St. Joseph Community Partnership Fund

Bridging to the Future Full

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2 A Note on Bridging to the Future From April to September 2019, the St. Joseph Health Community Partnership Fund led an After Action assessment of the cross-sector response to the 2017 wildfires in the region including Sonoma and Napa. The assessment drew on extensive cross-sector surveys, interviews, and literature review of other assessments and disaster response learnings. We originally planned to discuss the findings of our report, share recommendations, and facilitate some critical conversations with cross-sector stakeholders in late October 2019. Then, the Kincade fire hit. Within 3 days, over 185,000 people faced mandatory evacuation from their homes. In the days and weeks that followed, 195,000 Sonoma County residents were affected by PG&E safety power shutdowns. The county faced $620 million in losses and $105 million from shutdowns. The fire burned 77,758 acres, destroyed 374 structures, 174 of them residences and damaged 60, 35 of them residences. As the weeks passed into November, tens of thousands of North Bay residents continued to navigate potential and actual safety shutdowns. Follow up conversations indicate that first-responders, community partners, and philanthropic organizations were even better prepared for Kincade than the 2017 fires. There were improvements in response communications, relief coordination, and delivery. This is a positive evolution, and highlights the opportunity to continue improving our preparedness and collaboration. As we continue building and implementing our disaster response strategy and look back at our findings from the 2017 assessment and the recommendations, they are even more relevant and ripe for discussion. As Kincade demonstrated, we all face a sobering reality that there will be a "next time". Given the new normal of a cyclical fire season and a possibility that other disasters could also affect our communities, we welcome this opportunity to discuss cross-sector preparedness, resilience, and equity in the frame of the recommendations in our assessment report, "Bridging to the Future, Sonoma and Napa Counties after the 2017 Fires". It is now more evident than ever that cross-sector planning and investment in community resilience, prevention, and systems change efforts have to be a part of the disaster response conversation. We look forward to exploring these key topics with you to better serve the region.

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