West Seattle scene: Do you know where YOUR ‘hub’ is?

July 22, 2014 at 12:01 pm | In Preparedness, West Seattle news | 17 Comments

In case of catastrophe – there’s likely a Neighborhood Emergency Communication Hub near you, a place where you can go to get and share information about what’s happening and how to get help. Pigeon Point has a new hub location – 20th/Genesee – on the West Seattle Be Prepared Emergency Communication Hubs roster, and Jim Sander has created signs to help get the word out:

Thanks to Pete Spalding for sharing the photos. P.S. So where’s YOUR nearest hub, you ask? Check this map from westseattlebeprepared.org:


View West Seattle Emergency Communication Hubs in a larger map

Don’t see one near you? Here’s how to change that.

Video: West Seattle demonstration shows the one thing you need to do to stop a kitchen fire

May 29, 2014 at 2:52 pm | In Preparedness, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

Kitchen fires are the most common kind of fire in the U.S. – so do you know what to do in case of a fire in your kitchen? Take a few minutes and watch the demonstration we covered this morning at the Joint Training Facility on the southeast edge of West Seattle. That’s Seattle Fire Department Captain C.M. Yob. (For the abbreviated version, move the cursor ahead to 2 minutes in, when the flames appear.) Also on hand, Puget Sound Energy‘s Andy Wappler:

We photographed him showing off the elements of a disaster-preparedness starter kit that will be given away at Fred Meyer in Redondo (25250 Pacific Hwy S.) during an event on June 14th that’s part of the Safe in the Sound campaign involving PSE and the Red Cross, among others.

West Seattle weekend scene: Disaster drill at Ercolini Park

May 17, 2014 at 11:22 pm | In Preparedness, West Seattle news | Comments Off

The volunteers of West Seattle Be Prepared are more prepared than ever after today’s emergency-communications drill at Ercolini Park west of The Junction. WSBP’s Karen Berge shared these photos, and reports, “Fortunately, the weather was nice and we had a great turnout of volunteers and people who stopped by to ask about what we were doing!” In case you missed the preview, they were acting out what might happen in the event of a major Mount Rainier ash/mudflow, and how the neighborhood “hubs” (explained here) would communicate and cooperate. Ercolini and North Delridge hubs “activated” at the park for the drill, but volunteers from elsewhere helped, including Gordon Wiehler, Fauntleroy hub captain, who served as a radio operator at Ercolini

Alki hub captain Tony Fragada also served as a radio operator. At left in the next photo, debriefing post-drill, is Ercolini hub captain Kris Buitrago ):

The hubs are set to activate in case of catastrophe – and you’ll want to know where the nearest hub is, since it’ll be a place to go to find information and seek help. Here’s the current West Seattle hub map:


View West Seattle Emergency Communication Hubs in a larger map

Along with Karen, fellow WSBP leaders Deb Greer and Cindi Barker were there, along with North Delridge hub captain Jay McNally; the EC Hughes hub’s acting captain Shane Marr was “offsite in the role of Net Control,” Karen mentions. You can find out more about WSBP at tomorrow’s Seattle Summer Streets event on Alki, 11 am-5 pm – look for them toward the west side of the street-fest zone, between 61st and 63rd.

Turn it off! Free mini-workshop on Sunday to help you handle utilities post-disaster

May 16, 2014 at 3:13 pm | In Preparedness, Safety, West Seattle news | 3 Comments

The p-word – preparedness – is big around here. We know it’s tough to take time to plan or learn something you hope to never have to use – but this Sunday, if you can spare *half an hour*, it’ll be well worth it. A free city-presented mini-workshop at Southwest Branch Library will teach you what you need to know about handling household utilities in case of disaster, 1:40-2 pm:

In just 30 minutes, find out how to safely power down your household electric panel and how and when to turn off your natural gas at the meter. Join us for hands-on practice using real equipment and pick up other tips on how to secure your household water supply. Class is free, no RSVP. Come one and all.

The SW Library is at 35th/Henderson.

P.S. Also in the preparedness vein – remember that local volunteers are having a drill at Ercolini Park tomorrow morning (9-noon), so don’t be startled if you happen onto it!

