Barbara Lawlor, Nederland. While thousands of emergency volunteers pour into Florida and Texas in the wake of Harvey and Irma, Nederland received its own bit of help for a proactive project in case another emergency were to hit the mountains.
On Friday, a group of United Way volunteers arrived at the Nederland Community Center to build shelves for the NCC Emergency Preparedness and Resiliency Room, located in the West Wing of the center.
NCC coordinator Dawn Baumhover says that the room was dedicated to emergencies after the Fourmile Fire, when the center was designated as the evacuation center for people who had lost homes or could not return to them.
After the 2013 Flood, when mountain towns to the north of us were flooded out, those people needed many resources as well as places to stay while road and bridge reconstruction went on.
The result of these catastrophic situations resulted in the formation of the Peak to Peak Intermountain Alliance which was a joint effort with the Nederland Food Pantry, the Nederland Lion’s Club, the Salvation Army and the Town of Nederland to make sure that people had access to emergency food, water, blankets and animal resources.
After the Cold Springs Fire last year, volunteers realized that they had emergency supplies, but they were not readily accessible, kind of piled up inside the room.
Baumhover says, “Putting up shelves and organizing our resources became a priority.”
Nederland volunteers worked with United Way volunteers who built the shelves which are now stocked with dog food and crates, litter, cleaning supplies for mop ups, rakes, shovels, water, Gatorade, blankets and pillows, coolers, tarps, cots and MREs.
(Originally published in the September 14, 2017 print edition of The Mountain-Ear.)