CERT Program of Kirkland, WA

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  • Friday, May 20, 2016 11:52 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    NORCOM's 911 call center will be running an active shooter simulation training on May 23 starting at 11 p.m. and will run for approximately two hours. The simulation will be broadcast on police radio on a training frequency. The simulated training will reference a school in Kirkland.

    The simulation training will broadcast pre-recorded sound effects over the radio including gunfire, children screaming and multiple sirens. During the simulation, NORCOM's 911 dispatchers will be tested on their ability to handle a large scale, emotionally charged event. The high risk, low frequency scenario-based simulation is part of NORCOM's police radio training.

    "It is our hope that no one, in their dispatch career, should ever have to use these skills," said Jami Hoppen, NORCOM's training coordinator. "However, as part of our ongoing training program, our call center runs through crisis simulation exercises to look for any weaknesses and identify the strengths of our personnel and practices."

    NORCOM operates in downtown Bellevue and provides 911 emergency call receiving and dispatch services covering 625 square miles.

    NORCOM dispatches for five police agencies: Bellevue, Clyde Hill, Kirkland, Medina and Mercer Island. NORCOM dispatches for fourteen fire and EMS agencies: Bellevue, Bothell, Duvall Fire District No. 45, Eastside Fire and Rescue, Fall City Fire District No. 27, Kirkland, Mercer Island, Northshore, Redmond, Shoreline, Skykomish Fire District No. 50, City of Snoqualmie, Snoqualmie Pass and Woodinville. 

    Reposed from Kirkland Reporter: http://www.kirklandreporter.com/news/379672461.html?utm_source=Kirkland+Reporter&utm_campaign=79cede6f6c-Newsletter_Daily_Update_Monday_PM&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_23f1c59371-79cede6f6c-228489445#

  • Sunday, November 01, 2015 10:11 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Kirkland Office of Emergency Management is hard at work planning for Cascadia Rising 2016, a full-scale functional exercise taking place over four days, June 7-10, 2016.  

    CERTs will be incorporated in a variety of ways.  Click here for more information.

  • Tuesday, September 08, 2015 11:44 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    West Seattle Amateur Radio Club is offering a ham radio license class in South-West Seattle November 6, 7 and 8 2015.  This class is for the Technician License, the introductory level of licensing in amateur radio.  We are using a conference room of Beckwith and Kuffel Inc., at 1313 S 96th St, Seattle , WA 98108.  Class will be 5pm to 9pm Friday and 9am to 5pm Saturday and Sunday and will conclude with a testing session.  

    Contact the club President, Ken, AB7X at 206 933-0459 or ab7x@westseattlearc.org for more information or to signup.


  • Friday, September 04, 2015 4:13 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    reposted from FEMA Individual & Community eBrief, August 14, 2015

    Are you a parent or caregiver of a school-aged child? Disasters can strike at any time, even during school hours.  As a new school year begins, it’s important for you to know how your child’s school handles emergencies.The Ready Campaign suggests asking the following questions about your child's school emergency plan:

    • How does the school plan on communicating with you in the event of a disaster?
    • Does the school store adequate water, food and other basic supplies?
    • Does the school have a plan for students to shelter in place?
    • If not, where will students go if they must evacuate?

    You can never be too informed when it comes to school safety plans. Popular preparedness blogger, The Survival Mom, lists other questions you might want to ask, so be sure to check out her blog.

    If your child’s school doesn’t have an emergency plan, consider volunteering to help create one. Parents and caregivers will be better prepared to safely reunite with their child if plans are made ahead of time.

    “Don’t Wait. Communicate. Make Your Emergency Plan Today.” Get ready for National Preparedness Month in September. Making and testing your plan is also one of the 10 Ways to Participate in America’s PrepareAthon!


