PACK YOUR BAG! Day 7: More ‘MacGyver’ items

October 8, 2013 at 8:34 pm | In Preparedness, West Seattle news | 2 Comments

So we’ve been talking for more than a week now about what to put in your “Go Bag,” to achieve a certain level of preparedness one day at a time … how about what NOT to put in your bag?

Thanks to Mat McBride for sharing the clip!

Meantime – today brought another “natural” reminder of the topic at hand. Lightning, thunder, downpour, yet again – no cataclysmic events that we know of in West Seattle, but imagine that kind of downpour lasting for hours and hours and hours, as happened recently in Colorado … it’s another scenario for which you need to be ready. Today is Day 8 of Go Bag-building in honor of Washington State Disaster Preparedness Month, and here’s the next item, thanks again to Cindi Barker of West Seattle Be Prepared:

This time we’re adding to your MacGyver equipment: basic tools, pliers, screwdrivers, hammer, gloves, disposable dust mask, camping or utility knife. Check around your garage for odd tools lying around; they are perfect for the kit. Also, around this time of year, some of the hardware stores have very nice basic tool kits that go on sale for the pre-Christmas sales season. Just don’t overdo it; you will need to lift this pack at the end.

Cindi also reminds us that a “Go Bag” isn’t a use-it-all-at-once-or-nothing item – once you have yours in place, you will know where to find one or two or three items you might need for specific situations like short-term power outages!

Catching up? Our previous PACK YOUR BAG! installments are archived here, newest to oldest.

PACK YOUR BAG! Day 6: Don’t forget the little ones

October 7, 2013 at 9:42 pm | In Preparedness, West Seattle news | Comments Off

Sorry to be late with publishing today’s addition to the “go bag” we’re building together, one day/item at a time, here during Washington State Disaster Preparedness Month. Part of the reason we’re late is coverage of one of the smaller “disasters” that might wreak a little havoc in your life – or a lot: This afternoon/evening’s West Seattle power outage.

Usually, if an outage strikes, it’s a few hours at most. Then, there’s a situation like the windstorm power outages of December 2006, when some in West Seattle lost their power for more than a week (left). And if a major catastrophe like a big quake hit – it might take a lot longer to get it back, and, unlike those post-storm days, there might NOT be anywhere nearby where the power stayed on.

So, here we are on Day 6 of bag-building. (Remember, you can catch up at any time – any way that works for you – the goal here is just to get SOME preparedness into your life/home.) From Cindi Barker of West Seattle Be Prepared:

Today you should put “comfort” items in your bag. Toys for children, a deck of cards, a book, the things that can keep you busy should you have to evacuate to a shelter.

Bonus preparedness info: Cindi says the Seattle Times (WSB partner) earthquake story linked here the other day had a companion “pullout page” in the Sunday print edition – and now that guide can be seen online.

Catching up? Our previous PACK YOUR BAG! installments are archived here, newest to oldest.

PACK YOUR BAG! Day 5: Water, water everywhere

October 6, 2013 at 5:48 pm | In Preparedness, West Seattle news | 12 Comments

Earthquakes can happen any time, anywhere. Thirty years ago tomorrow, a 5.3-magnitude quake rattled people in upstate New York – not what you might think of when you think “earthquake country.” Here, we KNOW we are in quake country, so there’s no excuse not to have at least a little disaster preparedness happening in your home.

That’s the premise behind what we’re doing all month – Washington State Disaster Preparedness Month – here on WSB, with the help of Cindi Barker from West Seattle Be Prepared: Putting together a “go bag.” Today is Day 5 of adding an item a day – but don’t be put off if you’re just getting going – you can catch up in a big hurry OR go start at day 1 and take it from there. Here’s Cindi’s item du jour –

Today we’ll start storing water. Set aside 2 gallons of water per person. You can store tap water in cleaned one litre soda bottles, in which case you would store 4 litres per person. Here is a good guide on how to clean soda bottles and label them for the tap water – go here.

Otherwise, you can just buy the gallon containers at the grocery store.

Advance hint: If you don’t want to drag the collection of water out, fill a total of 7 gallons (14 litres) for each person today and you’ll be completely done with the water needed for your kit. The Red Cross does recommend a bigger stash than I’m suggesting right now, they suggest having a 3-day supply for evacuation and a 2-week supply for home. So if you have lots of room (a 4 person family would have 68 gallons of water to stash!), go for it. But I’m taking a more achievable path and suggesting you store one week’s worth per person, and if you have to evacuate, grab the 3 gallons you would need for those first 3 days. You’re right, it won’t all fit in the kit; start thinking about a place where you can store the kit and the water together. When we get to the end, we’ll talk about the best place to store all this.

Next item, tomorrow – again, don’t feel overwhelmed, do what you can, when you can – the “item a day” plan is intended to be a manageable way to get you from unprepared to somewhat prepared! Catch up by seeing the stories in the WSB “preparedness” archive.

