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When the Earth Starts Shaking in Kirkland

I'm sure many of you read The New Yorker article from July 20th, outlining every detail of the impending doom Seattle will inevitably face when "the big one" comes.  It outlines, in excruciating detail, a sizable earthquake where the Cascadia subduction zone will unleash a path of destruction on us. It is said to have a 1 in 3 chance of happening in the next 50 years.  You can't help but read the text and sink down in your chair as you realize it is not a fictional story you are reading, but a prediction and a forewarning.  

So I'm not here to scare the holy hell out of you.  But I did scamper off and chat with some folks I know in emergency management and they nod in agreement and commend the author's thorough research. A 'friend of-a-friend' up the chain in FEMA in DC confirmed that the article is indeed on scale with the budgeting and planning that has been done for this area for when, not 'if', an expected event consistent with that description occurs. SH#%$&*.  I don't think we have to move eastward, but I do think this is a wake-up call for us to all get ourselves, our families, our streets, our neighborhoods and our community PREPARED.  I asked Pattijean Hooper, our City of Kirkland Emergency Manager, what she thought of the article and recent publicity around it.  She quipped, "It's as if you were 7 months pregnant and people are just now noticing."  So, it seems that we should start decorating our metaphorical nursery, perhaps?

Whether it's a quake, or a volcanic eruption or some other emergent event,  I like to think our household is relatively prepared.  There are tips all over the web and Red Cross site of course, but I'll share a few of things that we do/have in our household in case you're curious. It might be a good-starting point if you haven't given this much thought but want to get started.

This is not in a bunker, I promise:

- we have a plan.  My kids know where they are supposed to go (within our house or our street). We sometimes chat about where we'd seek shelter in various situations.

-shoes near our beds (for when glass breaks)

-water and gas shutoff tools (near the shutoffs)

-flashlights and whistles in each bedroom (also some hardhats, might be overkill but kids think it's fun)

-hand-crank radio, first aid kits, gloves, extra food/water supplies, Lifestraws, fire extinguishers, rope, hand-warmers, survival blankets, waterproof matches, maps, things to do, batteries, medications

-bonus points: goggles and face masks

-Emergency packs in our cars and workplace (purchased from www.preparesmart.com)

-Museum Wax- bought it but haven't done anything w/it yet.  To keep fragile stuff from falling out of cabinets/shelves

-We also did an emergency plan with our street, called Map Your Neighborhood.  Do it, you'll sleep better.  It's cool to see everyone come together and devise a strategy.  Our street knows who lives where, where our meeting spot is, who is likely to need help (elderly, little kids), and what each household has to contribute (generators, tools, medical or electrical skills, or even a wine cellar to pass the time). We have this documented on PAPER for every household (b/c our computers won't work then). And the reality?   PD/FD will be too busy solving bigger problems so be able to sustain yourselves.

-Check your insurance (earthquake is a separate policy). Make sure it's current.  We just did a remodel so I had to up ours a bit.

-have paper docs of what you might need to run out the door with- acct numbers, policy #'s, phone numbers

-Take photos of everything you have. I took 500 photos in my house. Walk through each room, photograph what is in each drawer.  You won't remember what you had later, when insurance asks you how many Barbie dolls or pairs of socks they need to replace for you.  Put it on the cloud or a thumb drive in your safe deposit box or with an out of town relative. Some insurance co's have a digital locker you can use.

Payphone <---(payphones still exist and are a land line in an emergency. And I got to sneak Adam Levine into this post. Dreamy)

-Have an emergency contact that is your out of state point person.  That's who you (and all in your family that may not be together at said disastrous moment) call to let them know you are ok.  When the time comes, out of state calls will work better than local. Texts will pile up but might be ok.  Or find a landline (not connected to your internet)- yes there are a few payphones still in existence. 

-You'd be the teacher's pet if you Sign up for CERT (Community Emergency Response Team). Classes fill quickly. 