  • Monday, August 17, 2015 4:23 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    by Janet Merriam, Kirkland CERT Team Member: Finn Hill

    On Friday morning 8/14/15, my husband and I headed to our second home in Manson, WA to enjoy a quiet weekend. We knew that there had been lightning strikes on the ridges earlier that morning, but it was only when we neared Chelan that we realized how quickly the fires had spread and that sections of the town were being evacuated. 

    We made it to our home on the south shore without incident and watched throughout the afternoon as the First Creek fire across the lake from us grew from a few puffs of smoke to a major event. By early evening, homes started burning. We watched from the deck in horrified fascination as several went up in flames. We lost our power, internet connection and ability to make phone calls. 

    We thought about leaving but were asked to keep roads clear for emergency vehicles. Several times during the night we got up to check on conditions and watch more homes burn. In the morning, the highways reopened so we loaded all the fridge & freezer stuff into coolers and headed back to Kenmore.   My CERT training served me well, but I could have prepared better. Here are my lessons learned.

    The good things:

    • Emphasis was definitely on safety first. We continually assessed this and were never in any personal danger.
    • We had adequate supplies (food and water) to shelter in place for a reasonably long period of time.
    • I knew that the best source of info on-line was the Chelan County Emergency Management Facebook page.

    Areas to improve:

    • Once power and internet died, our only source of information was a battery-operated AM/FM radio. I wished I had my weather band radio with me.
    • We had only the propane-fueled barbeque grill to heat water and cook with. We will be taking a camp stove over.
    • We had no ability to recharge our devices; texts were occasionally going through but then our phones died. Needed to have a crank or battery operated charger with us.
    • We need an evacuation plan in place. Our Manson home is surrounded by irrigated orchards and has a fire hydrant right across the street, but this experience emphasizes that the unexpected can happen.
    • We had water, but needed to be judicious as we weren't sure how much the drainage holding tank next to our house could hold until it overflowed. Need to have that info in advance, also need a water filter for long-term shelter in place.
    • And finally... a cup of hot coffee was a great comfort in the morning. We fortunately had some good Via instant coffee available. Need more!

    Observations:

    • The emotional impact of watching houses burn down and dealing with clouds of smoke is huge. Although we were safe, it felt like the apocalypse.
    • Sometimes, there is nothing you can do. We wanted so much to help, but could only watch. We kept busy with little chores.

    Hope this is helpful to other CERTS.


  • Wednesday, August 12, 2015 3:12 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    KIRKLAND, Wash. – The Kirkland Police Explorer Program is a unique volunteer program for youth to explore the field of law enforcement through training, community relations, volunteering and competition. To help support the costs of training, the Kirkland Explorer Program is hosting its first Benefit Car Show on Saturday, September 12, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Kirkland Justice Center/Police Department. The event is free to the public. To register your antique, classic, futuristic, or “sweet ride,” contact Patricia Ball, Kirkland Police Department, at 425-587-3408 or pball@kirklandwa.gov by September 1, 2015. A nominal registration fee is required. 

    The Kirkland Police Explorer Program involves young men and women ages 14 or 15 (and have completed the eighth grade) through 20 years old. Applicants are typically those who are interested in a career in the law enforcement field, appreciate a Para-military type structure, or just have a general interest in the services that law enforcement officers provide on a daily basis. The Explorer program’s purpose is to provide experiences to help young people mature and to prepare them to become responsible and caring adults.  Training and practical demonstrations such as: defensive tactics; physical agility; domestic/family violence; criminal investigations; traffic enforcement; collision investigations; search & seizure; firearms training; bomb squad; SRT/SWAT; crisis negotiations; and crime prevention. Persons interested in the program can contact Detective Deana Lansing atdlansing@kirklandwa.gov. To learn more about the program, go to www.kirklandwa.gov/police