PACK YOUR BAG! See what to get for your ‘go bag’ this time

October 5, 2013 at 5:47 pm | In Preparedness, West Seattle news | 3 Comments

It’s the first weekend of Washington State Disaster Preparedness Month – and if you haven’t joined in our daily PACK YOUR BAG! activities yet, this weekend is a great time to catch up so at least you have that “go bag” of emergency supplies ready, should disaster strike. Every day, we’re publishing an item announced by Cindi Barker of West Seattle Be Prepared, the volunteer group that has been working on preparedness here for the past several years (check out the map of emergency communication hubs when you can spare a few minutes, and memorize the one nearest you).

As extra inspiration, we’re tracking the most recent earthquakes, as an ongoing reminder that we could get shaken up at any time, without warning. Just this past hour, according to the U.S. Geological Service, Alaska had two quakes and Southern California had one. Don’t wait till it’s too late – keep packing that bag. From Cindi:

Put 2 flashlights in your bag, along with 2 changes of batteries for each. A battery-powered lantern (and batteries) is a bonus if you want to have “hands-free” light. Also, people traditionally have put candles in their kits, but those are no longer listed by the Red Cross, due to the fire hazard and if you have to go to a shelter, they do not allow candles. Get a few glow sticks instead.

If you’re catching up, this is Day 4 – the previous three days (beginning with, pull out a suitcase or backpack or whatever you have on hand and just use that!) are all archived here, newest to oldest. Next item tomorrow!

PACK YOUR BAG! Day 3′s item, so you can ‘MacGyver something’

October 4, 2013 at 5:37 pm | In Preparedness, West Seattle news | 4 Comments

California has the earthquake reputation. But we have the REALLY big earthquake threat. This book excerpt published today at (WSB partner) can turn you from skeptic to believer, if necessary.

And it’s necessary if you still haven’t bought into the premise of what we’re doing every day through the end of the month – in honor of Washington State Disaster Preparedness Month. We’re packing a “go bag” for you to have ready in case of catastrophe, putting it together an item or two at a time, something you can do every night (or catch up with, a couple days at a time), so that you’re actually taking action to be prepared JUST IN CASE, instead of feeling overwhelmed by how NOT prepared you are.

Cindi Barker from West Seattle Be Prepared is leading us through the daily bag-packing addition(s):

Today’s activity:

Put some rope, 20 feet or so, and a roll of duct tape in your bag. You never know when you might have to MacGyver something!

Catch up with Days 1 and 2 – or get started this weekend, if you haven’t yet – by going to the WSB “preparedness” archive.

PACK YOUR BAG! Today’s simple way to get prepared

October 3, 2013 at 4:13 pm | In Preparedness, West Seattle news | 8 Comments

If you missed Day 1 – in honor of Washington State Disaster Preparedness Month, WSB is working with Cindi Barker from West Seattle Be Prepared to help you take one major step toward personal/family preparedness, with one simple action every day, resulting in your “go bag” being packed and ready in case of disaster.

In our state, that disaster is most likely to be an earthquake. We haven’t had a big one since the Nisqually quake in 2001, but it could happen without warning. And quakes are happening in many places every day, so Cindi will share quake info every day along with the tip for what to do next to PACK YOUR BAG! Ready?

On Wednesday, there were 9 earthquakes, all between 3.0 and 4.0 magnitude, the closest being a 3.4 in the ocean, off southern BC. There has been a lot of activity going on in that area; the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network Facebook group often posts charts showing the latest swarm of quakes that goes on in our greater Northwest area.

The Day 1 action to take was: Get a suitcase or backpack and designate it your go bag. Today on Day 2, we start packing:

PACKING YOUR BAG TODAY: Put 3 cans of ready-to-eat soup for each person in your bag, plus a hand-operated can opener. You won’t want to be using precious water to dilute soup; that’s why ready-to-eat soup is recommended. Hand can openers can be found at the local dollar store (and often at garage sales).

OK, we’re off to the store. Got yours? Send us a pic! ( And watch tomorrow for the next item(s) to pack. If you miss a day, this info is all in the WSB “Preparedness” archives –

PACK YOUR BAG! Every day this month, 1 simple step to take

October 2, 2013 at 3:11 pm | In Preparedness, West Seattle news | 14 Comments

October has a lot of identities. A big one for people in our area: Washington State Disaster Preparedness Month.

Here at WSB, preparedness is one of our favorite topics. It’s something YOU can do, without spending a lot of time or money – little steps that could make a big difference if something major happened.

West Seattle is fortunate to have the area’s premier grass-roots preparedness group, West Seattle Be Prepared, which launched an incredibly info-packed website years ago, and continues to work on initiatives to help people around the peninsula be prepared. And WSBP’s Cindi Barker is working with WSB this month on daily advice that will get you from here to the vital preparedness step of having a packed “go back.”

