Villager President’s Report
Camille Cox, President
No Time to Waste: Emergency Plan for Our Red Rock Paradise
At the suggestion of the Sedona Village Partnership, your mission-driven Big Park Council accepted a hand-off to formulate an Emergency Plan committee. (Details in the Highlights section of this article.)
In the aftermath of the Paradise, CA wildfire, it was learned that the town’s impressive emergency planning overlooked some critical points that resulted in horrific tragedy. Our Village “paradise” shares many vulnerability characteristics to that Golden State community. The urgent need for a planning effort is enunciated in this investigative article from the Los Angeles Times: (https://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-camp-fire-deathtrap-20181230-story.html).
The recent wild fires demonstrated for many of us that “channeling through” the plethora of information sources to find what you need absorbs precious time which, in the case of a fast-moving situation, would be unacceptable. In addition to fires (wild and otherwise), there are many kinds of unpredictable emergencies that are seldom planned for because “It Will Never Happen to Me”. And, what contingencies do we have in the face of interrupted internet and/or mobile phone service?
The concept advanced by the Council is to create a standing committee that will assess our community needs, develop a plan to put tools in place, and provide ongoing stewardship. By press time, the volunteer working group will have drafted a purpose and scope for a Emergency Preparedness Plan committee to present at the August 12th Council meeting. Watch for ways to get involved with this important endeavor, particularly if you have experience in the public safety field.
Just as the Sedona Village Partnership and Big Park Council are collaborating on meaningful work, the Sedona Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Bureau (SCC&TB) recently reached out to work with us on sustainable tourism measures.
We have been invited to participate in a SCC&TB event called Pulse, to be held August 25th, 8pm at the Mary Fisher Theatre. The goal of the event is for the City of Sedona, Big Park/VOC, Oak Creek Canyon and the US Forest Service to share information on how we are (or could be) collaboratively addressing local issues to ensure a balance between a thriving visitor economy/experience with stewardship of the environment and quality of life for residents. This is an auspicious beginning, and experience suggests that when leaders and citizens gather to listen, learn and discuss - good outcomes ensue.
At the event we will be presenting survey data on how Village residents feel about Quality of Life issues, including tourism-related pain points. This opportunity for all of us to expand “what we think we know” about the challenges at hand, and we encourage you to attend. We applaud the Chamber for reaching out to the Village, and APS for their sponsorship.
Register (its FREE) at https://sedonachamber.com/chamber-events/.