King County Office of Emergency Management
Spring: Time for safety check
On March 9 at 2 AM, Daylight Savings Time begins – that time of year when we move our clocks ahead one hour. In partnership with Western Washington Fire Departments, this adjustment is a great reminder to also swap out batteries in home smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, and NOAA weather radio all-hazards receivers. Why is this important?
- Working smoke detectors more than double the chance of a person surviving a house fire. National statistics show that more than 90% of homes have smoke detector; yet almost one third have dead or missing batteries.
- Carbon Monoxide (CO) is often called the “invisible killer” because it is a colorless, odorless, poisonous gas. More than 150 people in the U.S. die each year from CO poisoning… from sources such as improperly ventilated generators or poorly functioning stoves, fireplaces, furnaces, and water heaters.
- NOAA weather radios alert you to immediate, life-threatening hazards in your area, such as severe weather, volcanoes, and hazardous releases. Without a working weather radio, you could miss critical warning messages from local emergency authorities that could save your life and those in your family. Information about these receivers and where to get one.
March and April often bring increased rainfall and winter snow melt, resulting in gorged rivers and soggy roadways. Take extra precautions and obey road closure signs. Know alternate routes to and from your home. If you live or travel through a known flood plain, sign up for King County Flood Alerts.
Make emergency preparedness a way of life by involving your whole family. Take these simple steps:
Make a plan. Know how you and your loved ones will communicate when communication systems are down, and where you will meet if separated.
Build a kit. Include food, water, medications, toiletries, a first aid kit, flashlight and extra batteries, warm blankets and clothing, and other essential supplies for every member of your household (including pets). Keep a kit at home and in your car.
Stay informed. Monitor local radio stations for important safety information and updates. Be sure to have a battery-operated radio and extra batteries on hand.
It's also a good idea to get to know your neighbors. During an emergency you can help each other and share needed resources. Find more emergency planning tips and checklists at www.makeitthrough.org.
Resilient King County initiative seeks to develop long-term disaster recovery strategy
This initiative is a county-wide, two-year planning process for crafting a comprehensive long-term recovery strategy following a major earthquake or other catastrophe, and follows on the recently published Resilient Washington State report. Learn more.
Residents and businesses
Learn more about how you, your family, or your business can prepare, respond, and recover from disasters here in King County. Be sure to visit our regional public preparedness campaign websites and to register for emergency alerts (see links at right). These three steps will help you start down the path of being better prepared.
|Does your family know what to do, how to communicate, and where to go in case of an emergency? Having a emergency plan is the first key step in being prepared.
|What basic supplies would you need to survive until more help comes following an emergency? A 7-10 day emergency supply kit is a basic tool for providing peace of mind, comfort, and survival needs in the face of a catastrophe.
|We will all rely on each other during disasters. Take a CPR class, get to know your neighbors and how you can all work better together before and after a disaster.
Emergency management professionals
Find information on emergency management plans, grants, homeland security, and regional partnerships. Be sure to visit our regional public preparedness campaign websites and to register for emergency alerts (see links at right).