Recent response to storms prompt change in Seattle's emergency management services
| 03.01.2007 | 07:48:32 | Views: 3491 | ID:
March 1 '07: Seattle's Mayor Greg Nickels announced recently that there would changes to his city's emergency management and response systems after recent storms hit causing power outages and widespread damage, the Seattle Post Intelligencer reported.
Nickels' proposal will target emergency the creation of a 311 information hotline, managing power grid failure, holding annual response training exercises, and emergency generators in the city's fire stations.According to the Post Intelligencer, Nickels praised the response to the December 14 wind and rains storms saying, "I am very proud of the response of our city employees. Many people worked around the clock under extreme circumstances. ... But events like this give us a wake-up call and an opportunity to improve our response and to emergencies and disasters." December's storm caused more than $15.5 million in damages, officials told the Post Intelligencer. More than 200 businesses have filed for damage claims. Meanwhile, city officials will hold a special committee "to examine the city's emergency response to the storm." Barb Graff, the emergency response director for the city told the Post Intelligencer, "Many of the lessons about coping with power outages and the need to coordinate and more broadly disseminate information are certainly quite applicable." Graff said the creation of a 311 services phone line was essential. During the storm, residents flooded the 911 call center with questions about when power would be restored - such calls were "embarrassing" she said.
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