Ok, so to be clear.  DO NOT come to my house in an emergency. Get yourself ready. Lots of great info on our city's website here.  When I met with Pattijean I was trying to pick her brain for what an event such as the one described in the NY Post article  would mean specifically for Kirkland.  Where are we vulnerable? What bridges/roadways do we think might collapse? How are our people trained to respond? Would a tsunami reach Lake WA?  She does not have a crystal ball so none of these answers are clear because we just don't know what the actual situation will be until it presents itself. But here are some useful nuggets I walked away with:

-Seiche.  I learned a new word that day (pronounced say-sh). It's a 'standing wave oscillating in a body of water.'  So, NO giant tsunami-sized wave will make it to Kirkland, but the lake make slosh around a bit.  Sort of like tripping with a cup of coffee in your hand and that's no fun.

-I was comforted by the fact that there is an enormous document that details protocols for a Plan A, B, and C at every level of our government and relevant organizations in the response and recovery process. There are people that have carefully thought through the hows and where's and which places are accessible by boat or by plane and where greatest concentrations of people and vulnerabilities and resources will be required. Where to stage things, how the National Guard gets engaged, etc etc. Don't freak, just rest assured, they are doing their part. 

-In June of 2016 in Kirkland and all over WA emergency services from all of the state "play" the plan they have in place.  It's not just a document, they practice the plan and learn from it. Smart.

-Best part- NEED YOUR HELP! Once you have yourself ready, it's time to think outward to your community.  Pattijean is setting up "Stone Soup Centers," and is looking for more locations. Stone Soup is the title of an old folk story where a community comes together by each putting one small item in a pot, to make a large amount of soup to sustain them all.  So far, Inglewood Presbyterian Church and NW University are Stone Soup Centers.  It is a place that will house a generator (supplied by a grant thru the city), and safety/First Aid supplies and would be willing to serve as 'charging station' for those in need during an emergency.  It's not instead of having your home ready (don't expect food and water), but a safe place to go and come together with other community members. Each one has committed volunteers to run it with the help of the city.  Ultimately, we should have a Stone Soup Center in every neighborhood.  So we've got a way to go. Can your business, church, local organization be a Stone Soup Center? Email Pattijean Hooper at pjhooper@kirklandwa.gov  to find out more about the program.

Hopefully you are not booking a one way ticket to NYC or building a bunker right now.  Talking to your family and neighbors about your plan and maybe adding a few items to your emergency prep items to your purchase list each week isn't a bad idea though.  ~j


Things that are New

CKC Logo with Swoosh
Cross Kirkland Corridor
Community Celebration- say that three times fast!  Monday 8/31 4:30-6:30pm and park at Google (451 7th Ave South, pkg level 1).  There's about $3M worth of new tricked out stuff for the public on the CKC.  Come check out the wide concrete portion of the trail, a fitness area, basketball and volleyball courts, a  playground, and zip line. Event info: kirklandwa.gov/crosskirklandcorridor or this Facebook page

Do you want to help build a Learning Garden at McAuliffe Park?  The Kirkland Parks Foundation and Seattle Tilth are making it happen! Give a hand here

Sponge Opens in Houghton Village (10600 Ne 68th St)- Sponge is an award-winning language program that is having a free Grand Opening event on Sat 8/29  and Sun 8/30 from 1-5pm.  You will be taken all over teh glove with cultural crafts, tasty treats and mini-classes in Spanish, Mandarin, French, Japanese and German.  Sign up for a free mini-session here. You can also call 206-227-7138 or email info@spongeschool.com 

425 Collective- This fall Northwest University will be launching a business incubator/co-working space for innovative people to create, connect and cultivate. There will be start-ups, existing businesses and experts, coaches and consultants. 425 Collective will be not only creating community for these groups but formatting educational events and workshops.  Members can rent office space or a desk.  Contact teresa.gillespie@northwestu.edu for more info.

FlexPassmockup93(<---who's the rocket scientist behind this? )
Good to Go
wants to know.. Do you have your new Flex Pass for the 405?  Cause that's a fun freeway to crawl on.  It sounds like they might have this whole tolling the 405 bit figured out by Sept.  I'm not holding my breath.  But just in case, here's the way I understand it-- if you want to drive in the HOV lane EVER on the 405 you're going to need a Flex Pass.  It's not the same pass you use for the 520 already, but the new Flex pass works for both highways.  And since this is part of my after-school carpool mayhem, I have just purchased one for $15.  If I have more than 2 (or 3 depending on WHEN) people in my car, I can HOV lane for free.  Because I can remember to manually slide some little bar on my Flexpass while driving, verbally doing homework w/whining kids in back seat while answering a phone call and scarfing down a protein bar.  No problem.  Got it.  Thanks D.O.T.  Can't wait to see how driving improves for little old people like my mom too.  Hold on to your seat-belts, people.



