Watch or join the emergency communication hubs field exercise on April 28th!

Click here for more details about the total power outage “No Power, No Bars” emergency preparedness exercise that we mentioned briefly during our March meeting.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the West Seattle emergency communication hubs, you can learn more about them on the West Seattle Be Prepared website and see them on this map!

Hubs-postcard-2017_front

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Scam and fraud protection advice as we head into the holidays!

Prior to the Thanksgiving holiday, Crime Prevention Coordinator, Jennifer Burbridge, also sent us the following:

Dear community members, Block Watch Captains and SW Precinct community groups,

Around this time of year, around the Holiday season, we often see an increase in scam and fraud incidents. Crooks use clever schemes to defraud millions of people each year- for money and/or personal information. These crooks often combine new technology with old tricks to get what they are looking for. Subsets of the population are more vulnerable to these types of scams- but everyone can help protect themselves by keeping the following ten practical suggestions in mind, provided by the Federal Trade Commission:

  1. Spot imposters– scammers will often try to disguise themselves as someone you trust (such as a government official, family member or charitable organization). Never send money or give our personal information in response to an unexpected request.
  2. Do online searches– try typing in the company or product name into a search engine with key words like ‘review’, ‘complaint’ or ‘scam’. You can also look up phone numbers to check on their validity.
  3. Do not believe caller ID– technology makes it simple for scammers to fake a caller ID. If you receive a call asking for personal information or money, hang up. If you feel the caller is legitimate- try calling back a number, you know is genuine for that person or company.
  4. Do not pay upfront for a promise– scammers may try to ask you to pay up front for debt relief, loan offers, mortgage assistance or a job (such as handy work or lawn maintenance).
  5. Consider how you pay– most credit cards have significant fraud protection built in, while other payment methods (such as wiring money through services like Western Union or MoneyGram) do not have these protections. Government offices and honest companies will not require you to use a risky payment method, keep this in mind when paying.
  6. Talk to someone– scammers will often want you to make decisions in a hurry and may even threaten you. Before you give money or personal information, slow down, check out the story, do an online search and maybe even talk to an expert or friend about the request.
  7. Hang up on robocalls– if you answer the phone and hear a recorded sales pitch, hang up and report this to the Federal Trade Commission and/or to local police. These calls are illegal and are often fake. Do not follow prompts, just hang up.
  8. Be skeptical about free trials online– some companies will use free trials to sign you up for products and bill you each month until you cancel. Before you agree to a free trial, review the company’s cancelation policy and always check your monthly statements to review charges.
  9. Don’t deposit a check and wire money back– banks must make funds from deposited checks available within days, but discovering a fraudulent check can take weeks. If a check you deposit turns out to be fake, you are responsible for repaying the bank.
  10. Sign up for free scam alerts from the Federal Trade Commission at ftc.gov/scams– get the latest tips and advice about scams directly to your email.

For more information, or to access tips and suggestions in other languages, please visit the Federal Trade Commission’s consumer website- https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/topics/money-credit

As always, please feel free to share this information with your neighbors, friends and community groups.

Let us know if you have any questions.

Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving week!

 

Jennifer Burbridge #8048

Crime Prevention Coordinator, Southwest Precinct

Desk: (206) 256-6820, Cell: (206) 471-2849

Jennifer.Burbridge@seattle.gov

 

Info from SPD to help you safely weather this winter storm season!

Crime Prevention Coordinator, Jennifer Burbridge, also sent us the following this month:

Dear SW Precinct Community,

As we head into the winter storm season, it is crucial to learn what to do to keep you and your loved ones safe!! Each year, hundreds of Americans are injured or killed by exposure to cold, vehicle accidents on windy/wintry roads and fires cause by the improper use of heaters.

Before a winter snow storm- make sure you are prepared! Being prepared means assembling an emergency preparedness kit, creating a household evacuation plan that includes you pets and staying informed about your community’s risk and response plans. There are many different organizations that can tell you what should be in your family’s emergency preparedness kit, including the American Red Cross, West Seattle Be Prepared, and the Seattle Officer of Emergency Management. A few basic essentials for a family emergency kit include: food, water, flashlight, cell phone with charger, extra batteries, maps of the area and a first aid kit.

