BREMERTON, Wash. -- By the end of this month, three teams of local high school students will begin verifying thousands of Kitsap County street addresses to help rectify existing County Parcel Maps. The initiative, a partnership between Kitsap County Departments of Emergency Management and Community Development and the University of Washington, will provide emergency responders with pinpoint accuracy during major disasters, and allow home and business owners to more accurately calculate their own risk exposure.
"Accurate Geographic Information System (GIS) data is critical for emergency managers. It allows prudent allocation of resources when planning for natural disasters, and can mean the difference between life and death during emergencies," said DEM Manager Phyllis Mann. "We've been pretty creative accessing current data bases and have even enlisted the aid of direct-mail vendors. But for matching addresses to homes and businesses, there's no substitute for hands-on, door-to-door visual verification. Using high school students for the legwork is a win-win opportunity, providing selected students with extra income and exposure to real-world community issues, while providing our County with crucial data at an affordable price."
Kitsap County was chosen as Washington State's Year 2000 Project Impact community, under a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) program to help build more disaster-resistant communities through local-grass roots partnerships. Initial county priorities include: regionalizing the county and four cities' GIS; enhancing the Kitsap Practices Responsible Emergency Preparedness (K-PREP) program for businesses, schools and neighborhoods; and developing a bolting and bracing mitigation program called Brace Yourself. An official Kitsap County Project Impact Signing Ceremony is scheduled for September 14, 2000 at the Admiral Theater in Bremerton.
For more information on Project Impact in Kitsap County, and the upcoming Signing Ceremonies, contact Laura Jull, (360) 337-7119.