Prepare for national Emergency Alert System test

November 8, 2011

City leaders reminded Issaquah residents to prepare for a national Emergency Alert System test.

The test, scheduled for 11 a.m. Nov. 9, is a chance for the Federal Emergency Management Agency to try out the Emergency Alert System, a national alert and warning system for the president to address the American public during emergencies.

The test is meant to help federal agencies and local participants, such as Issaquah and King County, determine the reliability of the system and how well such messages notify the public during disasters, such as earthquakes.

During the test, a message indicating, “This is a test” is broadcast on radio and television. The test could last up to three and a half minutes, and could include a typed message on the TV screen.

The practice run includes local radio and television stations, cable television, and satellite radio and television services.

Officials said the test is similar to Emergency Alert System tests conducted in the area on a regular basis.

Issaquah emergency planners used the test to remind people to establish emergency preparedness plans and kits. Learn more at King County’s 3 Days 3 Ways program website, www.3days3ways.org, and the federal preparedness website, www.ready.gov.

Prepare for national Emergency Alert System test

November 3, 2011

NEW — 6 a.m. Nov. 3, 2011

City leaders reminded Issaquah residents to prepare for a national Emergency Alert System test.

The test, scheduled for 11 a.m. Nov. 9, is a chance for the Federal Emergency Management Agency to try out the Emergency Alert System, a national alert and warning system for the president to address the American public during emergencies.

The test is meant to help federal agencies and local participants, such as Issaquah and King County, determine the reliability of the system and how well such messages notify the public during local disasters, such as earthquakes.

During the test, a message indicating “This is a test” is broadcast on radio and television. The test could last up to three-and-a-half minutes, and could include a typed message on the TV screen.

The practice run includes local radio and television stations, cable television, satellite radio and television services, and wireline video service providers.

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Seeking local ties to devastating Turkey earthquake

October 25, 2011

NEW — 11 a.m. Oct. 25, 2011

Rescuers continue to search for people trapped amid rubble after a strong earthquake rattled Turkey on Oct. 23.

The magnitude-7.2 earthquake is the most powerful to hit Turkey in more than a decade and, so far, has claimed almost 300 lives. The temblor struck a remote region near the Iranian border.

The Issaquah Press seeks Issaquah School District residents connected to the earthquake or involved in relief efforts.

Email your contact information to reporter Warren Kagarise at wkagarise@isspress.com, or contact the paper on Twitter or Facebook by noon Friday.

Turkey received aid offers from dozens of nations around the globe, but so far has not accepted international aid.

Turkish Red Crescent is among the largest disaster response organizations in Europe. The organization is prepared to respond to large earthquakes. Officials at the American Red Cross and local international relief organizations, including Medical Teams International, continue to monitor the situation, in case Turkey requests assistance.

Minor earthquake shakes areas south of Issaquah

September 27, 2011

Seismologists recorded a magnitude-3.2 earthquake south of Issaquah last week, but the minor tremor did not cause any damage or injuries.

University of Washington seismologists said the minor earthquake occurred at 1:22 p.m. Sept. 22. Scientists pegged the earthquake’s epicenter near Lake Desire in rural King County, about eight miles southwest of downtown Issaquah.

King County Sheriff’s Office deputies did not respond to any calls related to earthquake-related problems or damage, spokesman Sgt. John Urquhart said.

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Minor earthquake shakes communities south of Issaquah

September 22, 2011

NEW — 4:15 p.m. Sept. 22, 2011

Seismologists recorded a magnitude-3.2 earthquake south of Issaquah early Thursday afternoon.

University of Washington seismologists said the minor earthquake occurred at 1:22 p.m. Scientists pegged the earthquake’s epicenter near Lake Desire in rural King County, about eight miles southwest of downtown Issaquah.

King County Sheriff’s Office deputies did not respond to any calls related to earthquake damage, agency spokesman Sgt. John Urquhart said.

Seismologists at the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network, based at the UW, said the temblor occurred about 15 miles beneath the surface.

