Following are some “Frequently Asked Questions” posed by West Seattle residents. These have been answered by the staff at the Seattle Office of Emergency Management.
Who will be in charge of communication within West Seattle when a major “event” occurs?
Following a major disaster where normal forms of communication fail and community members begin going to an “Emergency Communications Hub,” the initial leadership for communications will need to come from the community. As the City begins to restore its services, we will work to assist the communications in each area of the City through either Ham radio operators or City workers who are in the field and have communications equipment such as 800 MHz radios.
In addition to our personal supplies, will there be emergency rations and emergency water stored within the community….schools, community centers, etc…..? In the event of a tsunami, those living along the waterfront will probably lose provisions.
There is no City stock pile of emergency rations and emergency water; the City does not have the capacity or space to maintain emergency rations. That’s why each person, business, school, etc., is encouraged to maintain their own stock. In the event that personal supplies either have not been maintained or have been lost, the community will need to rely on each other and businesses in the area to possibly help with these supplies. As soon as the EOC (Emergency Operations Center) activates after a disaster, we coordinate immediately with County, State and Federal operations so emergency supplies, materials and resources can be located and brought in as quickly as possible. In a large regional disaster, these resources mostly likely will come from outside the area, which could take a number of days.
If children are in school during an emergency event, how are the schools prepared? Rumor has it that one private school requires students to have “comfort kits”. Is this true of public schools?
By State law, each school should have an emergency plan on how they will handle caring for children in the event of a disaster, but schools are individually responsible for what is in their plan and how they will operate. It is important for every parent to ask their school what those plans are and how current and experienced the staff is with the plan. It is going to be important for the schools to know about any community “Emergency Communications Hub“, so they can use these to communicate their needs to the general community and city.
Please contact us if you have additional questions that you would like to have answered on this page!
For more details about how the city and related agencies will respond during a disaster, see the Office of Emergency Management materials throughout our Resources section — the Official Information Sources page is a particularly useful resource. As well, take a look at the West Seattle Emergency Preparedness Seminar videos in our Learn More section.