Chiefless in Kirkland

ChiefOlsonretirement (1)
I had lunch with Eric Olsen last week, for old time's sake, since we haven't done that since he was first appointed as Kirkland's Chief of Police back in 2007, and he has announced his retirement at the end of Sept.  Where does the time go?! It made me chuckle...you know we're both Kirkland people when we sit down at Cactus and neither of us needs to open our menu.  And then we order the same thing (steak salad, of course!). 

Chief Olsen's presence is one that is calm, confident and approachable. He's a people person, who tells lots of great stories about his family (the triplets are grown now!) and his officers and leadership that he has great respect for.   Eric appreciates this very special community and the support the police department receives, which as we know, is not the case everywhere.  After 33 years in public safety, he assures us that he is leaving us at point where everything is running smoothly and will be left in good hands. It will be the City Manager's job to decide on our new Police Chief with input from Council and members of the PD.  They may promote from within or conduct a search. 

On Olsen's watch, we have gotten through annexation and therefore a significant growth of our police force. We have 100 officers now.  The PD also moved to the new building which has its own lead-free range and a fully restored 1948 police car in the lobby.  Chief Olsen's proud that they are fully staffed with very low turnover (b/c who would want to leave Kirkland?).  He worked hard on making changes to officers' shifts--going from 12 to 10 hours so they can have a better quality of life. 

ChiefOlsonretirement (3)
So, what's next for Chief Olsen? He will be in charge of sales/customer service in the Northwest for Zetron out of Totem Lake that does communication systems for public safety.  Thank you for your service, Chief, it's been a good run.  Kirkland appreciates all of your hard work.  And why not end with a selfie?

And also apparently an announcement that our Fire Chief, Kevin Nalder, has resigned. 

Healthy Bonez- Drink Your Juice!


I know you've driven by the Healthy Bonez cold-pressed juice truck in The Market St parking lot at 1720 Market Street and wondered, "when is the Kirkland Blog going to try this  place for me?" 

Well, it's today my friends.  Imagine this....  just back in town.  Hot/cranky/starving kids and running late to an appointment with only 5 minutes to spare.   Aversion to junk food and need some nourishment FAST.  Let's just say it was quite the bonus to stop in at this raw juice bar food truck and meet Shandy.  I smile just thinking of her.  And she's a Juanita chick! After just a week and  half in her space she appears to have a following of steady customers that pop into her window with questions and special juice requests.  She and her husband Collin (who built the super cute deck and adorable setting outside the window) make cold-pressed juices in rented kitchen space at The Market St. restaurant and package them for sale.  Cold pressing juice is really popular right now for it's fresh taste and ability to retain much of the vitamins, minerals, enzymes and nutrients from the fruit/veggies.  They make smoothies and bowls in the truck on-the-spot.  

HealthyBonez (1)  HealthyBonez (2)

What is a bowl?  (photo) At Higher Leaf this could be something much different, but here it is a quart-sized to-go container filled with acai, smoothie, granola, blueberry, pineapple, strawberry, banana, coconut flakes, hemp seed and honey drizzle.  OOOhhhhh yeah.  So good and too big for one person in one sitting- share one with your sweetie for sure. Riley and I got one with two spoons and fought over bites til the bottom.  You can also find shots of wheatgrass or ginger to cleanse the soul.  And the menu is ever-changing based on what is fresh and available.  In case you want this delicious awesomeness delivered to you, luck is on your side.  Delivery is available currently in Kirkland and Bellevue.  I'm looking forward to trying more of the juices, so far I have tried the activated charcoal lemonade (traps chemicals and prevents their absorption..see ya later hangover!) and it was sweet and delightfully fresh.  Go stop by and say hi to Shandy and try a fresh and healthy liquid snack. Let us know which flavor is your fave!  Hours are M-F 8-4, Sat 10-4.

Oh- and last shout-out for Summerfest this weekend! They still need some more volunteers if you can lend a hand, it's never too late.