Emergencies

For life-threatening emergencies, call 911.

For flooding, sewer backups or overflows, and pollution and spills, call our Operations Control Center at (206) 386-1800 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week). Learn more about these emergencies below.

 

Flooding

Call (206) 386-1800 for surface water flooding.

If your house is flooding inside:

  • Turn your water off at your in-home shut-off valve and then call (206) 386-1800.
  • Can't locate or operate your valve? Check for a water shut-off valve at the water meter box located near the street.
  • Call if there isn't a valve at the water meter or you can't operate the valve.
  • Call if a water pipe appears broken in the street or sidewalk area.

Call (206) 386-1800 if you notice a problem with your water quality, i.e., discoloration, taste, or odor issues.

Plan ahead if you think you may need sandbags. During fall and winter, Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) notifies customers where we have sandbags for residents in flood-prone areas to pick up.

 

Sewer Backups or Overflows

Call (206) 386-1800 if you see sewage or smell it surfacing in the street, from maintenance holes, or from any other sources.

If you are experiencing a sewer backup in the building or an overflow on your property:

  • Stop using water.
  • If the sewer backup or overflow stops, call a plumber to check your private side sewer.
  • If not a private side sewer issue, call (206) 386-1800.

 

Pollution and Spills

Call (206) 386-1800:

  • if you see substance ponding or streaks on public property such as streets or sheens on water bodies such as streams and creeks.
  • to submit a report for the spill response program.
  • to report landslides. Keep your distance from the slide area.

 

Be Prepared

Being prepared for an emergency or natural disaster is the best way to ensure your family's protection. Here are some strategies to help you and your family prepare:

  • Be sure that all family members are familiar with your community warning system.
  • Sit down with family members and go over emergency evacuation routes.
  • Prepare both an evacuation route via vehicle and on foot.
  • Practice the safest routes from your home or business to high, safe ground.
  • Set up a family meeting place in the event that members are separated.
  • Have an out-of-area contact person for family members to call.

As in any major disaster, you and your family should plan on being self-sufficient for at least 72 hours. Here are some essential emergency supplies you should store in a quick, easy to reach location:

  • Food and drinking water
  • First aid kit
  • Medicines
  • Blankets, warm clothing
  • Rain gear
  • Portable radios with batteries
  • Flashlights with extra batteries

For more information on how you and your family can prepare, respond, and recover from disasters, please visit King County's Office of Emergency Management and the Red Cross.