What if? West Seattle preparedness, communications volunteers to join in citywide Mt. Rainier-scenario disaster drill this Saturday

May 12, 2014 at 3:30 pm | In Preparedness, West Seattle news | Comments Off

Seen hazily in the distance from a ferry this morning, Mount Rainier was beautiful … yet always, also, vaguely ominous. It’s a volcano. And it’s NOT extinct. So … what if? That’s the scenario for a disaster drill coming up this Saturday morning (May 17th, 9 am-noon), involving West Seattle preparedness volunteers and others around the area. Local activity will be focused at Ercolini Park west of The Junction and at American Legion Post 160 in The Triangle. As officially announced:

Neighborhood emergency preparedness groups across Seattle assisted by amateur radio emergency communicators will test skills Saturday in an exercise based on a simulated major mudflow and ash release from Mt. Rainier. This exercise titled “Mud and Ash Everywhere” is the spring version of this semiannual event. The goal of this exercise is to practice preparedness and response actions that will contribute to community resiliency in surviving a significant disaster.

Click to read the rest of What if? West Seattle preparedness, communications volunteers to join in citywide Mt. Rainier-scenario disaster drill this Saturday…

Take a few minutes to help make sure Seattle’s ready for anything

March 28, 2014 at 2:01 pm | In Preparedness, West Seattle news | 6 Comments

As the Snohomish County slide disaster reminds us, lives can be changed or ended in an instant, without warning. In some cases, preparedness wouldn’t have made a difference. But in many, it can. If you can spare five minutes right now, for starters, you can make a difference – West Seattle community advocate Mat McBride, who also happens to be a private-sector preparedness professional, explains:

While Oso has our collective attention, there’s a local preparedness initiative happening. I’m part of the team updating Seattle’s Hazard Mitigation Plan, and the public feedback portion is underway. This is an important process, as it helps the Office of Emergency Management identify the priorities from its key stakeholders – us. There are two opportunities at present:

* Take the online survey: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/SeaHazMitSurvey. It takes all of 5 minutes to lock in West Seattle concerns and priorities.

* Attend the public meeting: April 8 from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Rainier Community Center, 4600 38th Ave. South Seattle

Interpretation and accommodations are available upon advance request to Donna Voss, Project Manager, at (206) 233-5089 or by email at:
HazardMitigationPlanUpdate@seattle.gov

The survey took us just four minutes – its centerpiece is a list in which you can rate your level of concern about types of disaster both natural and man-made.

West Seattle weekend scene: Emergency communicators @ SSCC

March 22, 2014 at 10:37 am | In Preparedness, Puget Ridge, West Seattle news | Comments Off

Big event under way all weekend at South Seattle Community College (WSB sponsor) – the annual Communications Academy for volunteer emergency communicators, though, as evidenced by what we spotted outside, you’ll find lots of professionals there too. They include today’s keynoter Bill Schrier, the West Seattleite who is the former Seattle city IT boss and now works in the state’s CIO office – he tweeted from the event:

West Seattle seismographs show 6.9 earthquake off California

March 9, 2014 at 11:27 pm | In Preparedness, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

You might have heard by now about the 6.9-magnitude earthquake off the far-northern California coast a little more than an hour ago. It could be seen on at least two official seismographs in West Seattle that are part of the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network – above, the online display from the detector at the Alki stormwater-treatment plant; below, the one at Holy Rosary (which is a bit busier):

So far, no word of notable damage from the 10:18 pm quake 50 miles west of Eureka, California, according to former WSB contributing photojournalist Nick Adams, who lives and works there now. For us, yet another wakeup call – do you have your go bag? Know where your communication hub is? Browse westseattlebeprepared.org next time you can spare a few minutes.

P.S. Thanks to Skies Over West Seattle correspondent Alice Enevoldsen for the tip about the local seismographs,

Are you ready? Get involved with your Emergency Communication Hub – and get ready for a citywide drill

February 22, 2014 at 6:03 pm | In Preparedness, Safety, West Seattle news | Comments Off


View West Seattle Emergency Communication Hubs in a larger map

Know your nearest Emergency Communication Hub! That map shows the 11 community-volunteer-powered spots in West Seattle that would be activated in case of major disaster – someplace you could go to find out what’s going on when other communication channels are down. And this week, anniversaries remind us that the most likely disaster around here – earthquake – can hit at any time; three years ago today, the Christchurch quake in New Zealand killed almost 200 people; next Friday (February 28th) will be the 13th anniversary of the Nisqually earthquake here in Western Washington, which left hundreds hurt. So while quakes are top of mind again, it’s a great time to get involved with the Hubs – which have now gone citywide – and to get ready for a big citywide drill that’s about three months away.

