Wedgwood discusses the 35th Avenue NE business district tonight

Our neighbors in Wedgwood are holding a meeting tonight that has quite a few points of interests for Ravennians, too.

Here’s the agenda for tonight’s general meeting of the Wedgwood Community Council (via the WCC website):

  • CleanScapes will share the fantastic news about the $50,000 the Tuesday collection area won towards a community project!
  • We’ll share a bit about what the next steps are for the $13,000 grant the WCC, Sustainable NE Seattle, and others won for emergency preparedness.
  • We’ll describe the “Donut Hole” and where both “Wedgwood” and “Ravenna-Bryant” begins.
  • We’ll present the land use planning process the WLUC [Wedgwood Land Use Committee] is proposing and describe how you can get involved in shaping the future of 35th Ave NE.

The Wedgwood Community Council meets at Wedgwood Presbyterian Church (8008 35th Ave NE) from 7-9 PM.

Emergency preparedness and block watch information meeting this weekend

Sustainable NE Seattle is hosting another Emergency Preparedness meeting this Saturday, June 25, from 1-3 PM, at the Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center (6535 Ravenna Ave NE).


At our second meeting, we are pleased to have Terrie Johnston, the Crime Prevention specialist from the North Precinct, speak to us about the Blockwatch program – an integral part of emergency preparedness – and strategies to get our neighbors together.

This event is open to the entire northeast Seattle community.

Stay Safe: Driving in Winter Storms

Resident Ravenna Safety Girl, Shannon, has another emergency preparedness column for us this Tuesday. You may find it extremely relevant to your lives in the next couple days.


East-bound NE 75th St at 4 pm on November 22

You’ve all now seen first-hand the organized, thoughtful way most Seattle residents respond to winter weather. Here are a few more things to keep in mind as you go through the next several days:

Before you go

Keep your gas tank full

A glance at the television shows you the importance of this one. In heavy winter weather, there is no way to know how long it will actually take you to get somewhere, so a full tank will give you peace of mind and get you home. It’s also important to keep your car full of gas when the temperature drops, as it will help prevent your gas line from freezing.

Carry a storm kit

Before leaving for a trip or even a long commute, equip your car with blankets, bottled water and food (a jar of peanut butter or a bag of trail mix is good), flares or a safety triangle, car charger, and anything else you think is necessary for your trip. Put it all in a cardboard box and drop it in the trunk, and you’re good for the winter.

Remember to include a sack or two of cat litter for traction. If you are skidding, dig out the area just in front of your tires and pour some litter there to help get out of a slick spot.

On the road

Chain up

If you have chains for your car, make sure you know how to use them… the side of the road in Snoqualmie Pass is not the ideal time to learn the quirks of your particular set of chains. When you go out to chain up, pull the passenger-side floor mat out of the car to kneel on as you work– much better than lying in the snow. Use cable ties to help secure the loose ends of your chains, especially if your set just has S-hooks at the end.

Remember, if your car is chained up it is NOT safe to drive over 30 miles per hour. You don’t want to drive faster than that anyway though; if you’re driving at near-highway speeds and one end of your chain comes unfastened, it will chew up 4+ inches of your car fender in seconds.

Drive safely

Use your noggin here… if it’s a steep hill, don’t drive down it. If local residents have blocked off a side street, assume they have a good reason for warning you away from it. Stick to arterials, and leave extra time to get to your destination. If you can avoid driving in to work, do so- it’s safer to be on a Metro bus or a train in winter weather.

Learn to steer out of a skid! Braking is what will get you in trouble on snow and ice. Road Trip America has more information about how to recover from a skid.

And, of course, if you can telecommute or take the day off, it’s safest to just stay home in snowy and icy conditions.

An aside about power outages

If you’re at home and your power goes out, turn off your main breaker until the power comes back on (you can tell by watching the streetlights). Especially around dinnertime or during chores, it’s hard to remember what was turned on and what was hot after the electricity has been off for several hours.

Many fires are started after power outages end because people forget that they were cooking, using irons or hair appliances, or doing other work when the electricity was cut off. If we’re in the middle of cooking dinner and the power goes out, what do we tend to do? Go out to eat! In the hustle to get oriented and find a place to go, many folks forget that they left the stove on and so come home to a fire afterward. Turning electricity off at the breaker during an outage will keep you out of this situation.

You can get more local information at (they have a mobile site as well) or @WinterByStorm. Stay safe out there!

Stay Safe: Out-of-Area Phone Contacts

Welcome to the first post in a series on emergency preparedness by Ravenna Blog’s designated safety expert, Shannon (AKA safetygirl).

Shannon has been attending the Seattle Neighborhoods Actively Prepare (SNAP) training sessions offered by the city, and she has graciously offered to share her knowledge with the rest of the community on the Ravenna Blog.

Shannon will be bringing us tidbits on emergency preparedness every Tuesday until she runs out of ideas (or the apocalypse occurs, whichever comes first).


After a local emergency or a natural disaster, long-distance phone lines are more reliable than local lines or cell phones, which will be jammed with local people calling each other to get information.

Ask a friend or relative who lives outside of Washington State to be your family contact, and then make sure every member of your family has their number.

The Office of Emergency Management also reminds us:

The phone system will most likely become unavailable after a disaster, almost always caused by overuse of the system. Stay off all phones, both cell and land line phones, for at least 3 to 5 hours after a disaster, unless you need to call 911 for a life-threatening situation.

In the event of a local emergency like an earthquake, your family contact will become a relay point to share information with all your household members. If your household is separated during the emergency, which is likely if it takes place during a weekday, everyone will have a better chance of getting through to the out-of-area contact than to each other.

Remember, this plan depends on everyone having the contact’s phone number! Put it into your family’s address books, cell phones, or somewhere else accessible.

You can download a helpful PDF here.