Dos and don’ts of disaster preparedness

April 26, 2011

By Katie Sutherland

Between highly publicized global issues, such as the current crisis in Japan, and local scares, like the 2002 Seattle earthquake, it seems that no one is ever ready for a disaster to strike. But when one inevitably does, make sure that you know exactly what to—and what not to do—so you can best handle the situation.


Have a supply of food and water. It’s important to keep your house and car stocked with water (every person needs one gallon per day) and nonperishable food if you’re ever stranded.
Keep irreplaceable documents safe. Valuable items, such as legal documents and passports, should be kept in a home safe or safety deposit box. Store other treasures like photo albums in waterproof containers.
Back up your computer. Any files, pictures, music, etc. can easily be backed up onto flash drives or other devices and stored safely.
Take inventory of all of your important belongings. This doesn’t include everything you own, just critical things like computers, televisions and cameras.
Follow instructions. Whether you are at school, work, or in a hotel, familiarize yourself with their escape plan. Look for the exits. If you don’t have a chance to do so, just stay calm and listen to teachers, firemen, or whoever is in charge.
Make a family plan. Be sure that all members of your family know how to exit your home and what to do after a disaster strikes. This may include taking care of pets and younger siblings, as well as grabbing necessary items, like medications and money. It’s key to update this plan annually.


Buy out the stores. While having a generator, plenty of batteries and other necessities are crucial, you don’t need to buy every single flashlight that Target has in stock.
Bring camping stoves indoors. In the case of a power outage, never use a BBQ grill or camping stove inside. This can cause carbon monoxide poisoning and possibly even death.
Panic! Being well prepared and having a plan will help keep you calm.

For more information on how to be prepared, visit

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Press Editorial

April 26, 2011

Future is undetermined for downtown boosters

The DownTown Issaquah Association has come under much criticism for reviewing and rewriting the job description of its leading staff member, and then hiring a new employee.

It may be that DIA needs to go one step further.

Currently, DIA has a community relations director and an events coordinator. It’s questionable whether both are really needed.

An events coordinator to manage ArtWalk five Friday nights a year, a car show in June, a spring cleaning of downtown, and a few other promotional activities that bring shoppers to Front Street and nearby businesses may be all DIA needs to focus on in this trimmer economy.

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Spartans win a flurry of three makeup matches

April 26, 2011

Alyson Opitz, Skyline junior, returns the ball near the net during the No. 1 doubles match against Bothell April 21. Opitz and partner Molly Knutson won the match 6-0, 6-2. By Christopher Huber

There’s nothing in springtime sports quite like three straight dry days.

And for the Skyline High School girls tennis team, three days without rain meant three matches in a row to make up for a plethora of postponements.

Although the Spartans are in a rebuilding year, the squad showed some promise by winning its third match in as many days April 21 in Sammamish.

After beating Redmond April 19 and Eastlake April 20, it blanked Bothell, 7-0, to improve to 5-2.

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Council to host hearing on proposed road projects

April 26, 2011

The long-term plan to upgrade Issaquah roads reaches City Council members May 2 — and residents can offer input on the proposal.

Officials plan a public hearing on the Transportation Improvement Program, or TIP.

The hearing presents residents and landowners with a chance to offer input on the sweeping document that outlines 33 transportation projects though 2016.

The list does not include as many big-ticket projects as in past years — a result of council belt-tightening in the 2011 municipal budget.

Still, items outlined in the proposal could alleviate traffic congestion, offer motorists a smoother ride and improve the popular Interstate 90 Undercrossing, plus dozens of other road projects.

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Where in the world is Arjun Kumar?

April 26, 2011

Beaver Lake student earns National Geographic Bee spot

Arjun Kumar, a Beaver Lake Middle School seventh-grader, studies a world atlas after winning the state National Geographic Bee. By Christopher Huber

Arjun Kumar stood on the stage in front of a quiet auditorium, waiting to hear the question. The seventh-grader at Beaver Lake Middle School had spent the day wracking his brain about countries, economies, land masses and other geographic features. He had answered better than 98 other Washington students to make the finals.

But it came down to one final answer that would be the difference between going home the runner-up or taking a trip to Washington, D.C.

“If I miss one question, I don’t sorta let that get in my way,” Arjun said about the climb to the top.

The make-or-break question asked the finalists to identify the Asian country that China surpassed last year to became the second-largest economy in the world. Arjun’s correct answer: Japan.

“In the moment I won, it was like the entire room let out a breath,” he said.