The seismic activity came a month after seismologists recorded a minor earthquake beneath Mirrormont on Tiger Mountain.

Such small earthquakes occur often, and do not indicate another, larger quake is imminent.

City, King County changed disaster preparedeness since 9/11 attacks

September 13, 2011

The decade since 9/11 has reshaped how Issaquah and King County leaders prepare for disasters and manage the response to emergencies.

The attacks also meant increased attention — and dollars — for emergency management efforts, although local officials said the initial focus on counterterrorism sidelined plans about other dangers, such as floods and earthquakes.

“All of the sudden there was a big focus on emergency management in general. That was good news from an emergency management perspective,” said Bret Heath, city public works operations and emergency management director. “The bad news is that it shifted from all hazards to almost strictly terrorism immediately following 9/11.”

Issaquah planners focused on more common emergencies — floods, snowstorms, windstorms and the like — in the years before the attacks.

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King County reminds locals to prepare after Vancouver Island earthquake

September 9, 2011

NEW — 2:10 p.m. Sept. 9, 2011

Many King County and West Coast residents felt the earth tremble Friday afternoon as a magnitude-6.4 earthquake occurred off Vancouver Island.

The tremor struck at 12:41 p.m. at about 14 miles beneath the surface. The earthquake occurred about 170 miles west of Vancouver. Residents as far south as Seattle reported feeling the tremor.

King County Executive Dow Constantine used the earthquake as a reminder for local residents to prepare.

“Over the past 10 years, in concert with our regional partners, we have worked to build a whole-community approach to disaster planning, response and recovery,” he said in a statement. “Strong communities begin with each of us making a personal commitment to prepare, and then reaching out to our neighbors to build the networks that will be crucial when disaster strikes.”

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National Preparedness Month includes earthquake drill

August 30, 2011

September is National Preparedness Month, and Washington officials plan a statewide earthquake drill to help residents prepare for a natural disaster.

The statewide drop, cover and hold earthquake drill is at 10:15 a.m. Sept. 21. The monthly test of the Emergency Alert System marks the start of the drill.

“Citizens, companies and government agencies should review their individual preparedness plans, contact information and emergency kits, and need to prepare themselves to be self-sufficient for a minimum of three days following an act of terrorism, natural or manmade disasters,” Gov. Chris Gregoire said in a special proclamation.

Sept. 21 also includes a Tsunami Warning Communication System test in coastal Clallam, Jefferson, Grays Harbor and Pacific counties.

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National Preparedness Month includes earthquake drill

August 29, 2011

NEW — 6 a.m. Aug. 29, 2011

September is National Preparedness Month, and Washington officials plan a statewide earthquake drill to help residents prepare for a natural disaster.

The statewide drop, cover and hold earthquake drill is 10:15 a.m. Sept. 21. The monthly test of the Emergency Alert System marks the start of the drill.

“Citizens, companies and government agencies should review their individual preparedness plans, contact information, and emergency kits and need to prepare themselves to be self-sufficient for a minimum of three days following an act of terrorism, natural or manmade disasters,” Gov. Chris Gregoire said in a special proclamation.

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Minor 2.8 earthquake rattles Tiger Mountain neighborhood

August 23, 2011

The ground beneath Tiger Mountain rumbled early Aug. 18, as a minor earthquake rattled the Mirrormont neighborhood.

Seismologists recorded a magnitude-2.8 earthquake just before 1 a.m. about a mile beneath the surface.

Such small earthquakes occur often. Washington experiences more than 1,000 tremors each year, although most temblors do not cause damage or even receive much notice from residents.

“Whenever there’s an earthquake it slightly raises the odds that we’ll see more earthquakes,” said John Vidale, Pacific Northwest Seismic Network director and a University of Washington seismologist. “We’re not exactly sure if that’s because earthquakes are a sign of things going on or if that’s because the earthquakes trigger other earthquakes.”

The initial report from the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network, based at the UW, pegged the Mirrormont temblor as magnitude 2.3 and deeper in the earth. The magnitude is a measure of earthquake size calculated from ground motion.

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