Take Winter by Storm mobile version: winter and inclement weather preparedness tips, information and resources for Western Washington.
If this is an Emergency please call 9-1-1
Prepare now in Seattle, King County and Western Washington
Are You Ready for Winter Weather? Take Winter by Storm by getting ready and staying ready. Use these tools to help you get prepared. Share them with those you love to help them get prepared, too.
- Be prepared to take care of yourself and those around you for at least three days
View the Emergency Preparedness Checklist
- Water: one gallon of water per person, per day, for at least three days (for drinking and sanitation)
- Food: at least a three-day supply of non-perishable, ready to eat food and a can opener
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Emergency Contact Card
- Multi-purpose tool
- Whistle to signal for help
- Antiseptic towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
- Dust mask, to help filter contaminated air
- Cell phone with chargers (car charger recommended in the event of power outages)
- Thermal emergency blankets
- Rain ponchos for each family member
- Personal hygiene supplies (toothbrush, paste, sanitary napkins, soap, towel…)
- Copies of important documents, placed in a water proof container/bag
- Copy of your drivers license and/or birth certificate
- Bank account information
- Insurance cards/policy numbers/insurer contact information
- Cash (bank machines may not be functional)
- Extra set of house keys
- Prescription medications (seven-day supply suggested)
- Pet supplies (food, water, blanket, medications)
- Children/baby supplies (coloring book/crayons, diapers/wipes, formula, baby food)
* Always double-check expiration dates and update your emergency preparedness kit every 6 months. Use daylight savings dates as a reminder to double-check your kit.
Other items to have on hand at your home or place of work or school
- Emergency Contact Card
- Instructions and tools to turn off gas, electricity and water
- Plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
- Warm blankets
- Fire extinguisher
- Carbon monoxide detector
- Utilities contact information easily accessible in case of downed power line or flood water
- Rake to remove fallen leaves and debris away from storm drains to prevent street flooding
- Snow shovel and salt to remove snow and ice from pathways for your safety and the safety of others
- Outdoor faucet covers and/or insulation to wrap outdoor faucets to protect them from freezing
- Camping stove and fuel (for outdoor use only)
- Firewood and water-proof matches (for outdoor use only)
- Water purification equipment
- Medical supplies (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses and solution, syringes, cane)
- Two-way radios and extra batteries
Specific items to include in your vehicle
- Emergency Contact Card
- Warm clothing and sturdy walking shoes
- Warm blankets
- Rain ponchos
- Preparedness kit with first aid supplies
- Small shovel and traction aides (sand, litter, chains) when freezing weather and snow is forecasted
- Local maps with pre-determined evacuation routes identified
Create and follow a weatherization/risk management plan for your home or property to minimize storm impacts
- Conduct annual reviews of your property insurance to understand and address coverage needs. Ask about flood insurance or coverage for sewer/drain back-up.
- Complete a detailed home inventory of your possessions and keep in a safe place away from your home (like a safe deposit box). Downloadable form at TakeWinterByStorm.org.
- Check your roof for loose, missing, worn or damaged shingles to eliminate flying debris and reduce the chance of possible water damage.
- Make sure flashing is secure around vents and chimneys.
- Clean gutters and make sure they are properly aligned and securely attached to your home.
- Watch the patterns of storm-water drainage on slopes near your home, and note the places where runoff water converges. Watch the hills around your home for any signs of land movement, such as small landslides, debris flows or progressively tilting trees. Contact your local geotechnical or structural engineer to determine the severity of the problem.
- Grade property so water drains away from the foundation and downspouts direct water away from the house into the storm drainage system.
- Replace caulk and weather-stripping that has lost contact with surfaces.
- Rake leaves away from drains to avoid street and property flooding.
- Check for loose handrails, banisters and stair coverings. Buckled or cracked walks should be repaired.
- Clear snow and ice from sidewalks in front of your home to avoid dangerous falls (this is the home/property owner’s responsibility).
- Keep snow build-up off of surfaces that could collapse.
- Trim shrubbery away from siding to prevent insect and moisture damage. Remove shrubbery that interferes with walkways.
- Insulate exposed water pipes and outdoor faucets to protect them from freezing.
- Check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and change batteries as needed. Replace units every eight years.
- Check basement and crawl space for dampness and leakage. Standing water could be a sign of improper drainage.
- Check all windows for proper operation and locking capability.
- Test your sump pump before the start of every wet season. Battery-operated back-up sump pumps can help protect against power failure of the primary pump.
Make a family communication plan
- Discuss with your family and/or friends how to prepare for and respond to emergencies that are most likely to happen where you live, learn, work and play. Identify responsibilities for each member of your household and plan to work together as a team.
- Identify an out-of-town contact. After a disaster, long distance phone lines may be more reliable than local lines. Ask a friend or relative who lives outside of Washington state to be your “family contact.” After a disaster, your family contact becomes a communication point to share information with all household members. Your plan depends on everyone knowing your contact’s phone number.
- Complete an Emergency Contact Card and place copies in your preparedness kit, home communication center, automobile and at your place of work or school. Downloadable cards at TakeWinterByStorm.org.
- Program all emergency contact numbers into all of your phones, or keep a list with you. Make sure to tell your family and friends that you’ve listed them as emergency contacts.
- Use text messaging if network disruptions are causing phone calls not to go through.
- Stay informed. Tune in to local media channels for important updates and directives. Go to TakeWinterByStorm.org for links on how to register for emergency alert systems in your area.
* Let your family and friends know about TakeWinterByStorm.org. This Internet-based resource and educational tool should be integrated into your emergency preparedness and communication plans.
Stay informed, look up what to do
- Breaking News from Regional Public Information Network (RPIN)
- Roads and Transit
Road closures and alerts, transit schedules, snowplow plans, winter driving tips
- Flooding Resources
Conditions, maps, preparation tips, response resources, and cleanup help.
- Snow & Ice Resources
Snowplow plans, home maintenance and and driving recommendations.
- Winter Weather
Current weather reports and traffic warnings for Seattle - King County.
Updated Oct. 6, 2010
To pass along errors or suggestions related to the Take Winter by Storm website, please contact Fred Bentler.