To our collective relief, a bone-dry spring just gave way to some much-needed precipitation.
Alas, we dare not rest on damp laurels: while we enjoy the rolling green hills that linger, we must diligently begin to prepare for fire season. To help, Napa Valley Community Foundation has funded several key programs in the area of emergency and wildfire preparedness.
Immediate relief services and cash assistance to survivors will always be a priority for us when addressing a local disaster. However, we have also consistently taken the long view, investing in community-based programs and solutions that focus on preparedness and future resilience. To make the whole Valley safer next time — because there always seems to be a next time.
Here are three recent examples:
Faster, Safer Evacuations. We made a significant investment in Zonehaven, an evacuation management software platform designed to help public safety officials better coordinate evacuation efforts and ensure residents are notified in an efficient and timely manner. Zonehaven provides first responders and residents with immediate evacuation warnings and orders as they occur and will help the Sheriff and other agencies make well-informed decisions to protect lives and property. The software monitors vehicle traffic in real-time, assists in creating traffic control points and identifies potential evacuation centers based on the flow of evacuating residents from various zones. The software also provides an interface to facilitate wildfire modeling by incident commanders on scene, as events are unfolding. Be Prepared — Know your Zone!
Napa Communities Firewise Foundation (NCFF). Over the last two years, we have provided grants to NCFF to build its infrastructure, including funding to hire a grantwriter and its first Executive Director. Grants also supported the LiDAR technology that allowed NCFF to develop the county-wide Community Wildfire Protection Plan. NCFF’s mission is to reduce the risk and impacts of wildfires through fire fuel reduction and community education. To advance this critical mission — and attract and manage millions of fire prevention dollars from governmental funders — NCFF needed operational capacity, and that’s precisely what our support provided to the organization. County-wide projects include shaded fire breaks and safe egress and ingress routes from our most vulnerable neighborhoods. Learn more about Napa Firewise .
Napa Valley Community Organizations Active in Disaster (COAD): We launched and funded the COAD, which is modeled after similar structures in counties and cities across the nation. The COAD develops and enhances partnerships for communication, coordination and collaboration before, during and after a disaster. Its 100 members include nonprofit organizations, faith communities, government agencies, and private businesses — all of which come together to ensure a coordinated response when disasters strike, so that limited resources are deployed wisely, and without duplication, to assist those who have been affected. One exciting new program with a preparedness focus? Meet Your Neighbor, which brings locals together to plan for emergencies.
The Napa Valley Community Disaster Relief Fund is managed by Napa Valley Community Foundation and was established with a $10 million lead gift from Napa Valley Vintners following the 2014 South Napa Earthquake. So far, the Fund has distributed more than $26 million for relief and recovery from recent disasters. Learn More