Emergency manager starts today

Sammamish’s first emergency manager begins work today, marking a major milestone for the City in emergency planning.

Andrew Stevens comes from a similar position in California.

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Writer wanted for Sammamish Comment

Sammamish Comment is looking for a writer to help cover this year’s City Council elections and other issues.

With four Council Members out of seven retiring, this year’s election is guaranteed to see a power shift in the Council that could have deep ramifications for the direction of the City beginning in 2018.

As I announced last August, and which is also discussed in the “About” section, I moved after 20 years in Sammamish to Bainbridge Island in August. While I’ve been covering many issues from Bainbridge, it won’t be feasible to me to be on-the-spot to cover the campaigns of those seeking a Council seat.

There are already six candidates announced for the four positions. More are expected. So a writer who lives in Sammamish is desired.

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Sammamish hires full-time emergency management director

Sammamish has hired its first emergency preparedness director.

Andrew Stevens, the emergency manager of Downey (CA), starts work April 17. He holds

Andrew Stevens, Sammamish’s first full-time emergency management director.

the same position in Downey (CA).

“I’m very pleased that we were able to attract and hire Andrew Stevens to the position of Emergency Manager,” Sammamish City Manager Lyman Howard wrote in an email to The Sammamish Comment..
The folks on the interview panel were impressed and delighted as well.  I’ve also heard positive comments from the regional Emergency Management community, that we made a good choice.  Andrew starts April 17th.”

The appointment comes nearly two years after The Comment revealed Sammamish was going skip a multi-state, multi-jurisdictional, Canadian-US earthquake disaster drill called Cascadia Rising. Sammamish scrambled to join after the revelation.

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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.

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Sammamish unprepared for disaster, says city consultant

City_of_SammamishWhen it comes to disaster preparedness, Sammamish is unprepared.

This is the conclusion of a consultant hired by the City to assess its emergency management planning.

The results, first revealed to the City’s Public Safety Committee June 22, paints an alarming picture of just how unprepared City government is to handle a major disaster like an earthquake. The City also failed to comply with federal and state law to prepare plans. The City failed to join a King County regional planning effort in 2014—and still hasn’t.

The consultant, Gail Harris of GCH Disaster Solutions, painted a grim picture to the City Council’s Public Safety Committee. The committee consists of Deputy Mayor Ramiro Valderrama Council Members Tom Hornish and Christie Malchow, Deputy City Manager Jessi Bon and other City staff members. The police and fire departments are also members.

Among the findings:

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Sammamish disaster planning “not enough,” says City Manager

June 23, 2016: Sammamish participation in the Cascadia Rising earthquake drill this month was labeled a success, but City Manager Lyman Howard acknowledged the level and scope of participation wasn’t enough.

Lyman made his remarks in an interview last week with Sammamish Comment.

Sammamish wasn’t going to participate at all until The Comment began making inquiries last fall about failure to sign up for the multi-state, multi-jurisdictional, international drill. The drill, assuming an earthquake from then Cascadia fault line off the West Coast, encompassed British Columbia to Northern California.

The drill’s parameters assumed Sammamish telephone and cell phone communications were disrupted and damage on major arterials leading in and out of the City occurred.

Howard told The Comment that Sammamish focused on its inter-agency and emergency communications with local citizen groups, such as the Info Hubs operated by the Sammamish Citizen Corp and CERTs; and Sammamish Plateau Water. City Hall was evacuated. But links to the County and State weren’t tested, nor were there actual drills in the City.

“It’s not enough [what the City did], I’ll be honest,” Howard said. “We’re talking with CERT about annual drills.”

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Sammamish Council Retreat, Day 3: More on barricades; Community Outreach; and more

City_of_SammamishJan. 16, 2016: The third and last day of the Sammamish City Council Retreat saw yet a third run at the 42nd St. barricade issue.

(Our post yesterday has also been updated.)

Greg Reynolds, the leading proponent for removing the barricade, said City officials admitted the roadway on the west side of the barricade is unsafe, requiring action to fix the situation and remove the barricade, or it faces liabilities if it takes no action.

This is the other side of the same coin argued by a leading opponent who has since moved out of state, Rick Kuprewicz, who argued Sammamish would be opening itself to liabilities if it removed the barricade because of the unsafe road.

Sammamish inherited the problems, including the barricade and road design, from King County, which approved both before incorporation.

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