For inspiration, we’ll be reminding you that earthquakes – the most likely kind of disaster around here – can happen anywhere. WSBP’s home page is tracking all the 3.0-or-more quakes around our country this month. Scroll down to see the list of what’s been recorded today alone! 3.0 isn’t a megaquake but it’s enough to be a wakeup call.

So jump into the spirit with us. PACK YOUR BAG! For starters, today’s step to take – just GET the bag. As Cindi puts it:

Today, find a backpack (for 2 people) or suitcase (for 4 people). Look around in your garage or attic for one you haven’t used in a while, or check out thrift stores for inexpensive ones. The West Seattle Senior Center Thrift Store had a 50% off sale on luggage the other day; might still be going on!

We’re going to designate one too; we’ve always had a “go bag” for our news-producing gear (laptop, extra power, portable Internet, etc.) but not one with other basics. So we’ll build along with you. Sometime tonight when you’re at home – find that suitcase. Maybe even send us a pic, so we can publish it as inspiration! ( And watch tomorrow for what to start putting IN it. If you miss a day, this info will all be in our archives for preparedness –

3.6 earthquake in South Sound; felt by some here

August 20, 2013 at 12:31 pm | In Preparedness, Safety, West Seattle news | 8 Comments

A text about 45 minutes ago asked if there had been an earthquake; we checked the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network‘s site, and at the time, nothing was showing – subsequently, though, PNSN has posted information on a 3.6 earthquake that did happen right about then, but nowhere nearby. We’re mentioning it because we’ve since received a few more inquiries. See it on the map here; the epicenter was equidistant from Bremerton and Tacoma, according to the earthquake’s “event page.” P.S. Are you prepared, in case something big hits? Check out the West Seattle Be Prepared website and find your nearest hub, for starters.

12:40 PM NOTE: Eric reminds us via Facebook that geologists would appreciate getting an official report from everyone who did feel it – the link is here.

See hams in action! Field Day this weekend in West Seattle

June 21, 2013 at 7:20 pm | In Fun stuff to do, Preparedness, West Seattle news | Comments Off

(Photos courtesy West Seattle Amateur Radio Club)
This weekend, West Seattleites of all ages are welcome to go look, learn, and listen during amateur-radio operators’ annual Field Day, a national event that will locally be running around the clock for more than 24 hours starting at 11 am Saturday on the south field at South Seattle Community College (WSB sponsor).

Read on for the details:

Click to read the rest of See hams in action! Field Day this weekend in West Seattle…

This time, ‘just’ a drill: Firefighters practice rescue skills at JTF

May 24, 2013 at 4:48 pm | In Preparedness, West Seattle news | 2 Comments

The timing was a coincidence – but, just hours after the Skagit River I-5 bridge collapse, firefighters from Seattle and other metro-area departments were here in West Seattle, practicing skills they would need if faced with a disaster or attack requiring people to be rescued from wreckage and debris.

The “structural collapse and heavy rescue” training was at the Joint Training Facility, off Myers Way South in the city limits’ southern pocket east of White Center, north of Top Hat.

The facility is specially set up to facilitate training for situations that rescuers seldom get to see, but need to know how to handle:

SFD Lt. Frank Brennan offered more specifics:

According to the media advisory sent late yesterday by Seattle Fire, while this training is applicable to other types of rescue situations, it’s funded by a regional grant that’s part of the federal Department of Homeland Security’s Urban Areas Security Initiative. The program is described on a federal web page as involving “the unique planning, organization, equipment, training, and exercise needs of high-threat, high-density urban areas, and assists them in building an enhanced and sustainable capacity to prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to, and recover from acts of terrorism.”

Request for you from fire victim’s friends: 2 steps to take now, just in case

December 5, 2012 at 10:34 am | In Preparedness, West Seattle news | 7 Comments

(November 24th WSB/WCN photo by Patrick Sand)
The night of the November 24th house fire that killed 71-year-old Peggy Munsen, we heard from her friend Lissa Stephens, who explained she had seen the WSB coverage and went to the scene to tell authorities she knew the victim’s identity – since she wasn’t sure they would be able to reach Ms. Munsen’s out-of-town family. As a result of that, Lissa and her husband wanted to share information to make sure that others could be sure that their families could be reached in case of tragedy or disaster. Here’s their message to you:

A Note to Our Friends and Neighbors of West Seattle and beyond –

Our friend Peggy Munsen passed away tragically from a fire in her home on November 24th. To quote her sister, Kay, “Peggy was a friend to all.” She was a wonderfully sweet and kind lady with a wicked sense of humor and a hearty laugh that could make you laugh; a dear friend who will be greatly missed.

When we first saw the article about the fire on the Blog, all I could think of was “How would they find her sisters to let them know she passed?” and so we (my husband and I) raced over to Peggy’s that night and gave the fire commander the contact information, who then contacted her sister, Kay, of Bremerton.

