At least that's what the regional partners from Seattle, King County, WSDOT and Puget Sound Energy are promising. In a ritual becoming almost as predictable in government as leaves turning is to fall, officials gathered this morning at City Hall to promise that they've learned a lesson from the past, that the response next time will be better.
There's the obligatory new catch phrase: "Take Winter by Storm" and a new Web site-- a clearinghouse of information on everything from roads to flooding, with laundry lists on how to prepare. PGE boasts a new utility road clearing 'task force,' WSDOT says the plows are working so they can encourage people to take the bus, knowing that the buses will be able to take them where they need to go. And everyone agrees that their respective agencies/entities won't be 'siloed'-- that's government-speak for refusing to talk to each other.
"Last year's back-to-back record storms have woken us up out of complacency," said WSDOT Northwest Regional Administrator Lorena Eng.
"We will never be New Orleans, leaving our most vulnerable populations in despair," said King County Executive Ron Sims.
"Those who are wondering who should prepare for a storm. That would be all of us. When? Today," said Seattle's Director of Emergency Management Barb Graff.
Last December's 'Hanukkah Eve' Windstorm resulted in 15 fatalities and nearly 300 people were treated for carbon monoxide poisoning. The storm cost the city $16 million and left more than 15,000 residents without power countywide, some for weeks.
Public hand holding and snappy graphics aside, let's hope they got the kinks worked out.