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Personal & Family Preparedness

Whether due to a local emergency or regional disaster you are likely to find yourself having to care for yourself and loved ones,  possibly under difficult conditions. Following are some tips to prepare for and recover from a disaster.


  • Kit Suplly ListMake a plan. Consider how you and your family members will get to a safe place, communicate with each other if you are not together, and what you will do in different situations (e.g. a fire vs. an earthquake). Learn more about making a plan here.
  • Establish an out-of-area emergency contact and share the information with your loved ones. When the worst of the incident is over, let your contact know, briefly,  you are OK. Loved ones should contact this person, by text if possible.
    • Remember that in some instances, when phone lines are overloaded, a text message may go through when a phone call does not.        
    • Keep GPS activated on your smartphone to enable location services and receive local emergency alerts. Also, in instances of severe injury, your smartphone could help responders locate you.
  • Stock at least fourteen days (2 weeks) of emergency supplies at home, and at least three (3) days worth at work and in vehicles. Update supplies twice a year. See Emergency Supply Kit for supplies list and other helpful tips.
  • Maintain your ability to receive information wherever you are, with a battery operated or wind-up AM/FM radio or a NOAA weather radio.  
  • Sign up for monthly preparedness text messages: Text PREPARE to 43362 (4FEMA) to receive monthly preparedness tips (message/data rates apply).
  • Equip your home with smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, fire extinguishers, and fire escape ladders. Test them regularly.
  • Prepare for power outages by knowing where your utility shutoffs are, learning how to use them, and keeping windup or battery operated flashlights (with extra batteries) in your emergency supply kits.
    • If possible, acquire a portable generator or have one professionally installed outside your home.
    • If the power goes out, make sure you only use your generator OUTSIDE to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Check your insurance for disaster coverage.


  • Remain calm. Keeping calm is essential to being able to make safe choices for yourself and those around you.
  • Stay put in the safest location you can (See Sheltering).
  • Listen to radio news broadcasts or monitor social media for the latest conditions.
  • Let your loved ones know you are okay by posting an update on social media.
  • Help others around you.


  • Assess your own condition and surroundings.
  • Proceed with extreme caution to any other location.    
  • Listen to radio news broadcasts or monitor social media for local conditions and the availability of assistance.    
  • Call the City’s public information line (425) 587-3767  for recorded updates regarding the Kirkland area.
  • If possible, let your out-of-area contact (briefly) know how you are doing.    
  • Call 9-1-1 strictly for true emergencies.
  • Stay off the roads unless absolutely necessary.

You can also find more hazard-specific preparedness tips HERE, including ones for earthquakes, winter storms, floods and mudslides, communicable diseases, and terrorism.

For more information, go to for easy-to-follow step-by-step instructions on how to become disaster-ready!

Fire Services
123 5th Avenue, Kirkland WA 98033

General Inquiries
T. 425.587.3650 | F. 425.587.3671