With Peggy’s passing, it became very apparent to us that very few people would know how to reach our families (all out of town) if such circumstances were to happen to us.

I would like to ask everyone to take a few minutes to really consider the importance of having an emergency contact information sheet. In the last few days I have asked several of my friends “If you perished in a house fire, how would people know how to notify your next-of-kin?” Nobody had a good answer, me included. Our hope is that this small note will get people thinking and taking action to make sure their emergency contact information is in order and with a neighbor, a copy in the freezer or with friends.

Here is a sample template of an emergency contact sheet that is downloadable and alterable to fit your family and circumstances.

There are many samples on the internet, most free. In our case we will also include our pets and any medications.

It is also suggested to put a contact listing in your cell phone titled “ICE” – in-case-of-emergency, with important contact information and phone numbers.

During this busy holiday season please take a few minutes to update your emergency information.

Be grateful for your friends and family who are still with you.
Wishing everyone safe and happy holidays!

Lissa and Bill Stephens

As noted in Ms. Munsen’s obituary, published here earlier this morning, her memorial service is at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church tomorrow.

Heads up on two more emergency drills you might see nearby

October 26, 2012 at 2:16 pm | In Preparedness, Seen at sea, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

Today we’ve received media alerts about two upcoming local multi-agency drills that MIGHT catch your eye – so we’re mentioning them briefly and inviting you to file the info away just in case: Sunday afternoon near First and Holgate in SODO, a drill is planned to simulate terrorism targeting a passenger train. All day Monday, it’ll be a drill simulating response to a threat onboard a state ferry, which will be somewhere between north Vashon Island and Edmonds as it all unfolds (with both helicopters and boats involved in that one). So now you know.

State alert: Wednesday drill to test oil-spill-response readiness

October 22, 2012 at 9:45 am | In Environment, Preparedness, West Seattle news | Comments Off

The state Ecology Department just sent advance word about a drill planned for this Wednesday, off Blake Island on the other side of Puget Sound from West Seattle’s west-facing shores. While Ecology says it’ll be happening on the west side of the island – which would mean, facing Kitsap County – we’re publishing the alert in case unusual boat/aircraft traffic and other sightings catch your eye while participants are heading to and from the site:

Anyone spotting oil skimming vessels, containment boom and other response equipment on the west side of Blake Island in Puget Sound Wednesday Oct. 24 shouldn’t be alarmed.

The Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) is testing the ability of six area oil companies to mount a rapid, aggressive and well-coordinated response to a major oil spill in central Puget Sound.

No oil will be discharged during the drill.

Harley Marine Services is sponsoring the multi-party oil spill preparedness drill with its cleanup contractor Marine Spill Response Corp. MSRC is a private, non-profit company supported by oil terminal and shipping company members.

More details, including “who’s participating,” ahead: Click to read the rest of State alert: Wednesday drill to test oil-spill-response readiness…

Happening now: Learn, watch, hang out @ ‘Reach Out’ emergency-preparedness

October 20, 2012 at 11:11 am | In Preparedness, West Seattle news | 2 Comments

11:11 AM: Fun morning so far at “Reach Out” – the volunteer-organized preparedness event happening till 2 pm at Arbor Heights Elementary (3701 SW 104th). We and others who are tabling and talking are in the school cafeteria; next door in the gym, presentations are happening almost continuously – here’s what’s still ahead:

Now till noon – JoAnn Jordan with SNAP! (Seattle Neighborhoods Actively Prepare)
Noon-12:30 pm – Lunch break (Bigfood has a truck outside, selling lunch)
12:30-1:15 pm – Seattle Red Cross
1:15 pm-1:35 pm – Seattle Animal Shelter
1:35 pm-2 pm – Seattle Fire Department

Many other organizations are here too – including the volunteers behind the West Seattle Be Prepared Emergency Communications Hubs:

View West Seattle Emergency Communication Hubs in a larger map

Each of those locations is a “hub” where preparedness volunteers will set up in case of disaster – know your nearest one, so you can go there and find out if all other channels of communication are down. Again, this is on till 2 pm – and we’re told a fire truck just arrived (for visits, not crisis) – looking out the window, we see it’s Engine 37 from Sunrise Heights:

More to come!

11:57 AM: Just wrapping up, the SNAP demonstration with JoAnn Jordan:

SNAP is a city-sponsored program with workshops around the city all year – keep an eye on their calendar to see when one’s coming to West Seattle. Back outside, Engine 37 continues to be a hit:

12:50 PM NOTE: Still time to come visit – the event’s on till 2, and the “preparedness with pets” presentation from the animal shelter at 1:15 pm is up next.

