Sammamish has hired its first emergency preparedness director.
Andrew Stevens, the emergency manager of Downey (CA), starts work April 17. He holds
the same position in Downey (CA).
“I’m very pleased that we were able to attract and hire Andrew Stevens to the position of Emergency Manager,” Sammamish City Manager Lyman Howard wrote in an email to The Sammamish Comment..
The folks on the interview panel were impressed and delighted as well. I’ve also heard positive comments from the regional Emergency Management community, that we made a good choice. Andrew starts April 17th.”
The appointment comes nearly two years after The Comment revealed Sammamish was going skip a multi-state, multi-jurisdictional, Canadian-US earthquake disaster drill called Cascadia Rising. Sammamish scrambled to join after the revelation.
Then City-Manager Ben Yazici dismissed the criticism of Sammamish’s lack of participation as election-year “silly season.” After he retired, his successor, Lyman Howard, pushed ahead with participation but the late start meant it was minimal. Howard acknowledged that Sammamish hadn’t done enough to prepare for disasters. A consultant later reviewed Sammamish’s plans and concluded the City is “unprepared” for a disaster.
Former Council Member Tom Vance, who was Mayor at the time, sat mute when Council Member Ramiro Valderrama expressed concern about the City’s lack of participation.
Howard has been pushing ahead to bring the City up to speed. Council Members Valderrama, Tom Hornish and Christie Malchow, who last year comprised the Public Safety Committee, advocated for faster action. Malchow said at various times that preparation needs to be a top priority; if a disaster strikes, little else Sammamish does matters.
The appointment of Stevens is a welcome step. For months, Sammamish officials talked about a half-time emergency management director and explored sharing the position with Issaquah or the Sammamish Plateau Water district. Instead, the position will be full time. An additional part-time position has yet to be filled.
Howard provided The Comment with Stevens’ job description:
ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
- Develop and lead the City’s emergency management and emergency preparedness programs.
- Ensure that the City is incompliance with all Washington State emergency management, FEMA, and Homeland Security laws and directives; completing any reporting mandates by these agencies.
- Plan, oversee and provide training in all aspects and phases of emergency management and emergency preparedness; develop, coordinate and support emergency management exercises and drills; manage volunteers, including annual retraining requirements.
- Develop and write plans and updates for the City’s Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan, Hazard Mitigation Plan, COOP/COG Plan, Recovery Plan, NIMS compliance, and all other emergency management plans; draft policies, procedures and various emergency management checklists; develop and maintain forms, logs and resource lists for the emergency operations center; develop and update plans and standard operating guidelines for the center; ensure plans are current and comply with applicable federal, state and local laws.
- Staff and support the City’s Emergency Management Advisory Committee as outlined in City Ordinance; ensuring it has a diverse representation of the City’s community partners
- Respond to emergency events within the City that involve emergency operations; perform duties within the emergency operations center as assigned; coordinate documentation of activities, expense and reimbursement activities during the recovery phase of any emergency.
- Serve as professional resource to various organizations and committees, including interjurisdictional groups; attend and participate in group meetings and activities as assigned; participate in public relations activities in support of program; make public presentations as assigned.
- Develop and implement a public outreach campaign to promote family and individual emergency preparedness, the emergency organization of neighborhoods and businesses, and school safety.
- Oversee the credentialing of all Registered Volunteer Disaster Works in the city, i.e. Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), Amateur Radio members, and any spontaneous volunteers.
- Represent the City to other local, county, state and federal governments and agencies in matters relating to emergency preparedness and emergency management.
- Participate in the development of policy guidelines, decisions, program work plans, goals, and objectives.
- Coordinate studies and implementation efforts with appropriate City officials, Council, staff and other governmental entities.
- Gather, assemble and analyze data; participate in budget development; research and recommend grant opportunities; prepare grant applications and manage and monitor grants received; compile information for statistical, financial and budget reports; draft documents including motions, contracts, ordinances and grants; administer contracts with other agencies.
- Oversee contractual services as assigned; negotiate scope of services for contracts; monitor contracts for compliance; review invoices and evaluate contractor performance; terminate or close contracts as necessary or appropriate.
- Develop and implement various safety drills for City facilities, including evacuations, lock downs and earthquakes.
- Ensure primary and alternate emergency operation centers are ready and operational; acquire and train on use of technology and equipment.
- Ensure communications and warning systems are tested and up-to-date with current information of staff, volunteers and community partners who will be needed during an emergency.
- May be assigned to provide assistance or direction to lower level professional and clerical personnel, extra help staff or to volunteers.
- Perform related duties and responsibilities as required.