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Personal & Family Preparedness

​The Department of Emergency Management provides information about hazards that might impact Island County.  The likely hazards are analyzed in the Island County Hazard Identification and Vulnerability Assessment or HIVA.

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. Communities, families, and individuals should know what to do in the event of a fire and where to seek shelter during severe weather.  They should be ready to evacuate their homes and take refuge in public shelters and know how to care for their basic medical needs.

People also can reduce the impact of disasters (flood proofing, elevating a home or moving a home out of harm’s way, and securing items that could shake loose in an earthquake) and sometimes avoid the danger completely.

Disasters disrupt hundreds of thousands of lives every year.  Each disaster has lasting effects, both to people and property.

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 know how to respond to severe weather or any disaster that could occur in your area—hurricanes, earthquakes, extreme cold, flooding, or terrorism.

You should also be ready to be self-sufficient for at least three days.  This may mean providing for your own shelter, first aid, food, water, and sanitation.

Family Preparedness Resources

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

​ ​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 disabi;ities 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:

​ ​Prepareness 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.

​ ​Preparedness for Pets

​Planning ahead is essential for making sure your pets are safe and well following a disaster. Some things you can do to prepare:

  1. Build a kit for your pets
  2. Know where you can evacuate with your pets (pet friendly hotels) along your evacuation route
  3. Have a pet buddy
  4. Keep a collar and tag on your pets
  5. Microchip your pet and keep it updated
  6. Include photos of your pets in your kit(s) 

Personal Workplace Emergency Plan​


Make a Plan

Make a plan with your family to get through an emergency. Think about the things you need every day and work out what you would do if you didn’t have them. Click here to open the planning template. Print the form, fill it out, stick it on the fridge and make sure everyone knows the plan.

As many of us spend a great deal of our time at work, it is also important to have a plan should an emergency occur during working hours. Click here to open the planning template to help develop your personal workplace emergency plan.



Local Preparedness Groups


Island County

Copyright Island County. All Rights Reserved 2017

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Main Offices

Whidbey Office
1 NE 7th Street
Coupeville, WA 98239

Camano Office
121 N East Camano Dr
Camano Island, WA 98282

Helpful Numbers

Main Line: (360) 678-5111
Sheriff: (360) 679-7310

Juror Recordings
Superior Court: (800) 254-2755
District Court: (800) 946-9765

Island County Directory