West Seattle Blog... » Preparedness http://westseattleblog.com West Seattle news, 24/7 Tue, 30 Sep 2014 16:13:08 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.4.2 West Seattle earthquake (etc.) preparedness: Do you know where your nearest Emergency Communication Hub is? http://westseattleblog.com/2014/08/west-seattle-earthquake-etc-preparedness-do-you-know-where-your-nearest-emergency-communication-hub-is/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/08/west-seattle-earthquake-etc-preparedness-do-you-know-where-your-nearest-emergency-communication-hub-is/#comments Mon, 25 Aug 2014 01:03:49 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=283518

View West Seattle Emergency Communication Hubs in a larger map

In light of today’s Northern California earthquake – we have two preparedness reminders. First, do you know where your Emergency Communication Hub is? The map above is courtesy of West Seattle Be Prepared, local volunteers who have worked for years on helping facilitate local neighborhood preparedness. The hubs are explained here – in short, the place you would go if regular communication channels/methods weren’t working in the aftermath of a disaster (big quake, storm, etc.). If there’s no hub near you, it’s because no one has stepped forward to set one up – this is an all-volunteer effort; here’s how to get one going.

Second, the city offers classes to help you retrofit your residence to make it more capable of withstanding a quake, and as mentioned on WSB recently, registration is open for one coming up this fall – info is here.

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Early alert: Free earthquake-retrofit workshop ahead in West Seattle http://westseattleblog.com/2014/08/early-alert-free-earthquake-retrofit-workshop-ahead-in-west-seattle/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/08/early-alert-free-earthquake-retrofit-workshop-ahead-in-west-seattle/#comments Wed, 20 Aug 2014 17:12:53 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=283059 These sessions are usually really popular, and advance registration is required, so here’s an early heads-up: The city Office of Emergency Management is offering a free earthquake-retrofit workshop at West Seattle (Admiral) Branch Library on October 4th, 11 am-1 pm. More info here, including the note that you have to sign up, so if you’re interested, do that ASAP – e-mail snap@seattle.gov.

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PHOTO GALLERY: Night Out 2014 parties in neighborhoods around West Seattle http://westseattleblog.com/2014/08/happening-now-night-out-2014-in-neighborhoods-around-west-seattle/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/08/happening-now-night-out-2014-in-neighborhoods-around-west-seattle/#comments Wed, 06 Aug 2014 01:03:51 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=281634 FIRST REPORT, 6:03 PM: Night Out is on! We’re visiting block parties around West Seattle again this year and will add updates here. Since we can’t get to them all, we’d love one from yours if you care to share – editor@westseattleblog.com (or Twitter/Instagram, where the hashtag is #SeattleNightOut and we are at @westseattleblog) – thanks; updates ahead!

FIRST STOP, ARBOR HEIGHTS – in the block where we attended a Seattle Police Living-Room Conversation at Block Watch Captain JoDean Edelheit‘s home two years ago. (That’s JoDean in the back row, third from right.) This block is getting busier, as it’s near the undergoing-renovations future home of Westside School (WSB sponsor) at 34th/104th.

SECOND STOP, SUNRISE HEIGHTS: Carole invited us to stop by; her husband Michael is Block Watch Captain and has also recently gone through a round of preparedness training, so he’s leading the neighborhood in getting everybody organized to start working on a neighborhood plan. That’s why there’s preparedness info at their party:

They’re hoping not only to be, well, more prepared as a result, but also to inspire other neighborhoods. (Have we mentioned lately – lots of preparedness info at westseattlebeprepared.org, including the location of your nearest Emergency Communication Hub.)

7:20 PM UPDATE: Thanks to Marcia for tweeting this photo from her neighborhood’s party:

Via text, more preparedness, at 23rd and Cambridge, including this photo:

The texter (206-293-6302 any time!) says neighbor Patty Doty got a grant to “put together emergency kits to distribute tonight to our neighbors!” Meantime, back onto our travels:

OUR THIRD STOP, GATEWOOD: Sue‘s neighborhood has an annual “flags of all nations” display:

The biggest flag there in the middle synergizes with the sign – the flag is for Hawaii, the sign says No Ka Oi (Hawaiian for “is the best”) Party. We also discovered while visiting that Jeff is an award-winning amateur winemaker:

As we continue our travels, we’re noting MANY side streets closed off for block parties – way to go! And closing streets takes some logistics – and signage:

OUR FOURTH STOP, HANSEN VIEW: The sign above is from Hansen View just south of The Mount, where Night Out always means a big party. Including bluegrass band The Mighty Fallen.