During a winter snow storm- do not drive unnecessarily, if you have the ability to stay home, do so. If you must drive- plan to travel during daylight if at all possible, check weather reports for any areas that you will be driving through before leaving home, keep spare an emergency kit, as well as spare blankets and coats in your trunk at all times, keep your headlights on during any situation with lowered visibility, even during the day (including fog, snow, extreme wind, and rain), turn your car’s radio to a station that will keep you updated with any news about approaching storms in the area, never use your cellphone or other devices that could be distracting while driving, alert a friend or family member when you leave home and arrive at your destination when driving in bad weather and if you begin to feel uncomfortable behind the wheel- pull over as soon as you can safely do so.

Windstorms are particularly common in the Pacific NW during this time of year; It is extremely important that every family prepares accordingly! Power outages are one of the most significant problem caused by windstorms, and much of the damage caused during these storms come from falling trees. Areas with heavy tree cover and limited street connections to the rest of the city are vulnerable to power outages and transportation problems. Before a wind storm – contact vendors to know the proper use of home generators, know what emergency plans are in place at your workplace, school and daycare center, conduct a home safety evaluation (including garage doors, windows, doors and nearby trees) and fasten down any outdoor equipment and/or move items indoors as needed. During a windstorm- don’t panic, listen to your radio for emergency instructions and turn off all natural gas appliances; if you are indoors- move away from windows and objects that could fall, go to lower floors in multi-story homes; if you are outdoors- move into a building, avoid downed powerlines, utility poles and trees; if you are driving- when you park, stop away from trees, avoid walking under overpasses, powerlines and other hazards.

For more information, please visit:

The American Red Cross: http://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies

The Seattle Officer of Emergency Management: http://www.seattle.gov/emergency-management

West Seattle Be Prepared: http://westseattlebeprepared.org/

 

I have attached this helpful newsletter, as well as a few other resources from the American Red Cross and Alert Seattle.

Please feel free to distribute this information to family and friends and let us know if you have any questions!

Stay safe!

 

Here are the attachments in .pdf format – so you can easily print them and follow the links.

Highlights from our September meeting!

WSBWCN-giant-logocurrentGreat meeting yesterday! Many thanks to those of you who participated, especially our presenters. 

SW Precinct Operations Lieutenant, Ron Smith provided detailed information on recent crime statistics – some excellent news about drastic drops in car prowls and burglaries. He also updated us about staffing of the Community Police Team, which at the moment is down to two, Officer Jon Flores and Officer Kevin McDaniel. Officer Jon Kiehn and Officer Erin Nicholson, who have both been so helpful to our group, are now working elsewhere in the department. 

Jennifer Burbridge gave an update on findings from the focus groups she conducted about the Micro-Community Policing Plans (MCPP’s). Kristin Tinsley gave a presentation about the new AlertSeattle emergency notification system.

The West Seattle Blog has published coverage of our meeting with additional details.

Our next meeting will be on the 4th Tuesday of October – October 27th – 6:30 to 8 PM. We’ll post more details as that date approaches!

Other Announcements

October 5th is the deadline to apply for the Small and Simple” Neighborhood Matching Fund grants (the mid-level grants). Small Sparks grants (the smallest grants) can be applied for at any time. You can find more info on the Department of Neighborhoods NMF website.

Surviving Disaster: Natural Hazards & Resilient Communities (UW lecture series): This free series will run on five consecutive Tuesday evenings starting October 13th. See our post on West Seattle Be Prepared for details.

Preparing for the Big One, new class offering from the Seattle Office of Emergency Management, November 4th, 5:30 – 7 PM, at SW Branch Library. They also have listed a free Earthquake Home Retrofit class on October 11th, but it’s currently showing as full. FYI, their classes are free, but most require pre-registration. You can find more details and the Seattle OEM’s full schedule of classes here.

What’s new since our last meeting? Hear about AlertSeattle, findings from the MCPP Focus Groups, and more!

WSBWCN-giant-logocurrent Join us on Tuesday, September 22nd for the first meeting after the Summer Hiatus! 

Our focus will be on what’s happened and what’s new since our last meeting in June.

Kristin Tinsley, Outreach & Training Specialist from the Office of Emergency Management, will be one of our guests. She will explain AlertSeattle, the City’s new emergency alert and notification system that launched this summer.

AlertSeattle is a free service that allows you to sign up online to receive customized alerts via text message, email, voice message, and on social media (Facebook and Twitter). Learn more about this system and how you can create customized notifications about severe weather, safety, health, utility disruptions, major traffic incidents, and more.

Jennifer Burbridge, the Research Assistant who is working with the SW Precinct on the Micro-Community Policing Plans (MCPP’s), will be back to report on the findings from the focus groups she conducted throughout our area, in which you hopefully participated.

