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EMPOWER emergency preparedness fair, April 20

Educational event for the general public, communities of color, vulnerable populations & emergency responders features speakers, food, displays

SNOHOMISH COUNTY, Wash. – Culture, ability, and language can make a huge difference in preparing for and responding to emergencies. The EMPOWER emergency preparedness fair will break down the barriers through a day of presentations, information sharing, resource tables, and demonstrations, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Sat., April 20 at Everett Station, 3201 Smith Ave., Everett.


The event is free and open to the public, and includes complimentary continental breakfast and lunch. Walk-ins are welcome or you can register at Brown Paper Tickets.


The day will have two educational tracks: One for community residents to learn more about being prepared for emergencies, and another for emergency responders to learn ways to respond more effectively to a diverse community.


“This fair is for people who want to learn more about getting prepared for earthquakes, storms, and other disasters,” said Therese Quinn, event organizer and Medical Reserve Corps coordinator. “It is also for emergency responders and planners who want to learn more about working with vulnerable populations.”


Morning presentations follow a welcome by Snohomish County Sheriff John Lovick.


The emergency responder track will hear a hands-on diversity panel discuss “What you need to know when you respond in my community.” Panelists will include individuals from the Iraqi and Latino communities, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community. The panel discussion will be followed by speaker Conrad Kuehn from the Northwest ADA Center, presenting “Disability Language and Etiquette.”


The community education track includes a presentation on how to prepare for an emergency and make an emergency kit. Following the kit demonstration, a panel will discuss the mission of emergency responders as public safety -- and not immigration enforcement. Panelists include Dave Alcorta, Red Cross; Sgt. Manny Garcia, Everett Police Department; and John Pennington, Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management.


The lunchtime keynote speaker will be National Fire Academy Instructor Leslie Olson, who will talk about the importance of cross-cultural communication.


All presentations and the lunch keynote speech will be interpreted into Spanish and translated by Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) for the deaf and hard of hearing. 


The event is the result of community partnership among Snohomish Health District, Tulalip Tribes, Fire District 1, Starbucks, Communities of Color Coalition, Snohomish County Emergency Management, Medical Reserve Corps, Puget Sound Energy, City of Everett, and South Everett Neighborhood Center.

Established in 1959, the Snohomish Health District works for a safer and healthier Snohomish County through disease prevention, health promotion, and protection from environmental threats. Find more information about the Health Board and the Health District at