New generator helps Bainbridge Island prepare for emergencies

BELLEVUE, Wash. (Mar. 1, 2017) –In the midst of the unseasonably cold winter, Puget Sound Energy Foundation is installing high-capacity generators at locations that can become emergency shelters and warming centers, or are currently food distribution centers.

Island Church on Bainbridge Island was one of four organizations selected to receive a generator. It was selected in part because of its central location on the island and its capacity to shelter significant numbers of people in the event of an emergency.

On Feb. 24, representatives from Puget Sound Energy Foundation joined local leaders at the church to dedicate the new generator.

“Puget Sound Energy Foundation believes preparing our communities is vitally important,” said Bob Stolarski, PSE’s director of Customer Energy Management and a PSE Foundation Board Member. “That’s why we are immensely proud of making this possible for an institution that has had it in their hearts to provide disaster relief.”

The generators, which are custom-built according to each community’s needs, are able to power larger facilities. This will allow them to be used during a variety of emergency situations, such as after an earthquake. PSE Foundation has awarded grants for generators to nonprofit organizations in their service area to help those in low income or vulnerable situations.

The project was made possible due to the strong partnership between PSE, PSE Foundation, Island Church, City of Bainbridge Island and the Kitsap County Department of Emergency Management. The partnerships ensured that Island Church was included in the emergency preparedness plans for both the city and county, which plays an important role for the warming shelter’s success.

Other area organizations who received a generator this year were Bremerton Salvation Army in Kitsap County, and Bellingham food bank and distribution center in Whatcom County. And, on April 24, a generator will be dedicated at Chapel Hill Church in Gig Harbor.