As well, we’ll have updates from SW Precinct leadership about issues that they saw over the summer months.

Meeting schedule (come early, stay late!)

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015, 6:30-8 PM

SW Police Precinct, 2300 SW Webster Street (at Delridge Ave SW, next to Home Depot)

6:00-6:30       Arrive early for light snacks, pick up informational materials, socialize and network with each other while we set up!

6:30-7:00       Introductions, announcements, and updates about crime and issues affecting the SW Precinct.

7:00-7:15       Jennifer Burbridge: Micro-Community Policing Plan focus groups findings.

7:15-8:00       Kristin Tinsley, from the Office of Emergency Management, on AlertSeattle.

8:00-8:30      Feel free to stay after the meeting to continue your discussions.

Everyone is welcome, even if you aren’t a Block Watch Captain!  RSVP is appreciated, but not necessary to attend.  You can email us at  wsblockwatchnet@gmail.com or phone us at 206-424-0040.

Hope to see you there!

Deborah Greer and Karen Berge
West Seattle Block Watch Captains’ Network (WSBWCN)

Our October meeting focuses on preparedness resources!

October is Disaster Preparedness Month in Washington State!

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Join us on October 22nd for our monthly meeting. Our main topic is how to effectively integrate emergency preparedness into our Block Watch groups. There are many, many resources available to help you develop this important aspect of neighborhood safety!

Come learn about steps that we can take to prepare as a neighborhood and as a community. We’ll also share and discuss best practices that local agencies, organizations, neighborhoods, and cities across the nation, use and recommend. 

Individual preparedness is a critical building block for neighborhood preparedness. Did you know that there are free classes and numerous other resources that will help you and your neighbors develop the skills needed? 

We have materials from the City of Seattle (SNAP program), King County Office of Emergency Management, the Washington State Emergency Management Division and West Seattle Be Prepared that you can distribute to your neighborhoods.  Many of these are available in multiple languages!

Meeting schedule (Come early, stay late!)

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013,  6:30-8 PM

SW Police Precinct, 2300 SW Webster Street (at Delridge Ave SW, next to Home Depot)

6:00-6:30        Arrive early for light snacks, socializing and networking with each other while we set up the room.

6:30-7:00        Introductions, announcements, concerns, sharing ideas.

7:00-8:00        Emergency Preparedness for Block Watch groups!

8:00-8:30        Feel free to stay after the meeting to continue your discussions.

Everyone is welcome, even if you aren’t a Block Watch Captain!  RSVP is appreciated, but not necessary to attend.  You can email us at  wsblockwatchnet@gmail.com or phone us at 206-424-0040.

Hope to see you there!  

Arbor Heights “Emergency Reach Out” event is next Saturday, October 20th!

You may have noticed this on our October event calendar: Arbor Heights Elementary (3701 S.W. 104th Street) is hosting its first-ever “Emergency Reach Out” event next Saturday, October 20th! This free event is open to everyone; you do not need to live in Arbor Heights to attend. It runs from 10 AM until 2 PM, but you can attend all or just the portions that interest you.

We’ll be participating, along with other community organizations such as American Red Cross, Cool Moms, Make It Through, Seattle Animal Shelter, Seattle Fire Department, Seattle Neighborhoods Actively Prepare (SNAP), Seattle Police Department’s Living Room Conversations, Seattle Public Utilities, West Seattle Blog, West Seattle Be Prepared, and the YMCA.

Our presentation starts at 10:30 AM and we hope to see you there! If you need an incentive, note that they are providing free lattes and a pastry cart from 10 to noon.

The event flyer and the complete schedule of presentations are below; please help pass the word by passing them along to your friends, neighbors and co-workers!

Arbor Heights "Emergency Reach Out" event, October 2012, event flyer

 

The full schedule of presentations is as follows:

10:00 – 10:30 West Seattle Be Prepared

10:30 – 10:45 West Seattle Block Watch Captains’ Network and Seattle Public Utilities

10:45 – 11:00 Break

11:00 – 12:00 SNAP (Seattle Neighborhoods Activily Prepare)

Noon – 12:30 Break

12:30 – 1:15 Red Cross

1:15 – 1:35 Seattle Animal Shelter

1:35 – 2:00 Seattle Fire Department

As noted above, FREE Latte and Pastry Cart from 10:00 to Noon. Snacks and grill items are available for purchase from BigFood Trucks. Amazing Raffle Prizes and Gifts for attendees!