InFocus topic of the month: Prepare for Disasters


The recent tragic event of the SR 530 Landslide near Oso, WA is a stark reminder that we never know when a disaster will strike. During the month of April, let's continue to remember those who have been impacted by this disaster. Let's also strive to to do what we can as individuals to prepare ourselves for disasters. First, develop an Action Plan and if you already have a plan, take time this month to review it. Learn about some of the natural hazards that could occur in our state and things to consider in your preparedness plan.

Title: Earthquake

Title and photo: Earthquake

Tip: be sure to store a minimum of one gallon of water, per person, per day, for at least three days.

Earthquakes are sudden releases of stored energy in the earth's crust. The shaking caused by this sudden shift is often very small, but occasionally large earthquakes produce very strong ground motion. This strong shaking can cause ground failure, landslides, liquefaction, and even trigger tsunamis. 


Things to consider: 



Title: Flood

Photo of flooded road

Tip: Prevent flooding around your home, learn how at our FloodSafe web page

Floods and flash floods can occur as a result of the storms that are frequent during the convective weather season. Heavy rains from thunderstorms can cause flash floods and damage roadways. Be safe during a storm and do not drive into a flooded roadway.

Things to consider: 



Title: Landslide

Photo and title text of a landslide

Tip: use a weather radio with an alert feature

A landslide is the movement of rock, soil and debris down a hillside or slope. As we have seen from the tragic event near Oso, WA this past month, landslides can take lives, destroy homes and buildings, interrupt transportation, and damage utilities. Be alert to potential risks in your area.


Things to consider: 


Title: Convective Weather

Photo of a thunderstormPhoto of a lightning strikePhoto of a tornado near Lake Roosevelt

Though we talked about this topic last month, the Convective Weather season continues to bring rain, showers, hail, and thunderstorms. The impact from such storms can include flooding, power outages, and disruptions to transportation. Let's review the actions to take BEFORE a storm arrives:

  • Thunderstorm: Be ready for the storm season by preparing your loved ones and preparing your home for disasters.
  • Lightning: Learn the actions to reduce your risk if you are outdoors during a storm and be familiar with the key safety tips for when indoors.
  • Tornado: Identify a safe place in your home such as an interior room or basement and practice moving to this place. Also, become familiar with the local warning system.


Regional Preparedness Campaigns

FEMA's America's PrepareAthon campaign


Prepare in a Year

Don't forget...Choose one hour each month to complete the designated activity and write it on your planning calendar.
Month #1 Activity:
Develop an Action Plan
Month #2 Activity:
Out of Area Contact
Month #3 Activity:
Storing Water
Month #4 Activity:
72-Hour Comfort Kit

Additional Preparedness Resources:


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Prepare In a Year

Getting Ready - Home Preparedness

Kidz SiteFor Kidz - learn about earthquakes, volcanoes, lahars, tsunamis, and severe weather. Then have fun and play some games! EMD Kidz!

Teachers - you can find curriculum and activities to use in the classroom that go along with our Kidz web site - For Teachers



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