Northwest NEWS

October 22, 2001

Local News

City ready for emergencies

WOODINVILLE - Woodinville emergency managers met recently to exchange current information about their respective agency's response to the Sept. 11 terrorist attack.
   The meeting reinforced the already coordinated network between the city, Woodinville Fire and Life Safety District (WFLSD) and the King County Sheriff's Office.
   "The key emergency preparedness message remains the same," advises Ray Sturtz, the city's emergency management director. "Families, individuals, schools and businesses should prepare emergency supply kits that will sustain them for three days following a disaster event," he adds. "
   Preparedness should not stop at the individual level. Encouraging your family and business neighbors to prepare will greatly reduce the cost of disaster response and recovery for Woodinville.
   Woodinville Police Chief Ken Wardstrom stresses that no direct threats have been made against the Puget Sound area. "However, we encourage a higher level of awareness of daily surroundings and activities," he advised. "Suspicious activity should be reported quickly to authorities."
   The King County Sheriff's Office, which provides police services to Woodinville, continues its training efforts for its specialty units and surveillance.
   The Sheriff's Office and Woodinville Fire and Life Safety District provided personnel to support to the Puget Sound Urban Rescue Team that assisted New York responders. Woodinville Fire supports the Eastside Haz-Mat (Hazardous Materials) Team that is a consortium of the seven Eastside fire departments
   Since the city's 1993 incorporation, emergency management responsibilities have been coordinated on several levels.
   The city's response plan, which was updated to new state requirements in January 2000, defines the roles and responsibilities of each city department: Fire District, Sheriff's Office, Water District and other agencies. Interagency training exercises are conducted at least two times a year meeting the state's training requirement.
   The city has been developing operating procedures that outline various emergency functions such as public information, sheltering and resource management.
   The city is an active member of an east King County emergency managers consortium that regularly networks to discuss emergency planning and response issues.
   The emergency management network is further expanded by the participation of local public information officers in a regional alliance, the Regional Public Information Network, providing a set of contacts between federal, county, city, utility and nonprofit agencies.
   Emergency preparedness information is available through the city - (425) 489-2700, Ext. 2267; Fire District - (425) 483-2131, Ext. 3232; and American Red Cross - (206) 323-2345).