Seattle Neighborhood Summit to showcase emergency communication hubs

We’re excited to report that the Mayor’s upcoming Seattle Neighborhood Summit has invited members of the Seattle emergency communication hub network to participate in the peer networking segment of the summit! Here are more details about the event from a press release we received.

Join the Conversation:  Mayor Murray Hosts First Neighborhood Summit

Saturday, April 5, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.;  Seattle Center Exhibition Hall

“Seattle’s unique neighborhoods are what make this city special. I want to build strong relationships with the leaders of these neighborhoods and community members and keep an open dialogue as well as build an administration where no one has to ask for a space at the table. I ask you to join us, take a seat at the table, and join the conversation.”

- Mayor Ed Murray

Free event, RSVP requested, to secure your spot:

Can’t make it?  Fill out our online survey to let us know what you would like to get out of the Seattle Neighborhood Summit and what is important to your neighborhood. You can also email or call Kathy Nyland at 206.684.8069.

This event should be a great opportunity to ask questions, share ideas and concerns, and connect with others on a variety of topics. Hope to see you there!


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What are your opinions and ideas about hazard reduction?

We received the following this week from the Seattle Office of Emergency Management.

How Should the City Spend Your Money on Hazard Reduction?

The City of Seattle is looking for your input on what hazards worry you most. Earthquakes, tsunamis, landslides, snow and ice storms, terrorism are just a few of the hazards that the City can experience. How should the City use limited financial resources to reduce the impacts from the City’s natural and man-made hazards? There are many ways to reduce the impacts, such as regulations, slope stabilization, and public education. The Seattle Office of Emergency Management is updating the existing 2009 Hazard Mitigation Plan. We want to know what you think. There are three ways to tell us:

  1. Complete a fast and easy online survey:
  2. Email your thoughts to:
  3. Attend this public meeting/open house:

Hazard Mitigation Plan Update Open House – April 8

April 8, 2014 from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Rainier Community Center, 4600 38th Ave. South, Seattle, WA 98118

Seattle Office of Emergency Management is hosting a City-wide open house on April 8th to seek comments on what our community sees as the City’s worst hazards and what kind of mitigation actions would they support.

Share your thoughts with us between March 25 – April 23, 2014. What you think matters to us. With your participation we can identify the hazards we should plan for and take actions to reduce the impacts when the hazards strike.

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

For some background and context, here’s the current Hazard Mitigation Plan (updated in 2009). You can also find this – and other useful documents – here on our website.

Here is a printable flyer with the above information: 2014-HMP.poster final (.pdf format), and attached below in .jpg format.ī

Seattle Hazard Mitigation Plan update informational flyer from Seattle OEM

Seattle Hazard Mitigation Plan update informational flyer

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Have kids? Here are some great resources for parents!

Our group, West Seattle Be Prepared is often invited to give presentations to other local groups; recently, we were asked to talk about preparedness for kids. Thought that some of that information would be great to post here as well!

Do you know how to prepare for the most likely hazards (earthquakes, winter storms, power outages, flooding)? Have you considered how you might communicate some filtered information about this to your kids so that they aren’t blindsided if something unexpected happens?

LEARN!  With any new or unfamiliar topic, we find it helpful to do some research. When we built the Resources section of our West Seattle Be Prepared website, we  looked around in our community and elsewhere to see what the experts were saying and recommending. You’ll find the results on the Official Planning Resources page of our website. This page includes lots of ideas as well as useful checklists!

PLAN!  After mulling over the information we found, we began to customize plans and checklists to fit our own individual and household needs. We developed an emergency communication plan, as well as plans for storing supplies (useful for sheltering in place) and creating portable Go Kits (useful if you need to evacuate or leave your home for awhile). 

With emergency preparedness, all of us need to consider how prepare as individuals, as families and households, and most importantly take into consideration all those who depend on us. That may include pets, extended family, neighbors, friends and others who can’t prepare on their own. Visit the Individual Household Resources and the Planning Tips pages of our website to see what we came up with.  Bear in mind:

  • How will you communicate during a disaster? If local phone lines are overloaded or down, it may still be possible to text or call someone outside this area. One of the most important planning steps is choosing an out-of-area contact: someone outside of the disaster zone that you and each of your family members can contact if you can’t directly reach each other. It’s important to have this information printed or written down (not only online) because during stressful times, people tend to forget phone numbers and other details.
  • Neighbors may become your First Responders:  HELP/OK signs to put in a window that can signal your neighbors can be very important, so that after a disaster everyone can focus first on those who truly need help. These HELP/OK signs are also useful to have in your vehicle!

TAKE ACTION!  After research, planning, and deciding how you will communicate – all steps that are primarily parent or adult-focused, a next logical step is collecting emergency supplies. This is situational and very specific to individual needs (glasses?, medications?, family photo?, favorite toy?), so a great point at which to involve kids. Start with the things that are “Must Haves”, but make sure you don’t neglect what is most important to you. You’ll find more details on our Tips for Collecting Supplies page.

  • If you prepare with others, you can save money and avoid redundant preparations, and learn from each other. You can buy batteries, handwarmers, lightsticks and other preparedness items in bulk and share them. You’ll find more information about neighborhood preparedness throughout the Resources section of our site.