  • Saturday, August 01, 2015 8:51 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    KIRKLAND, Wash. – DART, the Kirkland Police Department’s Domestic Abuse Response Team, is seeking volunteers to provide crisis intervention and support to victims of domestic violence. Volunteer duties include helping the Family/Youth Advocate with follow-up phone calls to victims, assisting victims brought to the police station after a domestic violence incident and occasionally aiding officers, on-scene, to provide immediate support. 
    There will be a 20-hour, free training required to become a DART volunteer. Training will cover providing emotional support, the dynamics of domestic violence, safety planning, the criminal justice system and referring community support services. The training is scheduled to begin in early October 2015 and the application deadline is August 27, 2015. 
    Volunteers are needed for weekday and weekend evenings and must commit to one shift plus one meeting per month, for a minimum of one year. To be considered, volunteers must pass an application, interview, background check and screening, including a C.V.S.A (similar to a polygraph). 
    For more information, or to begin the volunteer registration and screening process, please contact Patrick Tefft, Volunteer Services Coordinator at 425-587-3012 or ptefft@kirklandwa.gov


  • Wednesday, July 15, 2015 1:48 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Hi, everyone! Jen Mahan here. Today I want to share my thoughts on the article that has taken social media by storm - The New Yorker article "The Really Big One: An earthquake will destroy a sizable portion of the coastal Northwest. The question is when", by Kathryn Schulz.

    In case you haven't read it, here's a link: The New Yorker article

    I encourage you to take a few minutes and read it. As CERTs, we have trained to help ourselves, our families, and our neighbors in the immediate aftermath of a catastrophic disaster. But are we prepared for the hardships we'll face in the weeks, months, and years following such an event?  

    The article touches on the difference in Japan's preparedness levels versus ours. What can we do to build a culture of readiness in our families, communities, and workplaces?

    Share your ideas with me and I'll include them in the August newsletter.  Email your idea, along with your name and neighborhood to cert@kirklandwa.gov.  

  • Tuesday, June 30, 2015 9:33 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The following is a release from Puget Sound Energy:

    Puget Sound Energy is encouraging its more than 1.1 million electric customers to be even more energy conscious when temperatures jump into the 90s this summer.

    PSE’s electric infrastructure is performing well, and our generating facilities have the capacity to meet the needs of our customers. While excessive heat puts extra demands on the power grid, the region uses more energy on cold winter days than we will during this heat wave.

    Over the years, PSE has been seeing more power consumption during the summertime as customers add some form of air conditioning in their homes; it’s estimated about 11 percent of our residential electric customers currently have AC. Because of that growth, energy conservation is even more important this summer. PSE plans for peak customer usage by constantly monitoring the health of the system and investing in infrastructure projects to keep the system redundant and reliable.

    PSE’s one-hour summer record for power usage was set back on July 27, 2009. As temperatures reached into the 100s, 3,430 megawatt-hours (MWh) of electricity was used between 7-8 p.m. By comparison, PSE customers’ all-time, one-hour high for power usage was 4,906 MWh set on Dec. 15, 2008 during a major cold weather event.

    Here is what customers can do to save energy:

    • Set thermostats as high as comfortably possible. For those with central air or air conditioning, PSE recommends no lower than 75 degrees. That might seem on the warm side, but customers can save up to 5 percent on their electric bill by taking that simple step.

    • Invest in a programmable thermostat that will automatically adjust the indoor temperature while away.

    • Use fans to help circulate the air. Remember that ceiling fans cool residents, not the room, so make sure to turn off the fan when leaving the room.

    • Make sure to close window blinds and curtains to block direct sunlight. In the evening, open windows for cross ventilation.

    • Switch out any conventional light bulbs with LED or compact fluorescent light bulbs, which produce 70 percent less heat.

    • Run appliances – such as dishwashers, clothes washers and dryers – at night. A hot dishwasher sends heat throughout the house; run only on full loads and use the ‘no heat’ option for the drying cycle.

    • Consider cooking a later dinner or grilling outside to prevent any additional heat buildup.