We just missed visiting firefighters. Lots of neighbors having a great time!

Hansen View is home neighborhood to West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network leaders Deb Greer and Karen Berge, who we’ll see again – and you should come too! – at Delridge Day this Saturday. Meantime, a photo texted from Gatewood:

The band is Woodland, playing near 35th and Rose – thanks for the photo!

OUR FIFTH STOP, FAIRMOUNT: We were leaving Hansen View, headed to Junction Plaza Park (stop #6), when we noticed two Seattle Fire vehicles at a block party, so we pulled over, and got a group shot including the visiting firefighters:

This is Fairmount, south of The Triangle, not to be confused with Fairmount Park or Fairmount Springs. Then it was north to …

OUR SIXTH STOP, JUNCTION PLAZA PARK: The re-activated Junction Neighborhood Organization threw a party in the park … we didn’t arrive until it was almost over, but caught the small spirited group that remained:

West Seattle Bike Connections joined JuNO for the party. Police and fire had visited earlier too, as had City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, who was making West Seattle rounds. JuNO had water balloons, too … now THAT is a party. JuNO’s director René Commons says they hope next Night Out will bring their SECOND annual party in the park.

ADDED 9:23 PM – OUR SEVENTH AND FINAL STOP, SEAVIEW: 5900 block of 44th and vicinity – thanks to Kelli for inviting us. A 1970 El Camino was a canvas for chalk art:

Heather from Sparklez Face and Body Art was creating art too:

And the group:

(added) WE STOPPED HERE TOO: Thanks to Sarah for kindly pointing out in comments that we had neglected to publish anything from one of our stops, 6000 block of 37th – and this was actually the first invite we’ve received, from Aaron. Found the pic!

(back to Tuesday night in-progress report) Next: Photos from the inbox – thanks for sharing! First:

That’s from Steve at 16th and Trenton. One block over, at 15th and Trenton, a party photo from Chris:

Next, from Leslie on Canada Drive SW:

Tweeted by Jason in Admiral:


Lots of kid activities at tonight’s parties. Even a bouncy house in Belvidere, on 36th SW – thanks for this e-mailed photo:

Further south on 36th SW, here’s the group photo from Jenny‘s neighborhood (“between Findlay and Brandon, best block EVER!” she declared):

Also very proud of their block:

We love our neighborhood and thought you might like a glimpse of our amazing gathering. 61st Ave SW – between Hinds and Spokane St.

Mary Pyper and Janinne Brunyee, Block Watch Co-Captains

Pigeon Point always has a big bash, and Pete Spalding shared photos – here he is with Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Steve Wilske:

Deputy Chief Mike Washburn also stopped by, as did a Seattle Fire engine:

But neighborhood mingling remained the big draw, as it was with parties from north to south, east to west:

Next, we head all the way to the other end of West Seattle – Jim Edwards of West Seattle Big Band and West Seattle Grand Parade fame shares a photo from North Shorewood:

A first-time event in North Shorewood on 102nd SW. The west end of the block is the City of Seattle. The east end of the block, unincorporated King County. From 28th SW to 30th SW. We are also participating in an informal radio net with the West Seattle Radio Club.

Next year … maybe a band appearance? If you live out that way, keep watch for flyers next summer! Heading back north, to Gatewood again, Long B. Nguyen photographed his SW Portland neighbors:

From the 6300 block of 41st SW, Fairmount Springs vicinity, Jenny explains the next photo as “not everyone at our block party, but still a picture of neighbors enjoying each other.”

From the 3400 block of Belvidere Avenue, Erika shares a photo of the youngest neighbors, noting, “We had another fantastic night of community gathering with our neighbors and the gang of kiddos had so much fun riding bikes and scooters, as well as jumping in a bouncy house! We love National Night Out and look forward to it all year!”

