Personal Preparedness

Everyone should take proactive measures to prepare themselves and their family members for potential emergencies.  People living in Seattle can face a variety of hazards that vary in severity.  In some cases, such as a major earthquake, emergency first responders may not be able to provide assistance for several days.  Planning ahead for hazards can help you, your family, and your workplace survive and recover when emergencies occur.

Some basic personal preparedness tips are:

Develop a personal preparedness plan.

  • Work with your family to develop a preparedness plan. 
  • Consider topics such as how to receive emergency information; how to communicate with family members (including if local phone communication is unavailable); and how to address basic needs such as food, water, shelter, clothing, medication, sanitation, and transportation.
  • For guidance on developing a plan, see:

Compile emergency supplies in advance.

  • Identify supplies you will need in an emergency.  Supply kits should fit each person’s unique needs.  Generic supply kits can be purchased online and supplemented as needed. 
  • Keep ample emergency supplies in your home, office, and vehicle.  An emergency can happen at any time.  Be prepared to quickly take what you need from your home or office if you need to evacuate, since after some hazards (e.g., a severe earthquake) you may not be able to re-enter a building for several days. 
  • For guidance on building an emergency supply kit, see:

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