Department of Community and Human Services
401 5th Ave, Suite 500
Seattle, WA 98104
TTY: 711 Relay Service
Jackie MacLean, Director
Sherry Hamilton, Communications Manager
Disaster Planning, Response and Resources
Welcome to the the Department of Community and Human Services (DCHS) Disaster Planning, Response and Resources page.
If a disaster or emergency has occurred in King County that affects you or your family, this page will alert you to the latest information and assistance available through DCHS and other County departments and regional agencies. Just click on the help you need.
If you have an emergency medical situation, please call 9-1-1 immediately.
If you need emergency assistance with shelter or social services, call the Community Crisis and Information Line at 2-1-1.
Disaster Alerts, Weather and Shelter Information
The Regional Public Information Network (RPIN) has breaking news and up to date alerts on all types of potential or actual disasters and emergency situations as they occur in or affect King County and its residents. Sign up now to receive alerts as news breaks!
The King County Office of Emergency Management website will contain the most up-to-date information and links to useful resources during and after a disaster or emergency. This will include information on how to apply for any state or federal assistance funds.
Emergency Shelter: If your home is inaccessible or damaged, including a weather-related emergency, this site will provide information on regional public shelters that are open and available.
City of Seattle residents: If you live in the City of Seattle, up to date information is available through the Seattle Office of Emergency Management here.
Public Health emergencies: Public Health-Seattle & King County offers information on a wide variety of topics related to disaster response and preparedness.
Disaster Preparedness: Are you ready?
Personal and family preparedness: The best way to weather any disaster or emergency event is to be ready BEFORE it happens. Make a plan. Build a kit. Get involved.
Housing Assistance Following a Major Disaster or Emergency
King County Post-Disaster Interim Housing Plan: King County has developed a plan for interim housing for households displaced in the wake of a disaster. This plan is intended to help individuals and households find the resources to get minor repairs to their homes done efficiently so that they can return to their own homes as soon as possible, and to help those whose homes have sustained major damage to find interim housing until they can return to their homes. Click here to read the Post Disaster Housing Plan. Elements of that plan include the following kinds of assistance.
Damage Assessment: If your home (or a residential building which you own or manage) has experienced significant structural damage, or if there is damage to water, sewer or power connections that makes it unsafe or unhealthy to inhabit, please contact your city building department to request an inspection or damage assessment at the earliest possible date.
In the event of an emergency, this site will provide links to relevant city building departments. Residents of unincorporated King County should contact the King County Department of Development and Environmental Services (DDES) for safety inspections and damage assessments for residential buildings at this website or by calling 1-888-5-INSPCT (1-888-546-7728). Be aware that in the event of a major disaster, the demand for these inspections will be very high.
Emergency Shelter: Local cities, King County and/or the local chapter of the American Red Cross may establish temporary shelters for individuals, families and pets. If you do not have family or friends to stay with in the event your home is uninhabitable following a disaster or emergency, check this site for locations of available shelter or go to the RPIN or Red Cross sites.
Housing Repair Programs: There are a number of home repair programs available in King County, including the King County Housing Repair Program managed in DCHS, that may be able to assist with minor repairs that will make your home safe and habitable again. Some programs are limited to low to moderate income households, but others may be available in the aftermath of a disaster. Go here for information on the King County Housing Repair Program; click here for links to repair programs available in King County cities. There are also several volunteer groups that help with clean up and minor home repairs. For information, go to the King County Office of Emergency Management website.
Post Disaster Interim Housing: HousingSearchNW.org, a free web-based housing locator system provides information on affordable housing in any part of King County. In the aftermath of a disaster or emergency, this housing locator system will help to quickly identify available rental housing to help those displaced due to damage to their homes. Click on the link above or call 1-877-428-8844 or TTY 7-1-1.
Social Services Following a Major Disaster or Emergency
King County Mental Health Disaster Response Plan: In the event of a major disaster or emergency, individuals may need crisis response assistance and counseling. King County has developed a Mental Health Disaster Response Plan in concert with the existing outpatient mental health providers coordinated by the King County Regional Support Network. In order to minimize the impact of this unfunded activity to any individual agency, 16 providers plus King County Crisis and Commitment Services are called upon to volunteer at least one staff person to participate in the response. The plan is intended to be flexible. The nature and scope of the disaster dictates the type of response effort required. Information on the regional response plan is available here.
Interim Social Services: After a disaster, access to a variety of social services and assistance may be coordinated by a Disaster Case Management Coalition. Information on these services and how to access them will be available on this website.
Mental Health, Chemical Dependency, Developmental Disabilities Services: King County DCHS is the regional provider of publicly funded mental health and chemical dependency services as well as some services for persons with developmental disabilities. Any significant changes to the provision of these services will be noted on this page.