Tomorrow: Get ready! Stop by ‘Emergency Reach Out’

October 19, 2012 at 3:12 pm | In Arbor Heights, Preparedness, West Seattle news | Comments Off

(Click image to get full-size flyer [PDF])
Tomorrow’s the day – whichever part of West Seattle you’re from, come on over to Arbor Heights Elementary (3701 SW 104th) and be part of “Emergency Reach Out.” The preparedness event is happening 10 am to 2 pm, but you can drop by for whatever amount of time you can spare, four minutes or the full four hours. The day starts with free espresso cart/treats 10 am-noon. You can stop by tables to meet, talk with, and/or gather information from organizations including: American Red Cross,, Make It Through, Seattle Animal Shelter, Seattle Fire Department, Seattle Neighborhoods Actively Prepare (SNAP), Seattle Police Department‘s Living Room Conversations, Seattle Public Utilities, West Seattle Be Prepared, West Seattle Blockwatch Captains’ Network, and the YMCA.

And us! (If you saw our previous story, one note: Our WSB-branded ice scrapers were held up at the factory, so we won’t have them tomorrow – sorry – but we hope to get them in time to bring them to our Pumpkin Bowling booth at next weekend’s Junction Harvest Festival.) Here’s the schedule, so far (doublecheck when you get there)

10:00 – 10:30 West Seattle Be Prepared
10:30 – 10:45 West Seattle Block Watch and Seattle Public Utilities
10:45 – 11:00 Break
11:00 – 12:00 SNAP (Seattle Neighborhoods Actively Prepare)
Noon – 12:30 Break
12:30 – 1:15 Red Cross
1:15 – 1:35 Seattle Animal Shelter
1:35 – 2:00 Seattle Fire Department

Also planned: The FREE latte and pastry cart from 10:00 to noon; snacks and grilled items available for purchase from BigFood Truck; raffle prizes and gifts. A fast, fun way to learn about being ready for big trouble from winter storms to earthquakes and beyond. AH neighbors got a city grant to put this on – so come get a life-saving lesson or two! Here’s a map – see you there!

Be ready for anything! See you at Arbor Heights ‘Emergency Reach Out’

October 9, 2012 at 11:57 am | In Arbor Heights, Preparedness, West Seattle news | 6 Comments

(Click image to get full-size flyer [PDF])
On Saturday, October 20th, you have a chance to get ready for anything – winter weather, other types of emergencies/disasters – at a fun and important event in Arbor Heights; we at WSB are proud to be part of it. It’s the “Emergency Reach Out,” and it’s NOT your average “sit down and watch PowerPoints” type of event – it’s a place to get information, meet neighbors, learn, and enjoy. With treats! Here’s the plan:

Learn about emergency preparedness and connect with your community.

Arbor Heights Elementary School received an Emergency and Disaster Preparedness grant from the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods. As part of this grant they will be hosting an Emergency Preparedness Workshop Event at the school (3701 S.W. 104th Street) for parents and neighbors in the Arbor Heights area and surrounding communities in West Seattle and White Center on Saturday, October 20th, from 10:00 to 2:00.

What would you do if there was a natural disaster or emergency? Would you be prepared? What about your family, friends, and neighbors? Leaders and experts will provide you with the emergency preparedness know-how and tools to get you and your loved ones ready for the “just in case.”

These organizations will be there to provide vital information: American Red Cross, Cool Moms, Make It Through, Seattle Animal Shelter, Seattle Fire Department, Seattle Neighborhoods Actively Prepare (SNAP), Seattle Police Department’s Living Room Conversations, Seattle Public Utilities, West Seattle Be Prepared, West Seattle Blog, West Seattle Block Watch Captains’ Network, and the YMCA.

There is no charge to attend and you do not need to live in the Arbor Heights area. People can attend all 4 hours or any portion of this time. The tentative schedule of presentations is as follows:

10:00 – 10:30 West Seattle Be Prepared
10:30 – 10:45 West Seattle Block Watch and Seattle Public Utilities
10:45 – 11:00 Break
11:00 – 12:00 SNAP (Seattle Neighborhoods Activily Prepare)
Noon – 12:30 Break
12:30 – 1:15 Red Cross
1:15 – 1:35 Seattle Animal Shelter
1:35 – 2:00 Seattle Fire Department

FREE Latte and Pastry Cart from 10:00 to Noon.

Snacks and grill items available for purchase from BigFood Trucks.

Amazing Raffle Prizes and Gifts for attendees.

And if you didn’t get to the West Seattle Junction Car Show in time for the first-ever WSB-branded freebie – the lovely ice scrapers shown below – come to “Emergency Reach Out” to get one – we’ve ordered another couple boxes:

10 am-2 pm on Saturday, October 20th, Arbor Heights Elementary, 3701 SW 104th (map) – see you there!

