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Emergency preparedness team gets grant

The Langley Emergency Shelter Team — Bob Welch, Irene Bullock, Carol Kerley and Lynn Sterbenz — received a grant from the Whidbey General Hospital Foundation. - Photo courtesy of Lynn Sterbenz
The Langley Emergency Shelter Team — Bob Welch, Irene Bullock, Carol Kerley and Lynn Sterbenz — received a grant from the Whidbey General Hospital Foundation.
— image credit: Photo courtesy of Lynn Sterbenz

LANGLEY — The Langley Community Emergency Shelters are taking shape after more than 18 months of planning.

Right after the troubling winter storms in 2006, a team from Langley sprung into action to work on emergency planning for the city. The group’s main goal was to coordinate aid in case of a catastrophe and provide for shelter.

The Langley Community Emergency Shelter team was formed last year to develop a local, independently-run emergency shelter in Langley. The team is made up with members of the Langley United Methodist Church, Christian Mission Alliance, St. Hubert Catholic Church and the city of Langley.

However, it took a while to determine what location would work best. Now, the groups have decided to make all three Langley churches available for emergency shelter depending on the situation.

“Basically, the idea is, each church has different things to offer. Some have propane, some have electricity,” said Lynn Sterbenz, Langley’s emergency preparedness coordinator. “The goal is to maintain flexibility and share resources.”

Last week, the group reached a major milestone in the direction of providing shelter at any of the churches.

“We applied for and were recently awarded a $1,700 grant from the Whidbey General Hospital Foundation to purchase first aid kits and train shelter volunteers in first aid/CPR,” Sterbenz said.

General Hospital Foundation awarded them the grant June 4.

“This helps us to support this community- based effort,” Sterbenz said. “It will help the team to move forward.”

The Langley Community Emergency Shelter team continues to meet once a month to work out details of the city’s emergency preparedness program, Sterbenz said. They are currently working on communications strategies among other things. So in case of an emergency, people would know which shelter is open, for instance.

For more information, e-mail Sterbenz at sterbenz@whidbey.com.

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