evacuation routes by the Firewise Washington Committee. Fire Chief Mike Stewart says, “These combined resources will go a long way protecting our residents and the many visitors we host during the summer months. It is great to have financial resources, but we still need to be sure that everyone does their part. Personal responsibility and taking care of each other is a big part of emergency preparedness and we all must be committed to be truly ready.”
Anyone who has visited the much-loved area understands the challenges both wildfire concerns and COVID-19 presents to this unique community of 160 residents. Today, The Food Bank of Nevada County helped meet these challenges by providing both fresh and shelf stable foods and emergency preparedness kits to local families. Executive Director of the Nevada County Food Bank Nicole McNeely says, “Our intentions are to take the food bank to the town of Washington on a monthly basis to help the many families in the area that desperately need our support. We have a deep passion to help the people in our community and support them with not only food resources but lifesaving preparedness tools as well.”
“It is great to see our entire county come together to support this beautiful area. The threats are real, but so are the dedication and commitment to our shared success. Learning about both The State funding and seeing people really connect on these issues points to a bright future,” says District 5 County Supervisor Hardy Bullock.
“It takes a multi-faceted approach to get ready for the next emergency and we know that each community has its own challenges. We in the Office of Emergency Services are truly grateful to both the State and the local community leaders who support our rural residents. None of this works without collective action and partnerships. Today the residents of the Town of Washington have made great strides towards mitigating this summer’s PSPS & Wildfire threat,” adds Nevada County Office of Emergency Services Program Manager, Paul Cummings.