From 46th SW between Walker and Hill in North Admiral, a photo texted earlier in the night:

And from Rutan Place SW, John shares a photo of his well-attended block party:

ADDED WEDNESDAY MORNING: Two more – first, from Diane, the late crowd on 45th SW between Alaska and Edmunds:

The block party had double this amount in attendance earlier, with games, bubbles, a balloon artist, & sidewalk chalk for the kids. Most had headed home by this late hour to get little ones to bed and missed the photo. The block party also had 2 musicians who sang for them through the evening, accompanied with a guitar and double bass cello. A great block party for 45th Street!

And Don‘s neighborhood in Fairmount Springs had visitors who brought goodies – the Ben & Jerry‘s truck that’s making Seattle rounds this month:

Thanks again for sharing glimpses of awesome West Seattle neighborhoods.

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West Seattle scene: Do you know where YOUR ‘hub’ is? http://westseattleblog.com/2014/07/west-seattle-scene-do-you-know-where-your-hub-is/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/07/west-seattle-scene-do-you-know-where-your-hub-is/#comments Tue, 22 Jul 2014 19:01:37 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=280216

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.

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Video: West Seattle demonstration shows the one thing you need to do to stop a kitchen fire http://westseattleblog.com/2014/05/video-west-seattle-demonstration-of-the-one-thing-you-need-to-do-to-stop-a-kitchen-fire/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/05/video-west-seattle-demonstration-of-the-one-thing-you-need-to-do-to-stop-a-kitchen-fire/#comments Thu, 29 May 2014 21:52:12 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=274819

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.

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West Seattle weekend scene: Disaster drill at Ercolini Park http://westseattleblog.com/2014/05/west-seattle-weekend-scene-disaster-drill-at-ercolini-park/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/05/west-seattle-weekend-scene-disaster-drill-at-ercolini-park/#comments Sun, 18 May 2014 06:22:46 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=273753

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.

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Turn it off! Free mini-workshop on Sunday to help you handle utilities post-disaster http://westseattleblog.com/2014/05/turn-it-off-free-mini-workshop-on-sunday-to-help-you-handle-utilities-post-disaster/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/05/turn-it-off-free-mini-workshop-on-sunday-to-help-you-handle-utilities-post-disaster/#comments Fri, 16 May 2014 22:13:43 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=273632 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!

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What if? West Seattle preparedness, communications volunteers to join in citywide Mt. Rainier-scenario disaster drill this Saturday http://westseattleblog.com/2014/05/what-if-west-seattle-preparedness-communications-volunteers-to-join-in-citywide-mt-rainier-scenario-disaster-drill-this-saturday/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/05/what-if-west-seattle-preparedness-communications-volunteers-to-join-in-citywide-mt-rainier-scenario-disaster-drill-this-saturday/#comments Mon, 12 May 2014 22:30:17 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=273178

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.

An estimated 150 people from disaster preparedness groups and volunteer response teams including ham radio emergency communications teams will participate in the event. The amateur radio teams are sponsored and trained by the Seattle Office of Emergency Management. Their purpose is to provide emergency communications when cell and landline phones become overloaded or damaged due to catastrophic events.

The scenario for the event is based on the Mount Rainier mudflow of 5,600 years ago in which more than ½ a cubic mile of hydrothermally altered volcanic debris were shed by the volcano reached prehistoric Elliott Bay. This event was 200 times the size of the Oso Landslide. An analogous disaster in Columbia in November 1985 took the lives of 25,000 people burying all valley floor structures under more than 20 feet of mud a distance of many miles from the Nevado del Ruiz volcano.

The Columbia event started with an ash release that melted ice near the summit of the volcano. Just as in the Oso Landslide, the addition of water resulted in decreased cohesion of sediments, increased unit weight and increased lubricity of the resulting slurry. This exercise includes ash and will feature failures of the power system due to ash-induced flashovers and the failure of motors and bearings due to abrasive effects of ash. Additionally, cooling of electronics and ventilation will be impacted by the plugging of filters by ash. The last time our region experienced a significant ash event was the May 1981 catastrophic eruption of Mount St. Helens; the last significant release of ash from Mount Rainier was in 1854. This is essentially yesterday when viewed with the perspective of the geologic time scale..

Responding to Saturday’s simulated disaster event are community volunteers forming neighborhood “Hubs”. Participants have practiced solving neighborhood problems that could occur during a disaster, responding to needs affecting life and property, sharing community resources, and reporting simulated emergency messages to the Seattle Office of Emergency Management using ham radio.

