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Preparing Businesses, Residents, Visitors for Wildfire Season 

The Coconino County Board of Supervisors has identified the threat of catastrophic wildfire and post-wildfire flooding as the number one safety threat in the county. As we approach the fire season, being prepared for the threat of wildfire, despite the above normal winter precipitation, is always a vital step for people in Coconino County. 

As a resident, being prepared for wildfire and flooding emergencies is a way of life many have become accustomed to. Last year, Coconino County Emergency Management and the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office was proud to partner with the State of Arizona’s Sheriff’s Association on the Ready, Set, Go! program. This nationally recognized program helps residents, visitors and businesses prepare for potential evacuations during emergencies. 

Living in Northern Arizona, people should always be “Ready” for these circumstances. This stage provides a level of thoughtful preparedness, which is a heightened sense of readiness. 

As we approach fire season, many residents take the next step in preparedness, the “Set” stage. This includes having emergency items packed and being aware of the latest news. 

One of the most crucial ways to prepare for an emergency and to practice Ready, Set, Go! is to sign up for emergency notifications at Coconino.az.gov/ready. This system allows emergency management officials to target specifics areas of the county and provides detailed information to citizens and businesses during emergencies.  

Historically, preparedness efforts continue to provide citizens with the necessary tools to recover after a major disaster. But, what do these steps mean for businesses?  

The Ready, Set, Go! program can relate to business continuity planning as well. Coconino County and its partners want to ensure the hard work people put into their business is protected in the event of a major incident. For example, if a business or area where a business is located is evacuated because of a wildfire, the documents, media storage devices or inventory a business needs to survive and then re-open once the immediate danger has passed should be available. 

If an incident occurs, one focus of recovery is helping an area return to a pre-disaster state as efficiently as possible. That is why Ready, Set Go! for businesses is critical.  

In the month of May, and continuing through the remainder of 2019, Coconino County Emergency Management, in partnership with the business community, will embark on the development of a recovery plan, which will identify the components needed to assist businesses in the recovery process after a disaster. 

This is the foundation of a plan dedicated to foster private/public partnerships to develop a resiliency and recovery plan for businesses throughout the county. 

For further information regarding preparedness for businesses, please contact Todd Whitney atemergencymanagement@coconino.az.gov. FBN 

By Todd Whitney 

Todd Whitney is the emergency management director for Coconino County. 

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