County urges preparedness for emergencies

What do earthquakes, windstorms, heavy rain and flooding have in common? All have impacts that can be alleviated when residents become better prepared for disaster situations.

Snohomish County's Department of Emergency Management, the Everett Office of Emergency Management and the Emergency Services Coordinating Agency are joining together to encourage residents to make their households more prepared.

"Because we cannot control when a disaster event may occur in our region, taking steps toward preparedness is important for our families comfort and safety when something happens," Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon said. "Preparedness can reduce panic and help us return to normal faster."

Preparedness can include many things — disaster supplies, household communication plans, alternative route planning and home evacuation plans — and doesn't have to be expensive to be effective. Disaster supply kits should include basic first-aid items such as bandages, cleaning and disinfecting products, over-the-counter fever reducers and pain relievers.

Kits also should include non-perishable, canned or dehydrated foods, as well as water. Each person needs one gallon of water per day. It's also important to think about ways to heat and purify water for consumption or sanitation. Families should think through the unique daily requirements of each household member, including pets, infants and small children.

Residents should also keep basic supplies in their cars or commuter bags. These supplies might change based on the weather, but should always include a flashlight, food, water and protection from the elements, such as a rain poncho or space-blanket.

There are a number of sites that can help families prepare for disasters, such as the Snohomish County Emergency Management webpage at, which features tips for families, schools and businesses to prepare for any event.

For more information by phone, call the Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management at 425-388-5071, the Everett Office of Emergency Management at 425-257-7965, or the Emergency Services Coordinating Agency at 425-776-3722.

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