On May 17, between 9:00 am and noon, community groups and emergency volunteers from throughout Seattle will be participating in a disaster drill to test neighborhood emergency preparedness.

The groups, known as the Seattle Emergency Communications Hubs, will join the City’s Auxiliary Communications Service (ACS) ham volunteers to simulate a volcanic explosion and it’s impact on Seattle, especially if the wind blows ash towards Seattle and resulting lahars (mud flows) impact infrastructure. “It’s all about neighbors helping neighbors” said Carl Leon, one of the drill organizers. “We set up neighborhood hubs where people can come to get information and share resources or skills to help those who have been affected.”

The ACS volunteers will practice sending situation reports of conditions in each neighborhood from the Hubs into the City’s Emergency Operations Center. In a real event, that information could be used by City response planners to assess conditions throughout the city and develop response plans.

Participating Hub locations in addition to West Seattle include Broadview, Capitol Hill, Kirke Park, Lake City, Loyal Heights, Magnolia, Maple Leaf, Queen Anne, Rainier Beach, Shilshole. All Hub locations will welcome visitors and people who would like to learn and participate in the Hubs.

For more information about becoming a Hub volunteer, contact Cindi Barker, cbarker@qwest.net, 206-933-6968.

For information about becoming a Ham radio operator or member of ACS, contact Carl Leon at
N7KUW@arrl.net.

And in the meantime, browse westseattlebeprepared.org for information that could someday save your life.

PACK YOUR BAG! Final day: Give yourself a treat

November 1, 2013 at 4:00 am | In Preparedness, West Seattle news | 2 Comments

November is here and Washington State Disaster Preparedness Month is over. Thanks to West Seattle Be Prepared for a month of instructions on how to put together THE “Go Bag“/kit that can be a literal life-saver for you and your family if disaster strikes. Over the weekend, we’re going to put together one big recap with all the advice and links, but for now, from WSBP’s Cindi Barker:

You get a treat today! Whatever you gave away for Halloween, you probably have leftovers, so dump some of that Halloween candy into your bag. The calories have been removed; you’re welcome. I have been reading the comments as the month has progressed, and thank everyone for their additional ideas and suggestions. I am very interested in how many of you built or are well on your way to completing an emergency bag, so please give a comment on how you did.

And if you’re still getting around to getting started – hey, just get a bag, and pick a random place to start! Everything’s archived, newest to oldest, here.

PACK YOUR BAG! Day 29: Take a look at what you have

October 30, 2013 at 8:20 pm | In Preparedness, West Seattle news | Comments Off

Next-to-last step in our Washington State Disaster Preparedness Month project to build your “Go Bag“/kit – see what you have. From West Seattle Be Prepared:

Spread your bag out, take a look at what you’ve got. This is your chance to decide if there’s something special and unique to you or your family that we’ve not covered. Or maybe the food just doesn’t seem like it will be enough (but don’t forget, you have to lift the bag). You can also take this time to repackage or regroup things in plastic bags or containers to make things fit more compactly; using ziplock bags or small containers can help make things fit more compactly.

This is the time to also decide if you might need a larger bag. Earlier in the month Margaret in Vashon decided she was going to use a suitcase with wheels, so she could move it without having to carry the whole time, so that’s one good idea. Maybe the water could fit into another tub or bag. There have been comments during the month about how bulky the water supply is. Remember, if you’ve stored all the water suggested, you will have enough for 2 weeks. The pre-made emergency backpacks sold by companies like the Red Cross do not have anywhere near that much water in their packs for sale; they usually just include a couple of cups per person. That’s so the bag is portable and has some water, but really only enough water for a day, it won’t get you through an extended disruption of the water supply. The point is, if you are going to have to evacuate the area, and are in a vehicle, you can take all the water you’ve stored. But if you are evacuating on foot, you will really only take what you can comfortably carry.

Want some recognition for what you have? We’d love to share a photo of your bag/kit/stuff – this might be the time to take one, before you repack everything, and send it to editor@westseattleblog.com. Remember that if you’ve missed some items along the way, or finally just made up your mind to get started, you can find everything archived (reverse-chronological order) at westseattleblog.com/category/preparedness.