RECOMMENDED RESOURCES:  Following are some of the best materials for, about and regarding children.

Sesame Street “Let’s Get Ready” - Great info, tools and videos for kids about how to prepare for emergencies.

Quakesafe_Coloring_Book - Coloring book about earthquake preparedness for younger children from JoAnn Jordan at the Seattle Office of Emergency Management.

USGS information for kids - Includes puzzles, games, animations and other information!

King County E911 program – Useful materials for children including stickers and coloring books about how to call 9-1-1featuring “Emery, the Emergency Penguin” (here’s the Downloadable version) - This is a very good general resource for parents from CARD, a California-based organization that focuses on disaster preparedness for children and other vulnerable populations.

These are highlights, so do check out the rest of our site for additional materials! Let us know if you know of other helpful resources that we should include! Our contact info is here.

P.S.  West Seattle Be Prepared members often do outreach at upcoming community events. Check out our event calendar for details, then stop by our booth/table to pick up printed copies of the items mentioned above.  We usually have an assortment of coloring books, as well as stickers for kids; and, you (grown-ups) can pick up out-of-area contact wallet cards, HELP/OK signs and emergency communication hub maps!

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Emergency communications drill on Saturday, May 17th!

Later this week, February 28th, marks the 13th anniversary of the Nisqually earthquake in our region – and, as noted in the following press release from Cindi Barker, today marks another quake anniversary for a community that is still recovering:

Today, February 22, marks the third anniversary of the Christchurch New Zealand earthquake.  Volunteers throughout Seattle continue to prepare should some disaster occur in this area.

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 include Broadview, Capitol Hill, Kirke Park, Lake City, Loyal Heights, Magnolia, Maple Leaf, Queen Anne, Rainier Beach, Shilshole, and West Seattle.  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,, 206-933-6968.

For information about becoming a Ham radio operator or member of ACS, contact Carl Leon at

You can learn more about citywide hubs and preparedness activities on our other communities page and find additional information about ACS (Auxilliary Communication Services) groups and other communications sources in the Resources section of our website.

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Registration opens for Citizen Corps “Day of Training”, March 1st!

If you are free on Saturday, March 1st, here is a great opportunity to attend training that is usually only available to members of CERT groups and other Citizen Corps affiliated programs (such as FireCorps and Neighborhood Watch). After tomorrow, February 19th, registration for remaining available slots opens to the public. 

Here’s the informational flyer in .pdf format (with links to the registration form): KC CC Training Day 2014. The classes are held at Renton Technical College. West Seattleite, Dave Nichols will be the keynote speaker. More details are below. 

Note that there is a small registration fee, but both breakfast and lunch are provided.

Flyer for King County Citizen Corps "Day of Training" on March 1st, 2014

Flyer for King County Citizen Corps “Day of Training” on March 1st, 2014 (view the .pdf version of the flyer  above for active links to the registration form and map)

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Registration for spring CERT training is now underway!

We received the following announcement from the Seattle Office of Emergency Management this week. Registration for their Winter/Spring CERT training classes is now open; applications are due on or before February 25th.


The Seattle Office of Emergency Management is taking applications for the Winter/Spring CERT Training Course.

About CERT

Following a major disaster, emergency services that people have come to rely on will be overwhelmed and unable to meet the increased demand.  The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Training is a series of courses that are intended to prepare people to take action in the immediate aftermath of a disaster.  The training is a combination of skills based classes that will teach participants about Fire Suppression, Utility Control, Light Search and Rescue and Disaster First Aid, in addition to basic tenants of Emergency Preparedness and Emergency Response.

Because CERT training is designed so each class builds on the previous one, it is important that participants be available to attend all of the classes.  The schedule for the upcoming CERT class is as follows:

Saturday,             March 22, 2014                 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM

Saturday              March 29, 2014                 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM

Saturday              April 5, 2014                      8:30 AM – 4:30 PM

Due to high demand for the class, we have changed our registration process and are now taking applications. Our goal is to ensure CERT graduates are geographically distributed across the city. If you are interested attending CERT training please fill out the application attached below and return it to or FAX it to 206-684-5998 by Wednesday, February 25th, 2014. Those selected for the class will be notified no later than Friday, March 7th, 2014. We will establish a waiting list that will be used ONLY for the spring class.

To learn more about the CERT program you can visit their website at If you have any difficulty viewing or completing this form (in Microsoft Word .doc format) please email

CERT application

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Free Living Room SNAP Classes – Scheduling Now!

We received the following from Debbie Goetz, Emergency Preparedness Specialist at the Seattle Office of Emergency Management.


The Seattle Office of Emergency Management is taking reservations to have the SNAP (Seattle Neighborhoods Actively Prepare) program presented right in your living room! Invite a dozen or more of your closest neighbors together and reserve your time for an evening or weekend class, beginning in March. We cover all the emergency essentials, from safe actions to coordinating with others. Classes last about an hour and are taught by trained volunteers.

To schedule a program, please email us at: Provide your name, contact info and preferred date and time in March, April or May. Please allow three weeks’ notice, and we’ll make sure you have everything you need to host a successful SNAP party! More information,

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