By Ben Curran

Hello and greetings from the SW Emergency Preparedness Task Force otherwise known as “SW Strong!” We are a small but growing group of mostly SW residents interested in building a “disaster-resilient community” in SW—a community that is well-informed, self-reliant, supportive of all of our neighbors and ready to bounce back in the event of any kind of disaster, and have fun while we’re at it. Recently the deluge we faced was an eye-opener, we are in the beginning of hurricane season right now, and a few years ago many of us felt the August 23, 2011 earthquake. There are several other kinds of hazards that we face—large snowstorms, heat waves, terrorism and fires.

Fortunately, we have a strong first responder community in DC and we have a proactive and well-coordinated Emergency Management Agency. But, as everyone knows, we each have some responsibility to think ahead, plan ahead, network among ourselves and take some basic preparedness steps. For example, having an emergency kit in your home, in your car, on your bike, on your back, and in your office makes sense so you can shelter in place or evacuate with some basic resources to help you and others until professional first responders arrive and give direction. Having a communications plan with your friends and family makes sense so that you can check in after a disaster and confirm your whereabouts, and/or have a place to evacuate to. The following are two useful resources with a lot of good emergency preparedness information: and

Our group, SW Strong!, is hosting a talk on “A Resilient DC: How the District Plans to Thrive in the Face of Change” by Harrison Newton, Deputy Resilience Office, Office of the Mayor on Thursday, September 12 at the DC Yacht Club located at 800 Wharf St. SW. To enter the building please ring the bell and you will be let in.

The event is free. To reserve a spot please contact Ben Curran at or 202-294-7043.

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