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County rallies Hurricane Katrina relief efforts

Kitsap County is rallying to provide help for the victims of Hurricane Katrina, preparing to send food, labor, support and computer equipment to the devastated Gulf Coast region.

“This type of response by a community has never been done before,” said Phyllis Mann, director of the Department of Emergency Management. “We are setting the standard. It’s our turn to help, and we will literally redirect our focus to assist the nation in responding to this disaster.”

Mann met with elected officials and staff on Thursday afternoon to determine how Kitsap County governmental organizations can respond to the disaster.

Through the program, a call for volunteers has been issued countywide. The Department of Emergency Management will act as the coordination point for all response efforts from Kitsap County. Government and other local response organizations, along with public volunteers, will be screened and processed for assignment.

DEM will develop and maintain a database of disaster workers available to respond through an initial six-month period.

During the time of service, the volunteers will receive their regular salary paid by their employers. The contribution, then, consists of time from the volunteer along with company sponsorship.

DEM proposes to be up and operational and prepared to respond between Sept. 26 and March 26.

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