Flood Safety Awareness Month
Fall in Washington State is a truly spectacular time of year. Seeing the leaves change, picking the perfect pumpkin, maybe even visiting a corn maze are all activities we associate with fall. Western Washington residents also know that with colder weather comes rain. For that reason, October is National Flood Safety Awareness Month. I would encourage anyone living in a flood prone area to use the resources the county has to offer to prepare for this upcoming rainy season. One way to ensure your home, family, or business is ready for a flood is to sign up for King County Flood Alerts. Signing up for Flood Alerts provides texts, emails, or phone calls to keep you informed about flooding conditions.
Another way stay informed is to install the King County Flood Warning App on your tablet or smartphone. The free app, available for both apple and android phones, provides real-time flooding information for the Tolt, Raging, Cedar, Skykomish, Snoqualmie, Green and White Rivers, as well as Issaquah Creek. Flood forecast data is updated every 10 minutes. With all these resources available, you can enjoy all the great things this season has to offer knowing you're prepared for anything unexpected it might bring.
Flood Warning App- https://www.kingcounty.gov/services/environment/water-and-land/flooding/warning-system/app.aspx
KC Flood Alerts- https://www.kingcounty.gov/services/environment/water-and-land/flooding/warning-system/flood-alerts.aspx
Human Trafficking Update
This week I joined my colleagues for a progress update from the King County Commercially Sexually Exploited Task Force, as they work to ensure the safety and provide support to children who have been victims of Human Trafficking and to prevent further exploitation.
As we heard during the briefing, the visibility of available resources for victims of Human Trafficking is crucial to the success of ending this horrible crime. At a previous council briefing, Robert Beiser, the Executive Director, of Seattle Against Slavery, spoke about the importance of public awareness campaigns in the fight against human trafficking. He noted that in 2009 in Washington State the National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline number received 95 calls before broad outreach was begun.
In 2013, King County began a public awareness campaign to bring awareness of human trafficking and where to turn for help, based on a motion I had sponsored. Thanks to donations by Titan Media on Metro buses, and Clear Channel on Sound Transit buses and billboards, thousands were made aware of the phone number for the national call center. Through efforts like this and others, in 2013 and 2014, the hotline call volume from those seeking help had grown to over 500 per year.
You can help to end human trafficking by recognizing the signs and learning how to respond when you see or hear something. Call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline at 888-373-7888 if you see any possible signs that someone is a victim of trafficking such as anyone who:
Has had their ID, passport, or documents taken away
Shows signs of physical and/or sexual abuse, physical restraint, confinement, or
Shows signs of emotional abuse
Is being threatened by or are in debt to their boss
Is under 18 and are involved in the commercial sex industry
Is not free to leave or come and go from their place of work as they wish
Doesn't seem to be receiving payment
For a PSA regarding Human Trafficking, check out this video: