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Safety, Security and Disaster Preparedness

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Are You Prepared?

On March 11, 2011, Japan had a regional disaster with a triple punch; an earthquake, tsunami, and damage to nuclear power plants. The video images wer~ horrifying. For more than a year, the Board has been encouraging homeowners to become disaster readiness trained
so that we can build and strengthen disaster readiness in our community. With all that's happened in Japan in recent weeks, there couldn't be a better time to talk about building our disaster readiness at Tall Firs.

One of the most important things for you to know is that in a large, regional disaster the most immediate source of help will be the neighbors living around you - not the Police Department, not the Fire Department, and not 9-1-1. Depending on the magnitude of the disaster, the Federal Way Emergency Management Office tells us it may take well beyond a week before services and supplies are restored.

Let's explore two different regional disaster scenarios:

  • Scenario 1: If you were working in Seattle and couldn't get home, wouldn't you want to know that we were community organized and someone would be checking on your children if they were home alone after school?
  • Scenario 2: We have a number of single people living in our community. If you are one of those single people, wouldn't it reassure you to know that someone would
    be checking to make sure you were safe and not injured or buried under debris?

The Seismology Laboratory at the University of Washington has reported that our area will, one day, have a 9.0 earthquake. We just don't know when. We live on the Cascadia Fault Line - which extends from Vancouver Island to northern California. We are also adjacent to two off shore plates (the Pacific Plate and Juan de Fuca Plate), as well as the continental North American Plate. The fault zone off our shore is actually larger than the one that is off Japan. The last large earthquake in the Pacific Northwest was in the 1700s, and it caused a tsunami in Japan. We are OVERDUE for another, equally large earthquake.

What would it take, you ask, to be disaster readiness trained in our community, and to be a Neighborhood Emergency Team (NET) volunteer? Not a lot actually. It's more a matter of getting organized!

It would mean that every 3-4 buildings would have 1 or 2 NET trained volunteers to organize their community BEFORE a disaster occurs.

  • A neighborhood of each 3-4 buildings would be mapped, with a contact established for each unit in those buildings.
  • A gathering place would be identified so that all neighbors could be accounted for.
  • A neighborhood care site would be identified. It would be a place where children, the elderly and those with disabilities could be brought so they are not alone and where they can be given care.
  • An inventory of neighborhood skills would be identified - such as first aid, child care, elder care, search and rescue, trade skills (including plumbers/carpenters/electricians), fire fighting, and crisis counseling.
  • An inventory of equipment, and its location, would be identified -
    such as first aid .supplies, generators, chain saws, tents/bedding, camp stoves, walkie-talkies, ladders, fire extinguishers.

So we are again asking you to get involved and be NET trained so that you could organize 3-4 buildings.

Three of our Board Members have already been NET trained by the City of Federal Way. The three of us could not, however, be responsible for every building in the event of a disaster. What we can do, though, is train and teach you how to organize a team to be responsible for 3-4
buildings. The premise of Federal Way's NET Training program is to train a trainer - who can then train others in their community.

Please let Coleen Adams or Phyllis Hilt know if you are willing to become a NET volunteer and serve your community if disaster strikes. Coleen's number is 653-6571. Phyllis' number is 253-235-5084. We can also be reached through the Tall Firs website.

The alternative to being disaster trained, disaster prepared, and disaster ready - is to be entirely on your own.

Think about it. We all deserve better!

3 Days 3 Ways - Disasters Happen. Are You Ready?
This program is brought to you by King County, Washington - Click Here for More

Get ready now. Be prepared to survive for at least 3 days after a disaster. The chances are high that a catastrophe could happen in the Northwest.

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) - Disaster Preparedness
Are You Ready? An In-Depth Guide to Citizen Preparedness - Click Here for More

Are You Ready? provides a step-by-step approach to disaster preparedness by walking the reader through how to get informed about local emergency plans, how to identify hazards that affect their local area, and how to develop and maintain an emergency communications plan and disaster supplies kit. Other topics covered include evacuation, emergency public shelters, animals in disaster, and information specific to people with disabilities.

Crime Prevention Tips to Safeguard Your Home from Burglary
Tips provided by the City of Federal Way - Click Here for More



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