PACK YOUR BAG! Day 28: Think about ‘where’ as well as ‘what’

October 29, 2013 at 9:13 pm | In Preparedness, West Seattle news | Comments Off

As we’ve progressed through (almost) a month of building a “Go Bag“/emergency kit full of items you’ll want to have in case of disaster, the question has arisen along the way – where should you store all this stuff? West Seattle Be Prepared‘s advice this time around includes not only what to add, but also where to put the bag/kit itself:

This is the last time we are actually going to add anything specific – gather up some pens and paper and a permanent marking pen (should you have to mark things in a shelter). And depending on what you’ve already put in for your food supplies, maybe some plastic wrap, aluminum foil, empty ziplock bags, or assorted plastic containers with lids. More importantly: Now you should find the place where you are going to keep your bag and water.

The best place is wherever you can grab it on your way out the door you use the most. But near any door could work, since you are never sure if you will actually be able to get back into your home (after an earthquake). A hall closet is ideal, but most of us will have to wedge it in, especially if you have all your water in liter bottles. Garage is iffy; you may not be able to open the main door (power, off tracks) but if you have a separate door to the garage, that might be OK. Outside in a garden shed is an option, but I have a cautionary tale. I put my bag and water into a plastic bin and stored it outside. One of the water bottles froze, then burst. When I went to change out the food after a year, the kit was pretty moldy-nasty. So if you have to store outside, keep liquids separate and make sure the bag is waterproof (or put in a tub or trash bag if storing in a damp area like an unheated basement).

Need to catch up? Check back? All installments are archived, newest to oldest, here.

PACK YOUR BAG! Day 27: Will you have enough to eat?

October 28, 2013 at 9:06 pm | In Preparedness, West Seattle news | Comments Off

Less than a week of “Go Bag“-building to go, in our Washington State Disaster Preparedness Month project. Today’s instructions from West Seattle Be Prepared:

Are you running out of steam building your bag? Then feel free to sample as you pack; for this installment, you will top off those food supplies with dried fruit, quick energy snacks, maybe some peanut butter and more chocolate! Some nuts are OK, but they do tend to go rancid, so keep those in the original containers. This is the last food you will be adding, so you might take everything out and see how it all plays together. For your entire family/household, will you be able to get by on what you have? If you had to, could you make this stretch for one week? Most government agencies have switched from saying “3 Days 3 Ways” to advising being prepared for a full week. Today’s the day to supplement what you have. But do avoid foods that need heat or water to make edible.

We’ll say it yet again – no judging, no grade, no prize here, so if you have yet to start, just jump in, get a bag, check the archives and do what you can … the whole point here is to be ready for something we hope never happens; with winter coming, though, some of the items packed in the “Go Bag” could be helpful in case of severe weather, power outages, etc.

PACK YOUR BAG! Day 26: More water, and/or an alternative

October 27, 2013 at 4:46 pm | In Preparedness, West Seattle news | 4 Comments

On a day that began with rain – fittingly, water is the subject of the next installment of what to put in your “Go Bag” kit as we roll into the final days of Washington State Disaster Preparedness Month. The instructions, from West Seattle Be Prepared:

So after the action yesterday to put in bleach to disinfect water – can’t imagine enjoying that taste! – so time to finish up your full stash of water. Today you should add 2 more gallons of water (or 8 liters) per person. This should bring you to 7 gallons or 27 liters per person total. And don’t forget water for your pets.

If the space to store all this water is going to be a problem for you, keep the minimum for 3 days (3 gallons / 11 liters per person) and think ahead about where else you have water that could be used in an emergency. For example, if you are staying in your house but the water supply has been disrupted, you have a large amount of water in your water heater that you can drain.

Need to review (or read for the first time) previous installments? Find them here, in reverse-chronological order. (At month’s end, we’ll also have one big recap.)

PACK YOUR BAG! Day 25: More small items to tuck in

October 26, 2013 at 5:52 pm | In Preparedness, West Seattle news | Comments Off

That “Go Bag“/kit we’ve been building day by day for Washington State Disaster Preparedness Month is getting more full by the day. But the next items to add are small things you can tuck in around the corners. From West Seattle Be Prepared:

A few more odds and ends to put in your bag today – a small sewing kit, safety pins, a small bottle of liquid dish soap and a small bottle of household chlorine bleach. The bleach has two purposes – you can use plain common bleach to eliminate bacterial contaminants in water. The general rule is 8 drops of chlorine bleach (must be common bleach, not scented, not color-safe) per gallon of water and then let sit for 30 minutes. This will kill many, but not all, disease-causing organisms. The second use is as a disinfectant, for surfaces that might be contaminated. For those of you who backpack, you can throw in water-purification tablets instead.

