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There are many things that people, families, and businesses can do to prepare themselves for the impact of a natural or man-made disaster or emergency.  Many aspects of preparedness are common to all hazards. 

Being prepared can reduce fear, anxiety, and losses that accompany disasters. Disasters disrupt hundreds of thousands of lives every year and each disaster has lasting effects, both to people and property. Communities, families, and individuals should know what to do in the event of any disaster or emergency, such as a fire or during severe weather events. 

If a disaster occurs in your community, local government and disaster-relief organizations will try to help you, but you need to be ready as well.  Local responders may not be able to reach you immediately, or they may need to focus their efforts elsewhere.

You should also be ready to be self-sufficient for at least two weeks.  Island County Department of Emergency Management recommends having at least two weeks of supplies and encourages residents to store more supplies if they are able to. Due to the unique geography of our region, it may be difficult to get supplies to our islands in the event of a significant disaster. This may mean providing for your own shelter, first aid, food, water, and sanitation. 


Family Preparedness Resource

Emergency Preparedness Guide 

The Emergency Preparedness Guide is great resources for providing information on local hazards as well as:

  • Building your Emergency Kit
  • Developing your Family Plan
  • Staying Informed
  • Getting Involved
  • Making your Home Safe
Emergency Preparedness Guide
​2 Weeks Ready Infographic (click on picture to right)

  • Keep at least 2 weeks of supplies in your home.
  • Have a smaller kit for work and school
  • Include your pet supplies
  • Have a kit in your vehicle

​ ​Preparedness for People with Disabilities

​People with disabilities may have special needs to consider in an emergency. If you have a disability, it may require extra planning to handle an emergency.

This guide will provide tips which individuals with disabilities and others with access and functional needs, and the people who assist and support them, can take to prepare for emergencies before they happen.

​Other Resources:

​ ​Preparedness for Older Individuals

Everyone should be prepared for emergencies and disasters. Each person's abilities are unique and many older adults can be assets during a disaster, calling upon prior experience, wisdom, and mental resilience to survive. However, certain aspects of the aging process can make many older adults particularly vulnerable during a disaster because of:

  • Impaired Physical Mobility
  • Diminished Sensory Awareness
  • Chronic Health Conditions

A little extra preparation can older adults handle some of the unique needs that may occur.

Personal Workplace Emergency Plan​