2017: A Disaster Filled Year

2017: A Disaster Filled Year by Jordan Villwock

2017: A Disaster Filled Year

As we look back on 2017, the year was filled with unprecedented disasters throughout the nation. Texas and Florida was hammered by hurricanes Harvey and Irma, which were the first two significant hurricanes to hit the United States in the past 12 years. California was torched by several wildfires including the Tubbs and Thomas Fire. At over 281,000 acres the Thomas fire now sits as the largest wildfire in California History. These disasters highlight the need for further preparedness and training within our communities.

2017 was a year where the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) authorized over $7 billion in disaster relief funds. The government provided over 130 million meals, 190 millions of liters of water, and millions of gallons of fuel. Over 25 million Americans were impacted by disasters in 2017. We must continue to encourage FEMA to fund their Pre-Disaster Mitigation Grant Program so we can continue to mitigate disasters that impact our communities.

As we enter 2018, we as emergency managers must do a self-assessment. An assessment to see if we are doing enough to prepare our communities, enough to ensure mass notification, AND enough to make sure we are working for the people.

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About Jordan Villwock 1 Article
Jordan started working in the public safety field when he joined the Laguna Beach Police Department as a Police Explorer in 2000 and was hired as a full-time Public Safety Dispatcher in 2004. During his tenure as a dispatcher, Jordan was responsible for the dispatcher training program and was later promoted to Senior Public Safety Dispatcher. In 2011, Jordan was given the responsibility of the City’s Emergency Management program which includes disaster preparedness, grant writing, employee training, volunteer management, event coordination, plan development, and EOC readiness. Jordan currently holds the position of Emergency Operations Coordinator for the Laguna Beach Police Department. He obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Concordia University, Irvine in 2007 and his Master’s Degree in Emergency Service Administration from California State University, Long Beach in 2012. Jordan is also an Adjunct Professor for the University of Central Missouri and teaches courses in their Crisis and Disaster Management Program.

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