Sammamish Disaster Preparedness Fair Oct. 15

City_of_SammamishSammamish will hold its annual Disaster Preparedness Fair Saturday, October 15, at City Hall from 9am to 3pm.

Details can be found here: Sammamish Disaster Preparedness Fair.

Several private and civic organizations will have displays in the Council Chambers and in the Courtyard, providing information residents need to survive disasters.

The principal focus is on earthquake preparedness, but other emergencies—such as downed power lines that can be dangerous—have been addressed in the past.

The City is the host but didn’t participate last year with a table of its own. It will this year.

Sammamish also was slow to participate in the Cascadia Rising emergency disaster drill last June, finally signing up after Sammamish Comment began asking questions about the City’s preparedness.

Since then, the new City Council (effective Jan. 1) and new City Manager (effective March 1) have undertaken numerous steps to bring the City to a state of preparedness.

Participation in the October 15 fair

The City, which is the responsible agency in a disaster, will participate in this year’s fair at City Hall. There will be informational handouts describing the City’s work to-date and future planned work;  handouts describing King County programs; information about community services; small giveaways; and a presence to answer questions and receive feedback

The City’s Emergency Management page on the website is here.

Making progress

City Manager Lyman Howard outlined steps the City has taken since the first of the year to analyze its state of preparedness and remedial actions.

Howard, who became City Manager March 1, previously acknowledged that the City is unprepared for a major disaster.

A consultant earlier this year evaluated the City’s preparedness and provided a dismal assessment.

“As an outcome of that report, we are doing the following,” Howard wrote Sammamish Comment:

  1. Proposed an Emergency Manager Position in the budget (1.0 FTE). The job description is under development and we are proposing early recruitment for this position.
  2. Executed a supplemental contract with the consultant to perform the following (and all are currently underway):
    1. Re-writing the City’s Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan
    2. Updating the Emergency Management Ordinance
  • Signing onto the King County Hazard Mitigation Plan
  1. Signing onto the King County Regional Coordination Framework
  2. Developing a two-year emergency management work program
  3. Pursuit of 2017 grant funding.
  • Worked with the Sammamish Citizen Corp (SCC) to update the HAM Radio equipment in Council Chambers. We ran a full day of radio operations testing during Cascadia Rising including deploying the Info Hubs. We also helped SCC promote the Info Hub program in advance of Cascadia Rising.
  • We worked with SCC to fully implement the emergency worker card certification, which allows emergency workers to respond during an emergency. This is an ongoing work program item.
  • We have met with and continue to meet with our nearby partners – Redmond, Issaquah, Sammamish Plateau Water and others – in support of coordinated emergency response. We (staff) visited the Redmond EOC as part of the Cascadia Rising Exercise to observe operations. We are also working with Eastside Fire & Rescue and Sammamish Police.
  • We are working on a partnership with Sammamish Plateau Water for shared community outreach resources. This is included in the 2017-18 budget proposal.
  • Staff are attending King County regional coordination meetings. Our Community Services Coordinator is also attending a variety of communications and outreach meetings.
  • We attended a staff training on CodeRED, a system we will deploy in coordination with King County to support emergency communications. We plan to be up and running in 2017.
  • We are cross-promoting emergency events and opportunities, particularly with SCC. Featured newsletter articles and social media posts. The City website is undergoing a rebuild, and will be updated as soon as the new platform is in place.
  • Implementing a staff training program, which will begin in November. All staff will take or retake the ICS 100/200/700 training. The staff incident response team has been updated, including a mapping exercise to identify staff that live in (or close to) Sammamish.
  • Hosted a personal preparedness program for City staff, encouraging them to be prepared at home as they may be called upon to respond during an emergency.
  • Fully stocked City Hall, the MOC and the Beaver Lake Maintenance Shop with emergency supplies etc.

Council Member Tom Hornish e-mailed The Comment that the proposed budget “is to add one FTE (full time employee) at the City to address/improve the years-long lack of focus on this important issue plus a shared FTE (0.5) with Sammamish Plateau Water.

“We have tried to make disaster preparedness a priority going forward, but it may take a little bit of time to put improvements in place,” Hornish wrote.

Adamant to get up to speed

Council Member Christie Malchow, who like Hornish is on the Council’s Public Safety Committee, wrote The Comment that the Committee was “adamant to push this issue forward to get the City up to speed with emergency preparedness.  It has been identified as a hole for the City.  The PS Committee understands the importance here. Nothing else the City will engage in will matter more if we have a massive earthquake.”

Click on image to enlarge.

Click on image to enlarge.

There are three earthquake fault lines in Sammamish, grouped in the Southern half. The Seattle Fault is considered the most dangerous. It hasn’t had an earthquake in nearly 300 years but experts say it’s “due.” But this timeline could be tomorrow or not for several hundred more years.

This fault line enters Sammamish at about the 7-11 at 33rd St. and extends under Pine Lake.

Malchow said the early draft budget for next year includes proposed new programs/strategies based on recent identification in the Gap Analysis needs to address the City’s lack of emergency preparedness.

The preliminary budget includes $65K annually for Education & Outreach, $25K annually for supplemental services and $10K annually for the Citizen Corp Partnership.

Malchow said Staff presented to the Council Work Plan Highlights that include:

  • Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan update
  • Update Emergency Mgmt. Ordinance
  • Hazard Mitigation Plan
  • Establish protocols for Mutual Aid
  • Public Ed & Outreach
  • Facilities Prep & Training
  • Pursuit of Grand funding
  • Partnerships


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