CONGRATULATIONS! West Seattle’s Cindi Barker gets national honor as Community Preparedness Champion

(2017 West Seattle Bee Festival photo by Karen Berge)

The photo is from last May’s West Seattle Bee Festival, with Cindi Barker teaching kids about preparedness via the “Wheel of Misfortune.” Cindi’s been volunteering for many years to organize and teach fellow West Seattleites how to be ready for disasters and other emergencies – and to share that knowledge with others outside this area – and we just received this announcement that she’s won a national award!

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced today that Cindi Barker has been selected as one of the 11 Individual and Community Preparedness Award recipients from around the country.

Cindi Barker was chosen to receive the 2017 Community Preparedness Champions Award for her development of Emergency Communication hubs and the creation of the “Hub-in-a-Box” program for Seattle, Washington residents. Earthquakes are a high risk for Seattle residents due to multiple fault lines in the area. To help residents prepare for disaster, Ms. Barker started developing Emergency Communication hubs. These hubs are agreed-upon meeting places where people can gather, organize, and strategize to help one another in the event of a major earthquake. Recently, she concentrated her efforts in predominantly lower socioeconomic areas to facilitate their preparedness efforts. This resulted in the creation of the “Hub-in-a-Box” Program, an effort to help communities easily prepare hubs. Seattle has roughly 135 Emergency Communication hubs spread throughout the city.

“FEMA is proud to recognize the great efforts of individuals and organizations who are helping to create a national culture of preparedness,” said Sharon Loper, Acting Administrator FEMA Region 10. “When we work together in our communities, we are stronger, and more resilient.”

Cindi Barker was recognized by Sharon Loper on Wednesday, September 27 to congratulate her on her efforts. Additionally, Cindi and all award recipients will be recognized in a webinar hosted by FEMA’s Individual and Community Preparedness Division. Awardees will be invited to share their experiences, success stories, and lessons learned with fellow emergency management leaders.

Emergency management is most effective when the whole community is engaged and involved. Faith-based organizations, service agencies, businesses and associations, tribal organizations, youth and older Americans, and people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs, can make a real difference in their communities before, during, and after disasters. Each year, FEMA honors individuals and organizations who excel at inspiring the public to be ready if a tornado, hurricane, wildfire, or other disaster were to strike their community.

You can read more about the hubs here – and be sure to make note of the one nearest your residence!

P.S. Cindi is active with West Seattle Be Prepared, whose other leaders Karen Berge and Deb Greer talked about the hubs and other preparedness issues at last night’s West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network meeting (WSB coverage here).

17 Replies to "CONGRATULATIONS! West Seattle's Cindi Barker gets national honor as Community Preparedness Champion"

  • zephyr September 27, 2017 (4:18 pm)

    Wow.  That’s awesome recognition.  Congratulations, Cindi!  Thank you for all your efforts and compassion for our community.  You rock!

  • Barb September 27, 2017 (4:20 pm)

    Congratulations!!! You have inspired me to have my emergency plans in place and supplies ready for an emergency.

  • miws September 27, 2017 (5:05 pm)

    Congrats, Cindi! Well-earned! 


  • Deb September 27, 2017 (5:52 pm)

    What a well deserved honor Cindi. Congratulations to you!  

    Here’s hoping the City will recognize what an amazing program you have developed and appropriately fund Neighborhood Hubs. 

  • WS Guy September 27, 2017 (6:19 pm)

    That’s great!!  Congratulations Cindi!

  • Sandy Adams September 27, 2017 (7:30 pm)

    So well deserved!  Cindi, you are a tireless and selfless community activist–in all the positive ways possible :)

  • Ed Slope September 27, 2017 (8:22 pm)


  • Don Brubeck September 27, 2017 (8:55 pm)

    Thank you, Cindi, for your dedication to this work. The need for it is evident with recent hurricanes and earthquakes to the south of us. But we get complacent in between our local disasters, and it is usually a thankless task to do what you keep doing. Well deserved recognition.

  • Jonathan Scherch September 27, 2017 (10:11 pm)

    Cindy is also an active and esteemed member of our West Seattle Amateur Radio Club. Way to go, Cindy!

    de KK7PW

  • Jon Wright September 27, 2017 (11:52 pm)

    Cindi is amazing. If a disaster ever happens in our area I would be willing to bet her efforts to get people to be prepared end up saving more lives than anything any government agency does. Thank you Cindi!

  • Jon Shields September 28, 2017 (6:58 am)

    Congratulations, Cindi! Many of us have known for quite some time that you’re a pillar of our little community. It’s nice to see you getting recognition for your efforts here, and the impact you’ve had across the city and the inspiration you provide to folks well beyond one local area. Once again, congrats on some well-deserved recognition!

  • Judy P. September 28, 2017 (7:13 am)

    Wonderful, Cindi, and greatly deserved.  Thanks for helping keep us safe in Fauntleroy!

  • Triangle Resident September 28, 2017 (12:51 pm)

    The impact to not only West Seattle but the City of Seattle as a whole through her dedication to serve is so inspiring!  Congratulations!

  • Vanessa September 28, 2017 (4:28 pm)

    Congratulations Cindi !  Your hard work and efforts are so needed and appreciated by us all. 

  • Bruce September 29, 2017 (7:32 am)

    A deserving award for an amazing, selfless member of our West Seattle community.  Thanks for all that you do (and have done) Cindi.  

  • Joe Fuller October 4, 2017 (9:59 pm)

    Congratulations  Cindi!  Just reading about this tonight or I would have  mentioned it last night when I saw you in person!  How great to receive a national award for your work locally here in our neighborhood!!

  • LyndaB October 4, 2017 (10:13 pm)

    Congratulations, Cindy.  Super awesome!  

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