Disaster Airlift Response Team (DART) Exercise at Jefferson County International Airport

IMPORTANT UPDATE re: Disaster Airlift Response Team (DART) Exercise at Jefferson County International Airport on Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019.

Volunteers needed!

Yes, volunteers are still needed! It is now anticipated that up to 2,000 pounds of food and supplies will be delivered -- twice the original estimate!
Reporting from the Bahamas after Hurricane Dorian illustrates the challenge of delivering food and supplies or performing evacuations in a post-disaster situation.        That's why it is so important to conduct DART exercises like this in advance. We strongly encourage your participation.

If you plan to attend, please RSVP to Laura Guth, lguth@co.jefferson.wa.us so she can send you information in advance of the exercise and will know how many volunteers to expect.

Original notice about the DART exercise:

NPREP Leads, Co-leads, and Friends,

This is an exciting opportunity to participate in a 2-state, multi-county exercise right in our own backyard!

On Saturday, September 21, volunteer pilots in the DART program will bring about 1,000 pounds of donated food and non-perishable goods to Jefferson County International Airport from Bellingham. Participating aircraft will be from Clallam, Kitsap, and Jefferson counties, Walla Walla, and even California!

DART pilots train for major earthquakes and other disasters to provide rescue, medical assistance and critical medical supplies in time of need. We are using the donated food to simulate the transport of supplies and helping feed needy families at the same time. Only through drills like this can we ensure that this resource will be truly ready to jump in to help our whole state in the aftermath of what could be our nation’s worst disaster.

The donations will be distributed to Jefferson County food banks. Each year the receiving county changes, so this is a rare opportunity to participate close to home.

The DART program is looking for lots of volunteers to help that day. If you have already attended the DART ground training, great--they need you! But training will also be provided on the spot, so don't be shy! People are needed to be safety observers, direct aircraft, complete documentation, and unload the aircraft. Not all jobs require physical strength--people of all abilities can participate meaningfully. Everyone who shows up will have a job.

The NPREP team strongly encourages you to participate. Please forward this to your neighborhood members. You don't have to participate as a neighborhood unit, just as many individuals as we can get to help. The exercise runs most of the day, so you should bring your lunch or plan to buy something at the Spruce Goose.

The schedule is as follows:

    9 am -- Safety Briefing and Training for volunteers (please arrive a little earlier to be ready by 9)
    11 am -- Jefferson County DART pilots depart to pick up food
    11:30 am -- first incoming flights arrive with food
    3 pm -- The exercise should be complete by this time

We hope to see lots of you there!

Your NPREP Team
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