If you’re wondering what this is all about – or just getting started/catching up – the previous installments are all in our archive of preparedness-related stories, newest to oldest, Day 24 to Day 1; find them here.

PACK YOUR BAG! Day 24: When there’ s no place else to go

October 25, 2013 at 11:27 pm | In Preparedness, West Seattle news | 5 Comments

One more week left in our day-by-day project to build your “Go Bag“/emergency kit – full of essentials to help you and your family get by in case of catastrophe.

Tonight’s advice from West Seattle Be Prepared has to do with the most basic of needs:

This is something new that has come up for preparedness lists: Put a bucket with a lid, some plastic sheeting and box of large garbage bags with ties in your kit today. Think of these as your emergency bathroom kit. People who are recovering in Christchurch were bathroomless 18 months after their earthquake; they emptied personal toilet buckets into larger city-provided waste containers placed on the streets. If you don’t have the room for a bucket (and it certainly won’t fit in an average backpack), at least put the garbage bags in – they can be used in multiple ways.

We’re going into the final weekend of Washington State Disaster Preparedness Month. No, nobody’s grading you, but think of the increased peace of mind you’ll have when your kit is done – or at least well on its way. So catch up if you need to. Our installments are all archived, newest-to-oldest, here.

PACK YOUR BAG! Day 23: Time to dry out

October 25, 2013 at 6:55 am | In Preparedness, West Seattle news | Comments Off

Belated update in our “building your ‘Go Bag‘ one day at a time” series. The next addition, as advised by West Seattle Be Prepared:

Dry goods are the food of the day – graham crackers or other dry and durable crackers, dry cereal, powdered milk, spices, sugar, coffee or tea, and candy. Put them in smaller ziplocks to save space, and mark with the date packaged.

If you haven’t started your bag yet, not too late! Just do SOMETHING. Get a bag, review the previous installments and see what’s easiest for you to get into it, then do the rest as you can. Something > nothing. It’s all archived (newest to oldest) here.

PACK YOUR BAG! Day 22: Odds-and-ends time

October 23, 2013 at 9:42 pm | In Preparedness, West Seattle news | 4 Comments

Washington State Diaster Preparedness Month isn’t over yet; nor is our work building your “Go Bag” an item or two or three at a time. From West Seattle Be Prepared:

Some odds and ends this time: Put in a whistle, glow sticks, and matches, which can be used to light outdoor BBQ’s for cooking (or campstoves, but that’s a bit more than we will be putting in the bags we are building). Store the matches in a waterproof container. Also, this would be the day to add extra batteries for flashlights, if you haven’t already.

Still time to get it all done before month’s end (or as soon as feasible) – all installments are archived in reverse-chronological order here.

PACK YOUR BAG! Day 21: Cashing in; meeting tonight

October 22, 2013 at 5:10 pm | In Preparedness, West Seattle news | Comments Off

Before we get to today’s advice on what to put into your “Go Bag” in honor of Washington State Diaster Preparedness Month – one last reminder about a meeting tonight at which you can find out about other ways to prepare yourself and your neighborhood: The West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network will focus on preparedness resources during its monthly meeting, 6:30 tonight at the Southwest Precinct (Delridge/Webster). Everybody’s welcome!

Now, today’s get-it-in-your-bag advice, from West Seattle Be Prepared:

So far, you may have been able to fill your bag with things you have had sitting around the house. This time, you might have to go out to get this one – today you should put cash money into your kit. Recommended is about $100, and in small bills, no larger than $20 are best. This will allow you to purchase at stores even if their card-reader systems are not back on line.

Just getting started? Catching up? Planning to get started? Items 1 (the bag itself) through 20 are archived in reverse-chronological order here.

PACK YOUR BAG! Day 20: Perfect use for old clothes

October 21, 2013 at 11:52 pm | In Preparedness, West Seattle news | Comments Off

Two-thirds of the way through Washington State Diaster Preparedness Month AND two-thirds of the way through the “Go Bag”/emergency kit we’re building one day at a time, with the help of West Seattle Be Prepared:

It’s time to dig through the pile of clothes that you were going to give away: Put in a change of clothing and a pair of shoes for each person. It’s better in our part of the country to make sure you have warm clothing included, rather than just a T-shirt or light pants. If you can fit them, a pair of gloves and a warm or waterproof hat should go in as well.

