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Resilience: A Word for the New Year

Resilience: A Word for the New Year

By Hollie Stark
Outreach Program Manager

For the past few years – rather than resolutions I know I will never keep – I have chosen a word to focus on. Sometimes it is a word that I need more in my life, like peace or hope. Other times the word represents a goal, such as prosperity or health.

If I could suggest a collective word for the work we do here at the Washington Military Department it would be RESILIENCE.

Merriam-Webster defines resilience as “an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change.”

Oxford offers a slightly different version:

“The quality or fact of being able to recover quickly or easily from, or resist being affected by, a misfortune, shock, illness, etc…”

At the Washington Emergency Management Division, we use the word resilient a lot as we work to accomplish our mission “to minimize the impact of disasters and emergencies on the people, property, environment and economy” of our state.

Resilience is at the heart of our mitigation projects as we work side-by-side with our local jurisdictions and our tribal partners to improve their capacity to withstand the natural and human-caused hazards we could face.

But what does resilience mean for us as a department? Resilience for the citizen and the soldier, the leaders and the students and even those who work daily on the vision of creating “a disaster ready and resilient Washington State?”

In my humble opinion, it all starts here, with us. Being resilient means we can lead by example by taking small but important steps to ramp up our personal readiness and resilience so that we are prepared to respond when we are called to do so.

And we can do it with the knowledge that our homes, families, and pets will be able to adjust, will recover more readily, and will be more resistant to the impacts of disaster.

I encourage everyone to take this new year as an opportunity to be more personally prepared and then share your successes and knowledge with others.

Happy New Year!