Bainbridge Prepares, a three-day-long disaster preparation event, will start off a little shaky.
But that’s a good thing. The second annual event begins Wednesday, Oct. 28 and will feature a special public screening of the island documentary, “The Geological Formation of Bainbridge Island.”
There will also be a panel discussion with local experts and community leaders and a series of workshops and informational booths to discuss and demonstrate how to prepare for and survive a disaster at home, work and on your commute.
Last year’s event was well received but smaller, explained Bainbridge Island Fire Department Assistant Chief Luke Carpenter, and it proved the need for additional public education.
“The first event was a much smaller event held last year at Ace Hardware,” he said. “What we learned from that event — and the jump in the number of presentations the fire department has made this year on emergency preparedness — is that our community is aware of the potential for natural disasters and is ready to get engaged in becoming better prepared to cope with an event like an earthquake.
“The three-day format is designed to provide the community with education on all levels,” he added. “Including understanding the potential for disaster, preparing for a disaster and our collective ability to respond to and mitigate the effects of a disaster.”
Being an island, explained city of Bainbridge Island spokeswoman Kellie Stickney, makes early preparation that much more important for a potentially isolated locale like Bainbridge.
“There is no denying that at some point in the future, the Pacific Northwest will face a natural disaster,” she said. “Our best defense against the threat of a natural disaster is to have a plan and be prepared.
“As an island community, Bainbridge Island faces the additional challenge of likely being isolated from the rest of Kitsap County for an extended period of time after a disaster occurs,” Stickney added. “Working together to become prepared as a community, as neighborhoods and as households, will significantly impact how well we survive and thrive after a disaster occurs.”
Day One, Wednesday, will showcase the film, directed by Cameron Snow and Gregory Geehan with cinematographer Cathy Bellefeuille, in a special screening event at Bainbridge Cinemas at 6:30 p.m. In the island-based scientific documentary, professional geologist Geehan finds clues to big events in even our smallest rocks. Evidence there reveals a history, and possible future, of underwater landslides, volcanism, faults and earthquakes that have shaped the landscape.
Told in three parts — “The Blakeley Formation and the Blakely Harbor Formation,” “Earthquakes and Faults,” and “Our Glacial Heritage” — the film is a very different kind of history of Bainbridge.
Day Two, Thursday, Sept. 29, will see the Bainbridge High School commons host a panel of local experts and community leaders discussing the official island preparation plans and procedures at 7:30 p.m.
Speakers will include Dave Rasmussen from Kitsap County Department of Emergency Management, City Manager Doug Schulze, Bainbridge Island Fire Department Assistant Chief Jared Moravec and Scott James, author of “Prepared Neighborhoods.”
Day Three, Saturday, Oct. 1, will include a series of workshops and information booths assembled at Bainbridge Island City Hall from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Participants can get information and attend workshops to learn how to prepare at home, work and on the road. Be sure to stop by the Puget Sound Energy booth for a free starter emergency preparedness kit.
Workshops, offered concurrently in separate rooms, will take place as follows:
• 11:15 a.m.: Earthquake Retrofit Workshop; Preparedness 101 for Home, Car and Work; Reuniting Students and Parents in an Emergency; Community Emergency Response Team;
• Noon: First Aid/CPR Presentation; Disaster Survival; Mental Health Skills for Disaster Preparedness;
• 12:45 p.m.: Preparedness for Seniors; Disaster Survival; Bainbridge Island Police Department Emergency Flotilla; First Aid/CPR Presentation;
• 1:30 p.m.: Staying Safe Around Electricity; PAWS: Emergency Readiness for Pets; Be Red Cross Ready; Preparedness for Seniors; and
• 2:15 p.m.: PAWS: Emergency Readiness for Pets; Map Your Neighborhood; Be Red Cross Ready; and Prep 101 for Home, Car and Work.
All Bainbridge residents, regardless of how prepared they believe themselves to be, are greatly encouraged to attend any or all of the events, Carpenter said.
“Communal disaster preparedness is a national theme but it’s even more important here because we can expect to truly be an island, cut-off from off-island resources — possibly for days — until a supply network is implemented,” he said. “It’s important to remember that all of Kitsap County, and most likely King County and other areas, will be affected in a large scale disaster such as an earthquake, so response resources may have to come long distances to reach us.”
Additionally, he added, area emergency crews are likely to be overburdened quickly in such an event, making the possibility that islanders may have to rely on themselves or wait for help quite likely.
“Our emergency needs will be weighed against the needs of other communities in the region and we may have to wait for resources to become available,” Carpenter said. “Therefore, the more we are prepared, the less we will be impacted by a natural disaster.”
Visit bainbridgeprepares.org for more information.