King County has seven high risk dams that would cause a widespread flood emergency, including probably loss of human life, if they failed. Four of these dams are located on the Tolt, Cedar, White, and Green rivers. Additionally, localized problems could occur if one of the dozens of minor dams in King County failed.
The chief concern of a major dam failure in King County is the resulting impact to downstream residents. As a result, it is important to be prepared for this risk by registering for public alerts, identifying evacuation routes to higher ground from your home or business, and assembling a "grab and go" emergency supply kit in case you are directed to evacuate quickly.
- Learn the safest route from your home or business to high ground.
- Make arrangements for housing in the event you need to evacuate your home.
- Teach all family members how, where, and when to turn off utilities.
- Plan for a meeting place outside of the hazard area.
- Learn how to prepare for flooding which typically accompanies dam failures.
- Listen to your NOAA weather radio or other local media for emergency information.
- If told to evacuate, do so as soon as possible. Delay or refusal to evacuate can jeopardize your safety, the safety of emergency responders, and hinder rescue efforts.
- Move your furniture and valuables to higher levels in your home, if you have time.
- Move to higher ground away from rivers, streams, creeks and storm drains.
- Do not drive around barricades; they are there for your safety.
- Never drive through a flooded area. Most cars can be carried away by less than two feet of moving water.
- Don't walk or wade through flood waters. You can be knocked off your feet by as little as six inches of moving water.
- Dam Safety - Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
- Flooding - King County
- King County Flood Warnings and Alerts
- Flood Hazard Reduction Services - King County
- Flood Information - American Red Cross
- National Flood Insurance Program
- Flood Information - Institute for Business and Home Safety
- Flood Preparedness Checklist - Take Winter By Storm