New group forming to make sure Capitol Hill stays safe during emergencies

Last year’s snow flurry taught us that the city isn’t always prepared for or equipped to deal with a natural disaster.

Angela Wallis, a Capitol Hill resident, wants to help her neighbors be prepared in case of any emergency.

She’s putting together a group called the Capitol Hill Preparedness People! (CHiPP!), open to anyone interested in educating themselves on how to respond to large or small scale disasters. Scenarios include snow storms, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, tsunamis and terrorist attacks.

Angela has done her homework. She completed 30 hours of emergency preparedness training through the Community Emergency Response Training (CERT), which included a 3 hour mock disaster drill. Then, she completed the 6-hour “Seattle Neighborhoods Actively Prepare” training on utility shut-off and fire suppression, provided by City of Seattle. She is trained in search and rescue, personal preparedness, disaster medical operations, fire suppression and disaster psychology. She also serves on the Sustainable Capitol Hill planning committee.

Angela doesn’t have a date set for the first community meeting, but is planning to host one in January.

“My goal is to have at least 30 neighbors actively involved in preparing themselves and their families with 3-day emergency kits,” said Angela. “It is also my goal that the 30 of us form response teams. These teams will be “assigned” different duties in the case of an emergency. [Roles will include] search and rescue, medical assist, utility shut-off [and others].”

Emergency kits should include all necessities for 3 days, including food, water, clothing, toiletries, medication and pet care items for every member of the household.

“This is all about making our neighborhood feel powerful in the face of difficult situations,” said Angela. “We’re a young, vibrant, largely educated community and are very capable of doing some preparation to keep us safe and healthy when things get rough.”

You can email Angela at for more information and follow her on Twitter @amwallis .

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13 thoughts on “New group forming to make sure Capitol Hill stays safe during emergencies

  1. The first issue in major catastrophic emergency which prevails, the protection of property or assisting the lives at risk.

    Cops in New Orleans pointed guns at kids who were searching for food and shoes and some clothes. There were warehouses full of dry and all OK supplies never cracked open for the masses in dire need. BBC went inside and filmed to show the weird situation, where, people were starving, with nothing at all left – and were treated like animals by the cops and the city establishment.

    Also, remember it was sheriffs in the next county that fired on people trying to leave the city by the one good bridge, Yep, big help they were. A Federal judge and 10 federal marshals could have ended that bull shit in one hour.

    Houston is about 3 million people, untouched by the hurricane, vast resources of any kind, never called into the emergency on any large scale action…. is that a puzzle or what? ( a few hours away )

    I fear in any American city we would see most of the same shameful antics by those who are supposed to function well in crises.

    Oh remember, young black males, sent to scrounge by surviving family, trying to get survival supplies for the dying and injured and totally destitute family were called looters….. remember.

    Dead bodies everywhere. Fleet of police boats never used for anything, six days for the army to come to the rescue, I can hardly relive the shame of America without more tears.

    Why mid the BIG quake, half of Seattle in ruins, hundreds of dead and dying, roads covered with debris, power out, why would it be any different. The mindset is the problem. And no ability to really deal with hard core crises, just minor stuff like tree limbs in the storm.

    And who would call the shots here, juristicton issues and who pays the bills issues, the mayor of Burien in charge? Who?

    Yep, I will join this conversation … many questions not answered. Three cheers for Angela.


  2. Capitol Hill Preparedness People (CHiPP): this acronym is very similar to that for the original name for “Capitol Hill Housing”, which was called Capitol Hill Housing Improvement Program (CHHIP, always pronounced “chip”). Many of us oldies still call it CHHIP, partly because “Capitol Hill Housing” sounds too generic.

    I suggest that Capitol Hill Preparedness People find a name with a clearly distinct acronym, to avoid any possible confusion. An acronym which itself embodies preparedness would be even better.

    Respectfully (and with many thanks for starting this group)
    Andrew Taylor

  3. I can’t wait for updates, kudos for taking charge, I will be spreading the word to my neighbors…looking forward to being a part of this.

  4. maybe we can teach lazy-ass, cheap Capitol Hill property owners how to shovel the fucking sidewalks so they don’t become treacherous icey obstacle courses for the the three weeks it takes them to melt…

  5. So what does some show shoveling have to to with real emergency needs? Something akin to Katrina?

    It seems there are many cases of lingering snow obsession…. last year was a freakish snow year, and aside from cabin fever, tree limbs falling and media hype … was it a real crises?

  6. Capitol Hill Preparedness, Safety & Involvment Nerds = CHiPS IN

    Crisis Resistance Union of Cap Hill? Crutches are sorta disaster/saefty related…

    So long as you don’t call it: “Bring It, Tsunamis!”- Capitol Hill

  7. for arguments sake:
    the tour buses hanging over I-5 were in the ‘crisis’ column even if grumpy inconvenienced queens/cap hillers were not.

  8. Thanks to everybody for their comments.

    Please Tweet and Facebook this article, and contact me to get involved. This project is all about YOU, and what YOU make of it!

  9. At the very least, send the police around (if their cruisers can navigate the streets) to ticket property owners who don’t clear their walks like they should. Give the city a little extra money in this time of need.

  10. Welcome to the work of preparedness!

    We have been very active here in West Seattle. We have also coordinated our efforts with Magnolia, Inter bay, Queen Anne, Wallingford and soon NE Seattle. The key was the support and guidance from the Seattle Office of Emergency Management. You can contact Mark Howard of their office to get more information. Our, if you like, you can contact Cindi Barker or myself and we would be pleased to talk to you or your group about where we are in the process. Kudoes for taking the first step to get involved!!!