April is Disaster Preparedness Month in Washington

In 2009, Gov. Christine Gregoire recognized the importance of disaster preparedness by proclaiming April as Washington State Disaster Preparedness Month.

Getting prepared is made simple by following three easy steps.

Make a plan: Include designating an out-of-area contact. During widespread events, local phone lines may be overwhelmed or unavailable. Each person in your family must know your contact’s phone number and should call that person, letting them know that they are OK. Also, designate two evacuation meeting places — one right outside your home and one outside the area, in case family members are not together when an event happens and access to your home is not feasible.

Build an emergency supply kit: Include enough for your family to be self-sufficient for three to five days. Supplies include one gallon of water per person/per day and a family supply of non-perishable food items. Canned and dry prepared meals that require little water and no cooking work well. If you include canned food items, don’t forget a hand-operated can opener. Other items include flashlights with extra batteries, a battery operated or hand-crank radio, blankets, personal hygiene and sanitation items.

Get involved: Make a commitment to start planning and preparing today. The Washington State Department of Emergency Management offers a “prepare in a year” approach in which one preparedness item is completed each month for one year. The City of Federal Way Emergency Management Division has added a link to this information on its website at

To get involved by being prepared to help others following a disaster, check out the city’s Community Emergency Response Team or the Neighborhood Emergency Team classes. Both classes are free and more information can be found on the city’s website under Emergency Management.


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