Items 1 (the bag itself) through 19 are archived in reverse-chronological order here.

P.S. Be extra-prepared by going to the West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network‘s Tuesday night meeting – info here.

PACK YOUR BAG! Day 19: Just enough to set the table

October 20, 2013 at 1:26 pm | In Preparedness, West Seattle news | 3 Comments

More simple additions for your “Go Bag” – what you need to get by in case of catastrophe – as we arrive at Day 20 of our day-by-day packing project, in honor of Washington State Diaster Preparedness Month. Today’s instructions from West Seattle Be Prepared:

You’ve been packing food; time to put in plastic silverware, plates, bowls and/or assorted plastic containers with lids. I would recommend 1 plastic plate, one spork, and one plastic container with lid per person, but most folks have paper plates on hand and those would work as well. A small kitchen knife could be added. You don’t have to stock up a kitchen – just something to hold that soup and canned foods you’ve put in.

Catching up? Previous installments are archived in reverse-chronological order here. Plus – get another preparedness-info boost at Tuesday’s meeting of the West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network – go here for details.

PACK YOUR BAG! Day 18: Duplication in preparation

October 19, 2013 at 2:04 pm | In Preparedness, West Seattle news | Comments Off

This time around in the day-by-day “Go Bag” building series – featured on WSB so you can do something meaningful during Washington State Disaster Preparedness Month – today’s bag-building step involves something you can’t buy at the store, though you might still have to spend a little money to make it happen if you don’t have anything to use to copy or scan. From West Seattle Be Prepared:

Make copies of your important papers and put them in a waterproof bag in your kit. Here’s a list of what to consider including: identification cards, insurance policies, birth certificates, passports, glasses prescriptions. Also include a picture of each family member and pet; these can be especially helpful should you get separated and have to search for each other later.

And in today’s reminder that our most common type of disaster – Wyoming, seldom hit by earthquakes according to US Geological Survey records, had one on Friday, magnitude 3.6; today, a magnitude 6.5 quake hit in the Gulf of California.

Catching up? Previous installments are archived in reverse-chronological order here.

As noted last night, Tuesday’s meeting of the West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network will focus on emergency preparedness; details here.

PACK YOUR BAG! Day 17: Add more food

October 18, 2013 at 8:35 pm | In Preparedness, West Seattle news | Comments Off

Two weeks to go as we continue building a “Go Bag” one day at a time, with the help of West Seattle Be Prepared, as a meaningful way to observe Washington State Disaster Preparedness Month.

Today’s inspiration, if you need some – a 3.6-magnitude earthquake in Utah. Yes, they happen everywhere. But we have the advantage of knowing The Big One is expected here someday, so we can prepare.

So – about that bag. Next thing to put into it, according to WSBP – more food:

Today you should put cans of vegetables, beans, chili, or stew in, especially things that do not require heating or more water to prepare, just in case. Seriously, even SPAM is not a bad idea. The focus for today is to have veggies and proteins in your bag, so whatever you like, put it in!

If you’re falling behind, or still haven’t started, another weekend is hours away and that’s a great chance to catch up. This is something that could make a life-or-death difference in case of a disaster. So if you need to review, revisit, or get started – our previous installments are all archived in reverse-chronological order here.

P.S. We’ve just been reminded that next Tuesday’s meeting of the West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network will focus on emergency preparedness, in which many of the group’s members/leaders are involved. Details here.

PACK YOUR BAG! Day 16: Anyone shake it up in the Shake-Out?

October 17, 2013 at 9:43 pm | In Preparedness, West Seattle news | 4 Comments

At 10:17 this morning, our state marked Disaster Preparedness Month with the Great Washington Shake-Out earthquake drill. Were you part of it, at work, home, or school? If you were, consider writing a comment below to share how it went and why you did it (required to? wanted to? curious? etc.). Now, on to the next installment of our ongoing “pack your ‘Go Bag’ one day at a time” series – here’s what West Seattle Be Prepared advises this time:

Specialty items this time to mark the special Great Shakeout drill: Put either baby food and diapers or pet food and litter in your kit, enough for 3 days. If you are helping pack for a senior member, think about something unique they must have if evacuated. Women, think about sanitary supplies to add. If nothing above applies to you, you get to skip this turn!

It’s never too late to start getting the “Go Bag” together as a VERY basic step in preparedness. Our previous installments are all archived in reverse-chronological order here.

