Disaster Preparedness and Relief

If the COVID-19 pandemic teaches us anything, it is that we should be better prepared for future events that may cause great damage or loss of life. Benton County includes this “disaster preparedness,” under “Community Resilience” as a Core Value in our 2040 Thriving Communities Initiative. The Initiative defines it as -- ensuring “Communities & Individuals are Prepared to Respond to & Recover from Natural & Human Caused Disasters, Threats, & Changes.”   This would be my first focus as Commissioner, and I would develop local scenarios for all foreseeable natural disasters, including those listed in the Benton County Multi-Jurisdictional Natural Hazards Mitigation Plan.  The primary objective should be to ensure residents are aware of safe areas where they can go in an emergency, where they can obtain food, water, shelter, and the ability to contact loved ones, even if our electrical grid is down and roads impassable.