• Disaster drill reminder: 'Don't call 9-1-1 if an earthquake hits'

    By: Patrick Quinn


    The city of Kirkland held a simulation Tuesday to help train its first responders should an earthquake strike.

    Officials reminded the public that during an earthquake, they should not call 911.Officials also said people should use in-place shelter and only head to the hospital if it’s an emergency.

    On Tuesday, Kirkland fire, police and public works crews tracked the hypothetical damage and reported their findings to the city’s Emergency Operations Center.

    Each crew received envelopes that indicated the damage they would find on their routes.

    In the drill, different crews were challenged with variables, such as the inability to use a phone.

    At the Emergency Operations Center, four units then turned the crews' assessments into an action plan to distribute resources.

    While the Puget Sound has not seen a serious earthquake since 2001, Captain Mark Buenting says his crews are prepared should "the big one" strike.

    “We're prepared for that,” Buenting said. “The public is well-protected and ready for these types of emergencies.”

    Should Kirkland exceed its local resources in a disaster, the city then turns to the King County Emergency Operations Center.

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