This is a great place to live, but there are some natural hazards out there for which it pays to be prepared.
Building an emergency kit with basic disaster supplies will help you make it through unexpected situations. Take it slow and steady with a few easy-to-do steps each month. Washington Emergency Management Division's 2 Weeks Ready fact sheet can help, with considerations for the needs of everyone in the household including seniors, children and pets. More information can also be found at ready.gov.
Before you get started, remember this is a marathon, not a race. Emergency kits do not need to be built in a day, a week or even a month. Every single item you add is more than you had the day before. Taking a slow and steady approach not only increases your chance of actually building a kit, but it also helps mold the behavior change necessary to maintain a kit.
Let’s get started. If you’ve never built an emergency preparedness kit before, (or if you’d like to refresh your kit) gather your household and play this simple game:
- Give everybody a method to make a list – think pen and paper, audio recorder, crayons and a napkin.
- Grab a timer. A phone will work!
- Ask everybody to spend the next five minutes independently making a list of all the items they’d need for a camping trip.
- When time is up, share your lists.
Chances are, everyone mentioned something along the lines of shelter, food, warmth, clothing. Congratulations! You now have a basic outline for your emergency kit! That’s a victory! Celebrate it. Now amplify that camping trip to a minimum of 14 days (the time experts anticipate you could be on your own in a disaster), and you’re well on your way.
In a disaster, your family, neighbors and friends may be your primary source of support and assistance. Strong social ties where you live can lead to informal mutual aid – sharing resources like food, tools or medical supplies – to help people recover better from disasters. Create your own neighborhood pocket of resilience by getting to know people near you. Try Map Your Neighborhood, a state-sponsored program that provides guides and materials for neighborhood blocks to plan for emergencies together.
Bellevue is situated in a unique geographic location with mountain ranges, lakes, creeks, several active faults and volcanoes, unstable soils, and a nearby ocean. These beautiful natural landscapes can be potential hazards to people and infrastructure. Check where you live, work or play on this interactive Critical Hazards Map showing local hazards including earthquake faults and liquefaction zones.