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City of Seattle
Ed Murray, Mayor

SUBJECT: City of Seattle to conduct emergency shelter exercise

10/12/2012  10:49:00 AM
Christina Hirsch  (206) 684-7241

City of Seattle to conduct emergency shelter exercise
Exercise includes first-time-ever pet sheltering

Seattle Parks and Recreation, Seattle Human Services Department and the Seattle Animal Shelter will conduct an emergency shelter exercise on Tuesday, Oct. 16, from 9:30 a.m. – 1:15 p.m. at Yesler Community Center, 917 E Yesler Way.

As part of the City’s ongoing preparedness for disaster events, these departments, along with Public Health – Seattle & King County’s Medical Reserve Corps, are integrating their plans to activate a human shelter. Community members will test the shelter, including those with the Seattle Commission for People with Disabilities. And for the first time ever, there will also be a pet sheltering site.

This exercise will include the unveiling of the City’s Pet Emergency Trailer-Seattle (PETS) unit. This unit, funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, contains supplies to accommodate 40 animals in a shelter. 

Photo Opportunity: Players will be setting up cots, testing the shelter for people with a variety of access and functional needs, and bringing pets for sheltering at the event.  The PETS unit will also be on-site for photo opportunities. The best time to arrive for the photo opportunity is between 10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

“Pet sheltering has not previously been part of the services we could provide residents in the case of an emergency,” said Don Jordan, director of the Seattle Animal Shelter. “As we know from Hurricane Katrina, pets are part of the family and should be cared for as such.”

The Full Scale Integrated Shelter Exercise follows the guidelines of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and allows players to practice emergency response plans, policies and procedures for sheltering humans and pets.

The purpose of the exercise is to put employees and players in as a real a situation as possible to test how well prepared the City is for an emergency event that would displace people and pets. City of Seattle employees receive ongoing emergency management training, and this exercise will give them a chance to use those skills. At the end of the training, the participants and exercise team will evaluate what worked, what didn’t, and how to improve in case of a real emergency.

Partners in this exercise include Public Health – Seattle & King County, Seattle Commission for People with Disabilities, American Red Cross of King and Kitsap Counties and the Hearing, Speech and Deafness Center. American Sign Language interpretation will be provided.

The City of Seattle has several emergency preparedness programs, including SNAP -- or Seattle Neighborhoods Actively Prepare. It is the City's program to assist residents in their efforts to Get Ready, Get Connected and Get Strong for any potential emergency.  To learn more how to get you and your family prepared in case of a disaster, visit the Office of Emergency Management’s Personal Preparedness web page.

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Seattle Parks and Recreation

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