  • Saturday, June 27, 2015 6:51 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Web Link:http://mil.wa.gov/blog/news/post/governor-issues-emergency-proclamation-to-prepare-for-extreme-wildfire-risk

    Reposting from Washington Military Department

    OLYMPIA – With extraordinary heat and drought conditions across the state — and forecasts for more of the same — Governor Jay Inslee and Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark are taking steps to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires.

    Inslee today issued an emergency proclamation for all 39 counties, activating critical resources needed to prevent and contain expected wildfires. The emergency proclamation gives the Washington State Department of Natural Resources the ability to call on the resources of the National Guard and the State Guard on short notice to assist in responding to wildfires.

    “The fire danger now is unlike any we’ve seen in a long time, if ever,” Gov. Inslee said. “We need to be prepared for the possibility of an unprecedented fire season.”

    The declaration comes early this year in an effort to have firefighting resources ready to quickly mobilize and stamp out fire starts before they expand to larger wildfires. The order also empowers the Washington State Emergency Operations Center at Camp Murray to coordinate all incident-related assistance to the affected areas.

    Last week, about 125 new Washington National Guard members received firefighting training in Yakima. Last year, more than 850 Guard members helped fight wildfires.

    In addition, Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark has banned all outdoor fires on Washington State Department of Natural Resources-protected lands.  The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission is likewise banning all campfires at state parks and on the ocean beaches Seashore Conservation Area.

    This new burn ban, which supersedes DNR’s June 22 statewide burn ban, prohibits campfires in state forests, state parks and anywhere else on the 13 million acres of Washington forestlands DNR protects from wildfire.  It will be valid from today until September 30. 

    “The weather forecasts are pointing to a dangerous weekend, with an ominous fire-weather pattern that shows hot temperatures, low humidity and high potential for lightning and gusty winds,” said Goldmark. 

    “Our forests and grasslands are so dry that once a fire starts, it will be more difficult to suppress. We need to take all precautionary steps possible, and residents should do whatever they can to reduce the risk of human-caused wildfires,” said Goldmark.

    The expanded statewide ban prohibits all fires, including wood and charcoal fires in designated campground fire pits or campfire rings.  Gas and propane cook stoves are allowed. Fireworks and incendiary devices, such as exploding targets, sky lanterns, or tracer ammunition, are always illegal on all DNR-protected forestlands, including state parks. 

    The DNR burn ban does not cover federal lands such as national forests, national parks, national wildlife refuges or other areas administered by federal agencies. It also does not cover county and municipal parks. Visitors to national, county and city parks should contact the park for specific restrictions on campfires.

    The Governor and Commissioner are also urging people to limit their use of fireworks, or forgo fireworks completely.

    “Fireworks, while often part of our Fourth of July celebration, pose an increased risk with the extremely dry conditions we’re experiencing this year,” Gov. Inslee said. “We’re strongly urging people to not use them this year and celebrate in a different way.”

    Residents are encouraged to contact their local officials to determine whether any city or county ordinances are in place that prohibit the use of fireworks.

    DNR fire and forest health experts believe some of the uptick in the number of earlier fires is due to years of persistent drought on the east side of the Cascades, which have weakened forests and made them more susceptible to insects and disease. Ailing forests become flammable “tinder bombs” ready to ignite from a human-caused spark or lightning strike. 

    Over recent years, the state wildfire season has begun earlier and with greater intensity. As of June 23, there have been 313 wildfires across the state.  In 2014, by this date, there were 214 wildfires; in 2013 there were 169; in 2012 there were 155; and in 2011 there were 55 wildfires by this date.

    DNR is awaiting legislative action on requests for $4.5 million for additional firefighting teams and equipment and $20 million to improve the health of drought-ravaged, flammable forests.

    Last year’s fire season was the biggest on record in Washington, with the largest state fire ever — the Carlton Complex — destroying more than 250,000 acres. More than 1 million acres of Washington’s landscape has been consumed by wildfire since 2009. 


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