Explorer West Middle School’s big lesson: Earthquake exercise

September 26, 2012 at 1:06 am | In Preparedness, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | Comments Off

Preparedness is for all ages – and that’s the lesson learned at Explorer West Middle School (WSB sponsor) today. Students took to the field this morning for an earthquake simulation, complete with role-playing. Some students practiced first-aid, others practiced being patients, and John Zilke from the Burien Fire Department even came to help oversee (he’s at left in the photo below, with science teacher Kristin Moore):

For Explorer West, it was all hands on deck – in the field – including head of school Evan Hundley:

The drill is an EW tradition (here’s our report on the 2010 edition).

SIDE NOTE: The city has a variety of preparedness classes coming up in West Seattle – see the schedule here.

Block Watch Captains Network meeting Tuesday: Get ready for Night Out!

June 25, 2012 at 8:50 pm | In Crime, Preparedness, Safety, West Seattle news | Comments Off

Just days after their first-ever Appreciation Party (WSB coverage here), the West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network is indeed having a regular meeting tomorrow night, 6:30-8 pm at the Southwest Precinct (if you come early, around 6 pm, there’s leftover Zippy’s root beer and Full Tilt Ice Cream from the party). The main topic: Getting ready for this year’s Night Out crime-prevention/community-building Block Parties. WSBWCN leaders explain, “If you want packets to pass out at your Night Out, you are welcome to come stuff your materials during the meeting. There will be bags for kids and adults with information about crime prevention and emergency preparedness.” P.S. Register your block for Night Out by going to this SPD webpage.

Casting call! Next Saturday’s West Seattle ‘hubs’ drill needs you

May 13, 2012 at 6:34 am | In How to help, Preparedness, West Seattle news | Comments Off

View West Seattle Emergency Communication Hubs in a larger map

If you can spare a few hours next Saturday morning, the volunteer-run West Seattle Emergency Communication Hubs would love to have your help as a “citizen actor.” It’s another drill – this time with a terrorism scenario – and two of the 11 West Seattle hubs are scheduled to be “activated,” along with at least 10 others around the city. The “hubs” are neighborhood spots designated as places you would be able to go to find information if some kind of disaster takes out the regular communications channels, and local volunteers “activate” them periodically in drills, to stay fresh with the procedures and skills that might have to be put to use someday. The drill is scheduled for Saturday (May 19th) 8:30-noon at hubs in High Point and Fauntleroy; to volunteer as a potential “citizen actor,” role TBA, please e-mail Cindi at

West Seattle Sunday: Be prepared – and see what’s up

March 11, 2012 at 9:31 am | In Preparedness, West Seattle news, WS miscellaneous | Comments Off

View West Seattle Emergency Communication Hubs in a larger map

Today marks one year since the earthquake/tsunami disaster in Japan. To commemorate that, we are reminding you about West Seattle Be Prepared‘s neighborhood Emergency Communication Hubs – places to find information and to gather if disaster ever hits here. Look for the “hub” nearest to you on the map above; and explore West Seattle Be Prepared‘s other online resources. Meantime, here are today’s highlights, from the still-undergoing-renovations WSB West Seattle Events calendar:

MEET THE COFFEE VENDORS: If ever there was a morning calling for coffee, it’s the morning after the night you lose an hour of sleep. >PCC Natural Markets‘ West Seattle store (WSB sponsor) invites you to come in between now and noon to meet their coffee vendors and try samples. Details here.

SEATTLE BIKE EXPO CONTINUES: Not in West Seattle, but Cascade Bicycle Club is sponsoring WSB through today to invite West Seattle bicyclists to the Seattle Bike Expo – 9 am to 4 pm at Pier 91 in Magnolia (Smith Cove Cruise Terminal). See the schedule of speakers/events here.

WEST SEATTLE FARMERS’ MARKET: 10 am-2 pm at 44th/Alaska. New at the market: Pampeana Empanadas with sweet or savory empanadas “that combine the traditional flavors of Argentina with the freshest northwest ingredients.”

DAY OF REMEMBRANCE AND PREPAREDNESS: No Japan-earthquake/tsunami anniversary events in West Seattle that we have heard of (it was one year ago today), but Seattle Center downtown is hosting a day of remembrance and preparedness starting at 10 am. All the information is here.

WINTER’S NOT OVER YET … NOR IS M2SO’S WINTER GEAR SALE: 11 am-5 pm, Mountain to Sound Outfitters (WSB sponsor) is open at 3602 SW Alaska with its extended sale on winter gear – which it’s not too late to use, given how the season’s been going in the mountains!

TOXIC-FREE KIDS FAIR: Bring the family to find out how to reduce the toxics in your kids’ (and your!) lives. Learn how to select toxic free toys and care products for growing bodies. Bring a toy or product for instant analysis. Fauntleroy Church (9140 California SW) invites you to today’s free, fun event, 11 am-1 pm. Here’s our preview.

WINERY’S GRAND REOPENING CONTINUES: Cairdeas Winery celebrates its new wines and tasting-room reopening at 3400 Harbor Ave SW (street level of ActivSpace), noon to 5 pm.

