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Solano County earns NACo Achievement Award for LNU Lightning Complex Fire Survivor Outreach Program; emphasis on customer service during a time of need
June 10, 2022
SOLANO COUNTY – District 3 Supervisor Jim Spering is pleased to announce the National Association of Counties has awarded Solano County’s Lake-Napa-Unit (LNU) Lightning Complex Fire Survivor Outreach Program with an Achievement Award, distinguishing the County government programs, departments and employees, whose efforts work to strengthen and streamline services for residents.
Solano County’s Fire Survivor Outreach Program is an innovative program developed in response to the need to quickly identify and reach 501 property owners displaced by the LNU Fire – including older adults, veterans, and people with disabilities. The program ensured that survivors were provided with recovery resources, educated on what options they had for debris removal, and to prepare their properties for rebuilding. All of this was successfully accomplished while minimizing further trauma and during COVID-19 pandemic conditions.
The National Association of Counties (NACo) Achievement Award is also a testament to County employees in the departments of Resource Management and Office of Emergency Services who placed an emphasis on customer service during a time of need. Employees in these departments mobilized quickly to come up with creative ways to locate and contact survivors – since they were not reachable by traditional means of communication like cell phone, text, email and Postal Mail – and connecting them to programs and services.
“In the aftermath of the devastation of the LNU fire, our staff went to amazing lengths to provide customer service at an unprecedented level – meeting people where they were in terms of needs,” said District 3 Supervisor Jim Spering. “I am very proud of the hard work they did and the compassion they showed while doing it. Their efforts were innovative and successful in reaching 100 percent of the affected residents and are very worthy of this NACo Achievement Award.”
In just over a year, Solano County employees successfully cleared all 501 of the fire-affected properties to allow for rebuilding. Portions of the program have now been borrowed by other counties, reflecting its success and benefit, and will be included in Solano County’s portfolio of tools for use during future emergency and recovery efforts.
“All across the country, counties are working tirelessly to support residents and drive recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic,” said NACo President Larry Johnson. “This year's Achievement Award-winning programs showcase how counties work every day to build healthy, safe and thriving communities.”
ABOUT THE LNU LIGHTNING COMPLEX FIRE
The LNU Lightning Complex fire burned 41,776 acres in Solano County between August 18 and August 25, 2020, forcing approximately 47,000 people to evacuate. Ultimately, two (2) people lost their lives, 309 homes were destroyed, and 501 properties burned. This was the largest and most destructive wildfire in Solano County’s history.
ABOUT THE NACo ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS PROGRAM
Started in 1970, NACo’s annual Achievement Awards program is designed to recognize county government innovations. Nationally, awards are given in 18 different categories that reflect the vast, comprehensive services counties provide. The categories include children and youth, criminal justice and public safety, county administration, information technology, health, civic engagement and many more. Each nominee is judged on its own merits and not against other applications received.
The National Association of Counties (NACo) unites America’s 3,069 county governments. Founded in 1935, NACo brings county officials together to advocate with a collective voice on national policy, exchange ideas and build new leadership skills, pursue transformational county solutions, enrich the public’s understanding of county government and exercise exemplary leadership in public service. Learn more at www.naco.org