PACK YOUR BAG! Day 15: Get ready to patch things up

October 16, 2013 at 5:27 pm | In Preparedness, West Seattle news | 4 Comments

Tomorrow’s the day for the big statewide quake drill, the Great Washington Shake-Out – 10:17 am on 10/17. Timely – as the Pacific Plate continues to be very active, with large aftershocks in the Philippines, and two quakes in Papua, New Guinea (6.8, followed by 5.3).

Tonight, we’re continuing to build a “Go Bag” in honor of Washington State Disaster Preparedness Month, with the help of West Seattle Be Prepared, whose announcement for this round is:

First-aid supplies go into your bag today. A pre-purchased kit is easiest, but if you have these things around your home, put them in a ziplock or small toiletry bag: scissors, tweezers, thermometer, disposable hand wipes, non-latex gloves, Band-Aids, gauze, ACE or roller bandage, adhesive cloth tape, space blanket, antibiotic ointment packets, antiseptic wipe packets, aspirin, and a First Aid instruction book. A very complete list with suggested quantities can be seen here.

STILL haven’t started building your “Go Bag” yet? No problem – start with this, then backtrack, and when you’re caught up, move forward to rejoin us somewhere in the second half of the month. Our previous installments are all archived in reverse-chronological order here.

PACK YOUR BAG! Day 14: It’s a medicine bag, too

October 15, 2013 at 4:29 pm | In Preparedness, West Seattle news | Comments Off

Hear about the Philippines earthquake, and sizable aftershocks? 7.1 magnitude, dozens of people killed. And even in a big city, this is what the aftermath can look like, for those trying to stay safe, facing aftershocks – taking refuge or camping in open areas, not knowing if buildings are safe to beinside:

So get going on your “Go Bag” if you’re not already proceeding along with our monthlong effort honoring Washington State Disaster Preparedness Month. If we’re lucky, none of us will ever need to use ours. But there is just no way to tell.

From West Seattle Be Prepared, the next thing to get into your bag:

Time to think about your medications. Often you will be able to set aside 2 or 3 pills and just renew a tiny bit early. So do not throw away your prescription bottles/containers this month; hold onto them and start putting your 3-day stash of pills in them, and then add to your kit. At a minimum, list your medications and put that in your bag. And don’t forget your children’s, seniors’, or pet’s medications.

Catch up with previous installments by going here. The most recent installment will always be linked atop the BIG STORIES list in the sidebar on the right side of WSB pages, through the end of this month.

PACK YOUR BAG! Day 13: A wrenching experience

October 14, 2013 at 10:01 pm | In Preparedness, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

We’re approaching the midpoint of Washington State Disaster Preparedness Month – there’s a big statewide quake drill on Thursday, if you’re looking for something to reignite your inspiration for participation in our ongoing one-item-at-a-time “Go Bag” creation project with West Seattle Be Prepared.

Or – read up on Typhoon Phailin. Weather disasters can happen too (remember the 2006 windstorm? the 2007 rainstorm? archived coverage of both is in the “categories” list toward the bottom of our sidebar).

Next item for your “Go Bag”:

Either put a gas utility shut-off wrench in your bag or attach it to your outside meter near the valve. They cost less than $5 at hardware stores. But be aware that you should only shut off your gas if you smell gas, which would indicate a leak or ruptured line, or have been instructed to turn off the gas by emergency personnel. Once you turn off gas to your house, only a trained technician utility person can reactive the line; you cannot do it yourself. Imagine being in line for that service if you turn off the gas and didn’t really need to during a disaster.

While you are thinking about the gas line, you should also know where your water-shutoff valve is and have a tool nearby to do emergency shut off should the water lines rupture as well. A brochure from the Seattle Neighbors Actively Prepare (SNAP) program shows how to shut off the gas, water and electrical power. SNAP groups receive training on how to utility shut off and more, consider starting a SNAP group in your neighborhood! Here’s the brochure.

P.S. Enjoy tests? If you’re really confident about your preparedness skills, take this one on the San Francisco Office Of Emergency Preparedness site.

Catch up with previous installments by going here. The most recent installment is always linked atop the BIG STORIES list in the sidebar on the right side of WSB pages.

Next Page »

All contents copyright 2014, A Drink of Water and a Story Interactive. Here's how to contact us.
Header image by Nick Adams. ABSOLUTELY NO WSB PHOTO REUSE WITHOUT SITE OWNERS' PERMISSION.
Entries and comments feeds. ^Top^