Great ShakeOut returns Oct. 17

September 24, 2013

The community is encouraged to join the Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drill at 10:17 a.m. Oct. 17.

The Great Washington ShakeOut is a statewide opportunity to practice how to be safer during big earthquakes. The ShakeOut has also been organized to encourage everyone to review and update emergency preparedness plans and supplies, and to secure personal spaces in order to prevent damage and injuries.

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Statewide earthquake drill shakes up preparedness plan

October 23, 2012

Tina Eggers (left), city clerk, Megan Gregor, city passport and records specialist, and Mary Lorna Meade, city risk management officer, take shelter under desks at Issaquah City Hall at 10:18 a.m. Oct. 18. By Greg Farrar

Staffers flooded from Issaquah City Hall and other municipal buildings at 10:18 a.m. Oct. 18 as employees joined a statewide earthquake drill.

The preparedness exercise involved public employees throughout the city, plus residents throughout the city and state, as planners tested residents’ ability to respond to a temblor.

The city official responsible for disseminating information to the public during emergencies, Communications Coordinator Autumn Monahan, said frequent disaster preparedness exercises educate city employees about the proper procedures to follow in worst-case scenarios.

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Great Washington ShakeOut earthquake drill is Oct. 18

October 16, 2012

October is Disaster Preparedness Month in Washington.

The observance also includes a statewide drop, cover and hold earthquake drill.

The drill, dubbed the Great Washington ShakeOut, is scheduled for 10:18 a.m. Oct. 18. The regional earthquake exercise includes participants in California, Idaho, Oregon and across the border in British Columbia.

The effort is designed to emphasize the importance of emergency preparedness at home, school and the workplace.

State officials hope the exercise involves more than 1 million participants in Washington.

Washington residents can register for the drill at www.shakeout.org/washington.

October, Disaster Preparedness Month, includes earthquake drill

October 4, 2012

NEW — 10 a.m. Oct. 4, 2012

October is Disaster Preparedness Month in Washington.

In a Disaster Preparedness Month proclamation, Gov. Chris Gregoire urged residents to take appropriate actions to prepare for future emergencies. The observance also includes a statewide drop, cover and hold earthquake drill.

The drill, dubbed the Great Washington ShakeOut, is scheduled for 10:18 a.m. Oct. 18. The regional earthquake exercise includes participants in California, Idaho, Oregon and across the border in British Columbia.

The effort is designed to emphasize the importance of emergency preparedness at home, school and the workplace.

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King County executive appoints emergency management director

August 29, 2012

NEW — 10 a.m. Aug. 29, 2012

King County Executive Dow Constantine appointed local crisis manager Walt Hubbard to lead the county Office of Emergency Management.

Hubbard served as acting director at the agency for the past several months, since former Director Hillman Mitchell departed for a private sector job. Officials selected Hubbard after a nationwide search, and Constantine announced the appointment Tuesday.

“Walt brings a wealth of experience and strong local relationships that will help us protect residents and businesses in the event of disaster,” he said in a statement.

King County faces risks from earthquakes, floods, terrorism, volcanic eruptions and numerous other threats, both natural and manmade.

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Residents can join Great Shakeout regional earthquake drill

August 21, 2012

Statewide, more than 160,000 residents plan to participate in the Great Shakeout earthquake drill at 10:18 a.m. Oct. 18.

The regional exercise is meant to bring together residents and emergency planners in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, California and British Columbia. The event includes a simultaneous drop, cover and hold earthquake drill. Register to participate in the exercise at www.shakeout.org/washington.

“Earthquakes are a hazard throughout the state, and the Pacific coast and Puget Sound can experience a tsunami at any time,” John Schelling, earthquake, tsunami and volcano program manager for the state Emergency Management Division, said in a statement.

Off the Press

June 26, 2012

Preparing for worst-case scenario in Issaquah

Warren Kagarise
Press reporter

The earthquake existed only on paper and pixels for a brief span in early June, but the aftermath lingers.

Officials in local, regional, state and federal government participated in a drill, called the 2012 Evergreen Quake Exercise Series, to prepare for a devastating disaster in Issaquah and Western Washington.

The scenario for the exercise reads like the script for a disaster flick set in Issaquah.

The magnitude-6.7 earthquake rattled along the Seattle Fault at 8 a.m. Monday, June 4, as motorists surged on Interstate 90 and clogged city streets, en route to work and school.

The interstate turned impassable in a matter of seconds, as the exit to Front Street North and East Lake Sammamish Parkway Southeast crumbled.

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Issaquah joins regional earthquake-response exercise

June 5, 2012

Issaquah officials plan to participate in a regional earthquake simulation to the test the city’s response to major temblors.

The exercise, called the 2012 Evergreen Quake Exercise Series, on June 5-6 is designed to examine city, county, state, tribal and federal response plans and operations in the days immediately after major earthquakes hit the Puget Sound region.

In addition to Issaquah, six counties, more than 20 cities, several American Indian tribes, numerous private sector partners, and state and federal agencies plan to participate.

Issaquah officials last participated in a simulated earthquake exercise, called Sound Shake, in October 2010. Officials simulated the response to a magnitude 6.7 earthquake. The ersatz earthquake struck the region less than 48 hours earlier, during rush hour at 7:54 a.m. on a Tuesday.

The detailed scenario — conducted almost a decade after the magnitude 6.8 Nisqually earthquake rattled Western Washington — was crafted to include projected damage, mock TV news reports and a flurry of phone calls from other agencies, residents and journalists.

120 years of Issaquah

April 24, 2012

Click on the image to view the full-size timeline.

1892

  • Issaquah is founded as Gilman. The city is named for railroad baron Daniel Hunt Gilman.

1893

  • The postmaster called for mail sent to Gilman to be addressed to Olney, Wash., to avoid confusion between Gilman and Gilmer, another city in the state.

1895

  • Townsfolk start calling the frontier town Issaquah, or “the sound of water birds” in the language of the American Indians native to the region.

1899

  • State lawmakers approve official name change from Gilman to Issaquah.

1900

  • Wilbur W. Sylvester founds the Bank of Issaquah in a clapboard building.

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Nisqually earthquake anniversary is reminder to prepare

February 28, 2012

NEW — 8 a.m. Feb. 28, 2012

The ground shook for 45 stomach-churning seconds starting at 10:54 a.m. Feb. 28, 2001, as the last major earthquake to occur in the Puget Sound region rattled buildings and jangled nerves.

The earthquake cracked the Capitol dome in Olympia and caused widespread damage across the region, injured hundreds of people and left billions of dollars in property damage.

Tuesday marks 11 years since the Nisqually earthquake — a magnitude-6.8 temblor credited for changing attitudes about emergency preparedness in Issaquah, King County and statewide.

City leaders credited the temblor for alerting officials and residents to the importance of disaster preparedness and response. The city participates in regular disaster-response exercises, such as the regional Sound Shake drill.

Issaquah School District planners also learned lessons since the earthquake occurred.

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