You most likely have seen the emergency notification signs around the Island that boldly state "Listen When Flashing - Tune Into 1650 AM Voice of Vashon". The solar powered flashing-light signs, installed on existing Vashon Island Fire & Rescue fire danger sign posts by Voice of Vashon, let residents and visitors know when emergency information is being broadcast on 1650 AM. The signs are just one aspect of Voice of Vashon’s Emergency Alert Service that has been given a significant boost thanks to the generosity of an Island business and dozens of donations from Island residents.
John and Beth de Groen of Windermere Real Estate Vashon-Maury Island, LLC have stepped up with a major underwriting contribution to the Voice of Vashon’s Emergency Alert System. Plus, 90 Island households responded to a Winter "Storm Ready" fundraising campaign.
VoV President Jean Bosch is enthusiastic about the outpouring of support. "We at Voice of Vashon are thrilled by the broad base of support demonstrated by our recent fundraiser. The generous donations that came in will go right back into the Vashon community in the form of emergency response equipment and readiness."
Thanking the de Groen’s for making the Emergency Alert Service possible, Bosch says "When snow, ice, and wind strike the Island, Voice of Vashon’s 1650AM Alert Team is literally the voice of our community. The new Windermere exclusive sponsorship of VoV’s emergency alerts will ensure Islanders continue to have the information they need to stay safe."
John de Groen, speaking about his company’s contribution says "We believe strongly in the people of Vashon-Maury Island and the Windermere Vashon office directly supports local organizations through charitable contributions and donations." Beth de Groen echoing John’s thoughts states "We believe in our wonderful community and giving back to it is our way of showing appreciation for this beautiful place we are proud to call our home. "
During Island emergencies such as power outages, ferry disruptions or the earthquake everyone hopes will never come, Voice of Vashon volunteers work round-the-clock to keep the information flowing. On its 1650AM emergency broadcast system, Voice of Vashon transmits continuous information. Volunteers share the bulletins through the VashonALL email list and during major events also on the Voice of Vashon Facebook page and the VoiceOfVashon.org website.
VoV’s efforts are coordinated with Vashon Emergency Operations Center, Vashon Island Fire & Rescue, King County Road Services, Puget Sound Energy, National Weather Service, Vashon-Maury Island Radio Club, and many others to gather and broadcast information on emergency conditions, including official advice on staying safe.
VoV’s Alert Team Coordinator Luke McQuillin says about the fundraising results "So many Islanders responded to our call to help ensure our Island neighbors have the vital information they need to stay safe during winter storms. Those contributions, combined with the de Groen’s underwriting of the emergency alerts, means we are assured of funding the Emergency Broadcast System for another year."
"While we haven’t experienced anything weather-wise like we did during the 2011 "Gizzard Blizzard" or 2012 "Snowmaggedon", VoV is now able to invest in its emergency alerts system, so whatever comes our way, as Islanders we will be better informed" says McQuillin.
The Voice of Vashon media network also includes an Island Television Channel 21, web radio station at VoiceOfVashon.org and provides community announcements on VashonALL and FaceBook/VoiceOfVashon.
Voice of Vashon, a 501c3 organization, is currently developing a new web media platform that will offer even more ways to efficiently provide vital information and local entertainment content to the community.