The Southwest Neighborhood Assembly Emergency Preparedness Task Force (SWNA EPTF), with the support of graduate students from the Department of Behavioral and Community Health at the University of Maryland, is organizing two one-hour focus groups in mid-April to better gauge the ideas and concerns of SW residents regarding the state of disaster preparedness in the community. Participants will be asked several questions such as: How prepared do you think we are in SW for disaster of any kind—snow storms, hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, or a terrorist incident? What steps are you taking to prepare yourself? Do you know where to turn for disaster preparedness information? What ideas do you have to improve disaster preparedness in the District including our neighborhood of SW?

The goal is to summarize the information, discuss it with colleagues at the DC Emergency Management Agency, and then produce a summary article to be published in the June issue of The Southwester. In addition, EPTF will strive toward addressing the issues raised by the participants in the focus groups.

As a short reminder, EPTF is one of several task forces that make up SWNA. It started in 2011 and its vision is to build a disaster-resilient SWDC. The task force’s basic mission is to organize stimulating activities throughout SW that aim to help raise disaster preparedness awareness at the individual, family, and community level. Activities hosted to date include presentations on urban search and rescue; effects of climate change; disaster resilience; family preparedness; evacuations; a flood exercise; and, for children, the Pillow Case Project.

Please contact one of us below to join one of our focus groups on April 11 or 12 at the SW Business Improvement District office (420 4th St. SW) from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Snacks and soft drinks will be provided.

MARIA AMADOR mamador@terpmail.umd.edu

KRISTI MEADOWS Kristimeadows12@gmail.com (410-978-6824)

BEN CURRAN ben@swna.org (202-570-0427)

THELMA JONES thelma@swna.org (202-251-1639)

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