“In a real event, information communicated by ham radio from the Hubs could be used by City response planners to help assess conditions throughout the city and develop response plans”, said Cindi Barker, a member of the design team for the exercise. Exercise designers have built in some twists and turns involving communications networks and several challenging issues at Hub sites which will develop during the three hour training event.

These exercises provide an opportunity for preparedness newcomers to work alongside their more experienced neighbors to gain experience and learn skills. “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 that have been affected”.

Seattle Auxiliary Communication Services (ACS) amateur radio teams will set up portable, battery powered radio networks at neighborhood Hub sites providing communication links with the City and to other Hubs. Messages will be transmitted on ham radio systems using both voice and digital formats. Computers are connected to send and receive e-mail like documents and images.

Participating Hub locations include Broadview, Capitol Hill, Lake City, Loyal Heights, Magnolia, Maple Leaf, Queen Anne, Shilshole, Wedgwood, and West Seattle’s Ercolini Park. The West Seattle ACS Field Team will be at American Legion Post 160. All Hub locations welcome visitors and people who would like to learn and participate in emergency neighborhood preparedness during this drill.

For more information about preparedness – please visit:
Seattle Emergency Management: http://www.seattle.gov/emergency/default.htm
Community Emergency Hubs: http://www.seattle.gov/emergency/prepare/community/

For more information about amateur radio – please visit:
Seattle Auxiliary Communications Service: http://www.seattleacs.com
Western Washington Medical Service Team: http://ww7mst.org
ARRL the national association for Amateur Radio: http://arrl.org/
For information about the neighborhood Hubs: http://www.seattlehubs.org

And for West Seattle-specific information, it’s westseattlebeprepared.org.

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Take a few minutes to help make sure Seattle’s ready for anything http://westseattleblog.com/2014/03/take-a-few-minutes-to-help-make-sure-seattles-ready-for-anything/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/03/take-a-few-minutes-to-help-make-sure-seattles-ready-for-anything/#comments Fri, 28 Mar 2014 21:01:30 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=268976 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.

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West Seattle weekend scene: Emergency communicators @ SSCC http://westseattleblog.com/2014/03/west-seattle-weekend-scene-emergency-communicators-sscc/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/03/west-seattle-weekend-scene-emergency-communicators-sscc/#comments Sat, 22 Mar 2014 17:37:24 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=268452

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:

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West Seattle seismographs show 6.9 earthquake off California http://westseattleblog.com/2014/03/west-seattle-seismographs-show-6-9-earthquake-off-california/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/03/west-seattle-seismographs-show-6-9-earthquake-off-california/#comments Mon, 10 Mar 2014 06:27:03 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=267179

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,

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Are you ready? Get involved with your Emergency Communication Hub – and get ready for a citywide drill http://westseattleblog.com/2014/02/are-you-ready-get-involved-with-your-emergency-communication-hub-and-get-ready-for-a-citywide-drill/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/02/are-you-ready-get-involved-with-your-emergency-communication-hub-and-get-ready-for-a-citywide-drill/#comments Sun, 23 Feb 2014 02:03:22 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=265846

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.

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PACK YOUR BAG! Final day: Give yourself a treat http://westseattleblog.com/2013/11/pack-your-bag-final-day-give-yourself-a-treat/ http://westseattleblog.com/2013/11/pack-your-bag-final-day-give-yourself-a-treat/#comments Fri, 01 Nov 2013 11:00:48 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=254646 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.

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PACK YOUR BAG! Day 29: Take a look at what you have http://westseattleblog.com/2013/10/pack-your-bag-day-29-take-a-look-at-what-you-have/ http://westseattleblog.com/2013/10/pack-your-bag-day-29-take-a-look-at-what-you-have/#comments Thu, 31 Oct 2013 03:20:02 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=254482 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.

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PACK YOUR BAG! Day 28: Think about ‘where’ as well as ‘what’ http://westseattleblog.com/2013/10/pack-your-bag-day-28-think-about-where-as-well-as-what/ http://westseattleblog.com/2013/10/pack-your-bag-day-28-think-about-where-as-well-as-what/#comments Wed, 30 Oct 2013 04:13:38 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=254392 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.

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