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Winter Solstice Storm 2010: Tabletop Exercise Nov. 17th, 2010, 12:00 to 1:30 pm Chinook Building, Rooms 1311 & 1312 Facilitator: Meredith Li-Vollmer
Exercise Participants • Chief of Staff • Communications Section • Policy Community Partnerships Communications Unit • Preparedness Section • Division Management • Human Resources • Contracts, Procurement & Real Estate Services
Exercise Agenda • Exercise briefing (10 minutes) • Review current employee communication protocols (10 minutes) • Talk through a scenario and the actions it triggers (60 minutes) • Debrief (10 minutes)
Exercise Objectives • Determine effectiveness of current protocols for communicating with staff before and during a severe storm. • Clarify the roles of players in producing clear and consistent employee communications. • Increase players’ awareness of uses and limitations of department’s employee texting program, twitter and facebook feeds. • Determine triggers, sequence and timeline for employee communication actions needed during a severe storm.
Exercise Ground Rules • Accept the scenario • Assume current policies, capabilities, and resources • Don’t try to solve problems here – identify what works and where we have gaps • Issues will be documented in a report and assigned for follow up and resolution
Before event – alerting staff, reminding them where to get information - Employee hotline - Public health website - Email - Texting pilot Coordinating with Exec for message consistency Division + manager-level communications Departmental employee communication – key components
Exercise Scenario, part 1 • Dateline: Seattle - Monday, December 20, 2010, 1200 • Public Health learns that a Pacific system will make landfall tomorrow, bringing the winter’s first snow showers. Snow is expected to begin early tomorrow afternoon on the coast and move inland, with snow reaching the Puget Sound lowlands between 4 and 7 PM. • Western Washington is experiencing unseasonably low temperatures, with many areas in the teens. • Schools are on winter break.
Exercise Scenario, part 2 • Dateline: Seattle - Tuesday 12/21 1300 • Snow arrives earlier than predicted in downtown Seattle, with the first flakes seen around 1pm. The small dry crystals accumulate rapidly. The snow is heavier in south King County; no snow is falling on the Eastside. • Traffic becomes gridlocked as workers leave early to depart for home. • By late afternoon, buses have difficulty traversing hilly routes and service to some areas of the county is diminished. Passengers on some routes are waiting up to two hours for a bus. • Snow is heavier at Renton Public Health Center than at most other Public Health sites, and employees there are asking permission to leave early.
Exercise Scenario, part 3 • Dateline: Seattle - Weds 12/22 to Thursday 12/23 • Public health operations limped along Wednesday. All sites remained open and critical services were delivered. Though many employees did not report to work, demand for our services was fairly low. • Around dinnertime Weds, strong winds develop and much of King County experiences strong easterly winds with sustained speeds of 35-45 mph and gusts of 60-70 mph. • The Public Health Duty Officer receives a call from Seattle City Light notifying us that White Center Public Health Center has lost power. • By early Thursday morning when the snow finally stops, roughly 8” of snow blankets the greater Seattle area. Temperatures are forecasted to remain in the teens until Christmas, then rise above freezing over the weekend.
Be prepared to take care of yourself and those around youfor at least three days. Store food, water, medicine, and other emergency supplies at home and in the car. Create and follow a weatherization/risk management plan for your home or property to minimize storm impacts Make a family communication plan Know where to go for information about weather warnings, road closures, utility service Ensure PHSKC has your up-to-date home contact information Have a plan for getting to work during inclement weather Are You Ready for Winter Weather? Courtesy of takewinterbystorm.org
Debrief • What went well • What needs improvement • Next steps • Questions • Final Thoughts