The 13-year-old is the state Geographic Bee champion and is due to travel to the other Washington in May to compete in the National Geographic Bee.

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Practicing disaster preparedness locally is necessary

April 26, 2011

The widespread destruction from the Japan earthquake and tsunami not only engulfed entire towns and took hundreds of lives, but shocked the world and presented us all with an important question: Would we be ready if something disastrous were to happen in our area?

By Olivia Spokoiny

Most local families would be grossly unprepared if our area were to be stricken by a similar disaster or even a minor case. A common attitude is that devastating events cannot and will not happen in places closer to home, but this attitude is not entirely realistic and can be dangerous. Of course, the chances that a tsunami would come barreling through the streets of Issaquah are slim to none, but the fact is that natural disasters do happen.

In our area, we are faced with minor, temporary annual hardships, such as snowstorms, windstorms and power outages. Even in these cases, hundreds of families find that their households are ill-equipped in the event of a disturbance in weather.

As temperatures drop in the winter, we are at risk more than any other time of the year for several reasons, the most obvious one being snow. When it snows in Issaquah, sometimes we are lucky enough to enjoy a few snow days in a row. However, we feel much less fortunate when we are trapped in our houses because of ice on the road.

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Guest Column

April 26, 2011

When business succeeds, we all win

Tough times demand even more leadership and vision, and a drive toward excellence. That’s why the board of the Greater Issaquah Chamber of Commerce has developed a comprehensive three-year strategic vision for our business community.

But wait. Before we get into this vision for the chamber and how it will support you, let us introduce the 2011 Greater Issaquah Chamber of Commerce.

The chamber is as unique as Issaquah. Our activities vary and encompass a broad range of efforts to support business and community.

Early morning, we might be meeting with a city councilmember to discuss partnership opportunities. Next, we might be working with the city’s economic development manager on business support strategies. At noon, we may hold a program regarding the latest marketing tips to help local merchants succeed, or perhaps lending support to a local nonprofit organization. That night, we might feature a structured networking program to help keep commerce local.

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Off the Press

April 26, 2011

Everybody has a story. People may think they don’t, but they do. Maybe that grouchy old man who lives on the corner fought in World War II and now he can’t get close to people because he fears he will lose them.

Kathleen R. Merrill Press managing editor

Maybe that woman you see from time to time in the grocery store used to be a secret agent for the CIA.

Maybe that young guy down the street has been flying planes since he was 5 years old.

Maybe that couple who owns your favorite restaurant loves Elvis so much that they go to Graceland every year to celebrate The King’s birthday.

After more than two decades in the news business, I truly believe everybody has a story. You might have to coax out of someone that she collects thimbles and has more than 1,000 of them. You might have to chat a while with someone to learn that he met Marilyn Monroe.

But there is something unique and interesting about every person on the planet.

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Consistent Skyline can’t overcome Eastlake’s home-course advantage

April 26, 2011

If the Skyline High School girls golf team learned anything from playing at Sahalee Country Club, it’s that you have to keep your drives straight and practice a little longer on the putting green before the match.

Skyline High School’s Bryalynn Vowels tees off on the third hole of Sahalee’s East 9 course April 21. By Christopher Huber

“It’s like you’re hitting the golf ball down a highway,” said Skyline coach Erik Hansen. “If you don’t keep it straight, you find yourself in trouble.”

Not all of the girls learned that the hard way, but the course notorious for frustrating unaccustomed golfers took just enough away from the visiting team to preserve another victory for Eastlake.

“This was a very difficult course,” said Skyline sophomore Bryalynn Vowels. “They definitely have home course advantage.”

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Youth donates supplies to Humane Society

April 26, 2011

For Sydney Dalry, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals commercials were too much to handle. The sad faces of the cats and dogs made the Apollo Elementary School fourth-grader want to make a difference.

“I saw the animals, and I wanted to help them,” she said. “Some animals just don’t quite make it.”

She wanted to volunteer at the Seattle Humane Society, but was told she was too young. Her next idea was to collect donations instead of gifts for her 10th birthday in February. Her mother, Andrea Dalry, suggested she do a community outreach project instead, because it would allow her to reach beyond her friends.

Sydney collected cat and dog food, toys, towels, brushes and leashes during the first three weeks in February, using a Facebook page to spread the word.

In all, Andrea Dalry estimated Sydney collected about $500 worth of pet supplies. Sydney also held a work party with her friends to create catnip toys out of baby booties.

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