No matter what part of Washington you live in, the arrival of winter brings more than just a chill in the air — there’s rain, snow, ice, sleet, sunsets at 4:30 p.m., and potential emergencies like power outages, storm damage, perilous driving conditions, and indoor fire hazards.
While the best time to plan for an emergency or disaster is BEFORE it happens, these tips and resources are good to know.
Know what potential hazards are in your area. Are you in a flood zone? Have a steep driveway that gets icy in the winter? Do windstorms cause your home’s power to go out? This will help determine what needs you have and how best to prepare.
Know your resources. This can include equipment like camping gear and flashlights, phone numbers of friends and family, and supplies like food, water, and medications. (Do not forget your pets!)
Identify your gaps. If you live in an apartment building, do you know where the stairs are if the power goes out? When was the last time you checked your smoke and carbon monoxide detector batteries? Do you know how to put chains on your car tires?
FEMA recommends that households have 72 hours of additional supplies on hand in case of an emergency. The Washington State Emergency Management Division recommends that people be “Two Weeks Ready” in case disaster strikes.† Either way, any emergency plan is better than no emergency plan.
Curious about “Two Weeks Ready”? Learn more.
The following resources are available to help you prepare your house, car, pets, and even your kids for severe weather and disasters. Stay safe!
Provides general and type-specific disaster and emergency preparedness information, complete with supply lists and advice for building an emergency kit on a budget. Information for pets, older adults, and persons with disabilities is here, too.
A kid-friendly version of ready.gov, this site provides resources on building an age-appropriate emergency kit, games, and facts on disasters in kid-friendly language.
Overwhelmed by the prospect of building an emergency kit? Let the Washington State Emergency Management Division show you how to become prepared in one year by doing one activity a month. State-specific resources can be found here, too.