CELEBRATE GIRL SCOUTS’ 100TH ANNIVERSARY: CAPERS in The Junction will be serving tea and Trefoils (the original Girl Scout Cookie) 1-3 pm, and Scouts from The French-American School of Puget Sound will be selling cookies. (One more week to go for the cookie sale in this region, by the way.)

LAST DAY OF THE BEER JUNCTION’S MOVING SALE: After today, The Beer Junction closes its original store at 4707 42nd SW, and gets ready to open (within the next two weeks or so) its new one – but first, a clearance sale, 10 percent off everything. Here’s our report from yesterday.

BARTON STREET P-PATCH: 1 pm-3 pm today, the gardeners are celebrating as they start official planting – peas in the P-Patch! 34th/Barton.

SAVE-THE-SALMON BENEFIT: Environmental advocates fighting against a mining project in Alaska are having a silent auction 1-6 pm at Beveridge Place Pub. Our friends at the West Seattle-based Washington Beer Blog wrote about it here.

BIKE-REPAIR EVENT IN WHITE CENTER: West Seattle and White Center bicycling experts team up once a month for DubSea Bikes, a chance to get minor bike repairs done for free – 2-4 pm at the White Center Food Bank‘s HQ, 8th and 108th, details here.

FIRST MATINEE FOR ‘LITTLE VOICE’: It’s the first Sunday matinee for ArtsWest‘s new production “The Rise and Fall of Little Voice,” 3 pm in The Junction.

ZUMBATHON AT THE Y: West Seattle Y (WSB sponsor) hosts a Zumbathon benefiting the Y’s Partners with Youth: 5 – 7 pm. $20/person, must have photo ID, no child care. From the announcement: “Every year the West Seattle Y Partners with Youth campaign raises over $400,000 to put into programs for West Seattle kids, youth and families. It’s our way of bringing the Y experience to all who want it. This year anyone can help by coming to our Zumbathon event, non-stop shaking for two full hours in the West Seattle Y gym. Come get your party on!”

Ready for anything: West Seattle Emergency Communication Hubs drill

October 30, 2011 at 4:21 am | In Preparedness, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

Last weekend, canopies were up in the Fauntleroy Church parking lot for the Fauntleroy Fall Festival. Saturday, a very different kind of event – one of the periodic Emergency Communication Hubs drills, as part of West Seattle Be Prepared‘s ongoing readiness efforts. Appropriately enough, given the leaves covering the ground, the scenario (detailed here) this time around was a windstorm – folded within the context of a major onslaught of winter weather that started with freezing temperatures. “Hubs” are volunteer-run stations at preplanned locations that would coordinate communication in the event regular channels and methods are thrown into chaos by disaster – here’s the current map (from a preview on the WS Be Prepared blog-format website):

The hubs scheduled to participate in the Saturday drill – part of a larger citywide practice, since other neighborhoods now have “hubs” too – included Alki and North Delridge as well as Fauntleroy, which was led by Gordon Wiehler, sporting an official “hub cap”:

In addition to citizen volunteers who were role-playing in the disaster scenario, future volunteers were on hand too, like Katie (with Cooper):

Volunteers is the one thing WSBP can always use more of. Sometimes that includes people to be the official hub point person – just this week, while covering the Highland Park Action Committee‘s monthly meeting, we heard that neighborhood needs hub leadership help. Contact WSBP through the info here if you want to help in your neighborhood – even if it doesn’t have its own hub yet. P.S. One more preparedness note – Seattle Neighborhoods Actively Prepare (SNAP) offers a free class at Southwest Library this Thursday night, as noted by WSBP.

Disaster drill ahead: Can you volunteer in West Seattle?

October 16, 2011 at 5:25 pm | In How to help, Preparedness, West Seattle news | Comments Off

Can you spare a few hours to help make sure your neighborhood is ready for disaster, much as we all hope it’ll never happen? Volunteers are needed to help with the semi-annual Neighborhood Emergency Communications Hubs drill, conducted along with local ham-radio operators, 9 am-noon on Saturday, October 29th. This time, a very timely simulation: They’ll be pretending to deal with “a severe winter storm, code-named ‘Winds of Winter’,” says Cindi Barker, who you can contact if you can help out – even “just” as a “citizen actor” (other roles include message managers/intakers, greeters, radio operators). if you can help, or have questions.

Preparedness: Make sure your pets are part of your plan

September 29, 2011 at 9:12 pm | In Pets, Preparedness, West Seattle news | 6 Comments

Story and photo by Keri DeTore
Reporting for West Seattle Blog

While many of us have emergency plans in place for our families, most of us probably don’t have specific plans for our pets beyond grabbing them and running if disaster should strike. Members of the Washington State Animal Response Team (WASART), which focuses on animal safety and rescue, gave a presentation at the West Seattle Senior Center last night, sponsored by West Seattle Be Prepared, to provide information and resource sites for getting your pets as prepared for an emergency as the rest of the family.

WASART co-founder/president Gretchen McCallum, along with volunteer Ginger Dixon (R-L in photo), noted that the human/animal bond is never more important than in times of extreme stress, and WASART was created after stories of animals abandoned during Katrina were publicized. McCallum points out, “If it’s not safe for you to stay in your house, it’s not safe for your pets.”

Besides having enough food, water and medical supplies for your pet, McCallum focused on being able to identify your pet.

Click to read the rest of Preparedness: Make sure your pets are part of your plan…

West Seattle scene: About that big line outside Target…

September 29, 2011 at 12:16 pm | In Preparedness, West Seattle news | 6 Comments

The big line outside West Seattle’s Target store this morning was the result of an invitation sent out three weeks ago (here’s our version) – in honor of National Preparedness Month, Seattle Police and Target were teaming up to offer 100 families $100 each to put together their disaster kits.

All 100 slots filled up fast – and this morning, the people who got in on the offer got to go shop! Among them was the WSB’er who provided these photos. She adds: “I try to keep several days’ worth of food and water on hand for emergencies, and we have sleeping bags, but but there is no way I would have bought lantern/lamps and spare batteries without this program. Thank you, Target!” – and SPD, which explained the program in this SPD Blotter update published yesterday.

P.S. You’re not prepared till you know where your nearest Emergency Communications Hub is – find out (and access tons of other great info) via West Seattle Be Prepared. (We covered their special presentation about “pet preparedness” last night, and the story will be up soon.)

Earthquake preparedness: Free workshop in West Seattle

September 9, 2011 at 3:47 pm | In Preparedness, Safety, West Seattle news | Comments Off

Seattle Public Library branches are hosting a sheaf of “Urban Self-Reliance” workshops this fall. Some are in West Seattle. They updated the news release this afternoon and re-sent it to media, and in light of the BC quake (earlier coverage here), we couldn’t help but notice this part. Call ASAP!

DIY Seismic Home Retrofitting” – Experienced home retrofit contractors and experts will show participants how to assess and retrofit their homes using the City of Seattle’s free pre-engineered plans. This workshop is presented in partnership with the Seattle Office of Emergency Management and Seattle Department of Planning and Development. Registration is required; call the Seattle Office of Emergency Management at 206-233-5076 to register.
(three locations elsewhere in the city, plus …)
o 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 15 at the Southwest Branch, 9010 35th Ave. S.W., 206-684-7455

For all the other workshops – which cover a wide range of topics from canning to chicken-raising to spreading the word citywide about the West Seattle Tool Library! – check out the news release.

Need an emergency-preparedness kit, but can’t afford one?

September 8, 2011 at 1:20 pm | In Preparedness, West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 2 Comments

(THURSDAY NIGHT NOTE: We’re told event registration has maxed out now and is closed – sorry!)
This is National Preparedness Month – another chance to make sure you are ready for anything, even the things we all hope never will happen. In case you are having trouble with the cost of putting together an emergency kit, the Seattle Police Department and Target are joining forces for an event here in West Seattle later this month – but you have to sign up for it, ASAP. Here’s the announcement:

The Seattle Police Department’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM) is joining with Target to make that step easier for families in Seattle. Target has generously donated $10,000 to help families build emergency kits. Each participating family will receive a $100 gift card that they can use to build their own emergency kits. Seattle Police Department will be on hand to help people identify basic items for an emergency kit, as well as help them customize their kit to meet their specific needs. Participants must sign up for the event to be eligible. The event will be held at the West Seattle Target on September 29, 2011 at 9:00 AM. They will be given a map of the store with locations where items for emergency kits can be found highlighted and the gift card to make their purchases. Families with children are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity.

The number of available kits is limited so if you are interested in participating in this one of a kind event please e-mail the Seattle Office of Emergency Management at or call us at 206-233-5076.

If you’re OK building a kit without financial assistance – but just need advice on what it should contain – find it here. And remember the incredible West Seattle-specific preparedness resources offered by West Seattle Be Prepared, particularly the neighborhood communication hubs – know yours and be ready to go there in case disaster strikes.

Ready for anything? Free SNAP preparedness class tomorrow

June 6, 2011 at 10:03 am | In Preparedness, Safety, West Seattle news | 2 Comments

It’s one hour and 15 minutes of potentially life-saving information: Reminders are circulating today about the city’s next SNAP (Seattle Neighborhoods Actively Prepare) class, which is in West Seattle tomorrow night – 6:30-7:45 pm at High Point Library (35th/Raymond). Free, no registration required. You’ll find out about putting together a disaster kit and a household/family disaster plan, among other things. Be there – the city only offers these in our neighborhood a few times a year. (Another preparedness essential – familiarize yourself with West Seattle Be Prepared resources, including knowing your nearest Neighborhood Communication Hub.)

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