Make a Plan

You can't know where you'll be or what you'll be doing when disaster strikes. That is why it is so important to make an emergency plan before something happens. Work together with your household, friends, coworkers, and neighbors to make a plan.

Communications Plan

Communicating with loved ones is very important in the aftermath of a disaster, but normal communications methods might not work. Having a communications plan will help you stay connected.

  • Sign up to receive emergency alerts and warnings.
  • If lots of people try to make phone calls at the same time, the system can become overwhelmed and crash. Instead of calling people after a disaster, try to send short text messages, such as 'U OK?' or 'IM HOME'. Short text messages are more likely to get through successfully than longer messages or phone calls.
  • Establish an out-of-area contact for everyone in your household. Texts or phone calls to someone who lives outside of an impacted area are more likely to get through successfully than texts or calls to someone close by. Ask a trusted friend or family member who lives out of state.
  • Write down important phone numbers and keep them in a safe location in your home as well as in your wallet, purse, or backpack. If you lose your phone or your phone dies, you will still be able to reach people.
  • If someone in your household has a communication disability or uses alternative communication devices, be sure to include their needs in your plan as well.

Communications Planning Resources

ALERT King County
Sign up to get emergency alerts and warnings for area.

Family Communications Planning Guide(PDF, 965KB)
Use this guide to help your household establish a communications plan.

Evacuation Plan

Your household should have plans to evacuate your home, your neighborhood, and the entire area if necessary.

  • Follow any issued evacuation instructions
  • Know your hazards and what might cause you to evacuate
  • Identify several places your household can meet during an emergency, both in and out of your neighborhood. Practice!
  • Be familiar with multiple routes and transportation methods out of your area
  • Assemble emergency evacuation kits or go-bags that you can quickly grab and take with you during an emergency
  • Keep gas tanks at least one third full
  • Be ready to stay in place for an extended period of time if evacuation is not safe or not advisable. Have enough supplies to stay at home to last your household for at least 2 weeks, including food, water, and any other resources you need.

Evacuation Planning Resources

Evacuation Planning Guide
Use this guide to help your household develop an evacuation plan.

Home Fire Escape Plan
Use this guide to create a home evacuation guide in case of a fire in your household.

Emergency Preparedness