We partner with the community to prepare for, respond to, mitigate the impacts of, and recover from disasters.
Principles of Emergency Management
We consider and take into account all hazards, all phases, all stakeholders and all impacts relevant to disasters.
We anticipate future disasters and take preventive and preparatory measures to build disaster-resistant and disaster-resilient communities.
We use sound risk management principles (hazard identification, risk analysis, and impact analysis) in assigning priorities and resources.
We ensure unity of effort among all levels of government and all elements of the community.
We create and sustain broad and sincere relationships among individuals and organizations to encourage trust, advocate a team atmosphere, build consensus, and facilitate communication.
We use creative and innovative approaches in solving disaster challenges.
We value a science and knowledge-based approach based on education, training, experience, ethical practice, public stewardship and continuous improvement.
Service Oriented, Collaborative, Continuous Improvement
Days are getting longer!
Since the winter solstice we have been gaining 7 minutes of additional daylight each day. Even though many of us may be dreaming about the arrival of Spring, we are still have plenty of winter ahead of us. Here is a quick and easy preparedness activity that takes advantage of those extra minutes we are getting each day.
- Locate your gas meter and make sure you know when and how to turn it off if there is a gas leak.
- Only turn off your gas if you smell, see (a broken pipe or dials spinning out of control) or hear a leak. After a major disaster, restoring residential gas service will be a low priority. If you don't have a leak, don't turn off the gas!
- Turn off the gas at the meter. Having the right tools is important as well. A wrench and a light source are the two most important things to have on hand. While there are specialized "gas meter wrenches" a crescent wrench will do the job. Many people have put a wrench and a glow stick in a plastic bag and taped it to their gas meter.
- Also, notice how quickly the dials are spinning on a regular day. This gives you a good baseline - if you have a leak, the dials will be spinning much faster.
- For more information on controlling utilities visit our Prepare Yourself page or download our "Controlling Utilities" information sheet.
Protect yourself from Urban Flooding
In the Northwest we are used to getting a lot of rain and because of that our systems are built to accomodate our large rainfall amounts. But there are times when even our robust systems become overloaded. In addition to storms that bring in record rainfall, we have to contend with King Tides. Named after the 12th century ruler 'Canute the Great' (who claimed he could stop the tides from rising) King Tides are especially high tides that occur each winter when the sun and moon's gravity, working together, create extreme tides, both high and low. When King Tides coincide with low pressure and/or heavy rain and wind, the chances of flooding along the Puget Sound increase dramatically. To learn more about King Tides visit the Seattle Public Utilties The Convergence Zone site.
No matter where you live, it is important to remember that just a few inches of water in a home can cause thousands of dollars of damage. Be aware that standard homeowners' and renters' insurance don't cover flooding. You will need a seperate policy from FEMA's National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to cover loss due to flooding. NFIP is a subsidized federal program that makes reasonably-priced policies available to homeowners, renters and businesses. Coverage will help you repair or rebuild and help recover the loss of your belongings due to flooding. To learn more, go to www.floodsmart.gov.
We are fortunate that advances in weather forecasting technology gives us much more accurate information about conditions that could likely cause local flooding. While preparedness is not a substitute for flood insurance, taking a few simple steps will reduce you overall losses. If flooding is predicted in your area, here are some things you can do:
Move important items out of basements and areas of your house that could be damaged due to rising waters.
Make a plan with your friends and/or family where you would stay, if you can't stay in your house for a few days.
Practice your communications plan, so everyone knows how you will share information if you need to leave.
If you keep copies of important documents in your home, store them in a place that will stay dry. It is always a good idea to store originals in a secure place outside your home, such as a bank safe deposit box.
Build a go kit equipped with a flashlight, spare batteries, extra clothing, water, food and any items you may need if you have to leave your home quickly.
Stay informed about approaching weather systems and take the necessary precautions to reduce the impact of the weather, such as clearing your outside drains BEFORE the storm hits. You can also sign up for weather updates from the National Weather Service
Additional Information and Resources can be found in our Resource Library under Hazard Related Information
Seattle closes Emergency Operations Center
SEATTLE (November 25, 2014) – The Seattle Emergency Operations Center and Joint Information Center deactivated at 2:30 p.m. The police department continues to provide support for free speech events city-wide.
Members of the press should contact Seattle Police Department for media inquiries: 206-684-5520.
Most mayoral press conferences are broadcast live to the web by Seattle Channel at www.seattle.gov/mayorlive.[View City of Seattle News Release]
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