What is Emergency Preparedness?

The steps you take to make sure you are safe before, during and after an emergency or natural disaster. These plans are important for your safety in both natural and man-made disasters.

In the Pacific Northwest, we tend to think of the massive earthquake predicted to hit the Cascadia Subduction Zone at any time. But we also have other concerns: 

The Washington Office of Emergency Management has changed their recommendations for how long people should be prepared from the longstanding standard of 72 hours to a more realistic two weeks. This is based on how long it might take for people to start seeing relief in the event of a Cascadia earthquake. It’s important to remember, though, that preparedness for that length of time should be a goal. If you’re just starting to get things together, that goal certainly doesn’t have to be met right away, so don’t let that number overwhelm you.

Begin with a 36 to 72 hour supply; two weeks is preferred

Keep in mind that you’re preparing to sustain yourselves in an emergency, NOT to maintain your lifestyle.

Create a basic Home Preparedness Kit

it's not a contest to see how much money you can spend. 

Can you buy a kit? 

Ready-to-go preparedness kits are available online and at various stores. They usually provide a selection of high calorie survival-type food bars, packets of water, a first aid kit, flashlight and batteries, rain poncho, a multi-tool; and other miscellaneous items. It is important to understand exactly what is provided in your purchased kit as you will most likely need to supplement it with a supply of additional items.

We recommend you create your own preparedness kit. You can use items you may already have, and personalize the kit to meet your specific needs. 

What type of supplies do you need? 

If you search the internet for “emergency preparedness”, you will find a never-ending list of things to do and have to protect yourself and your family in the event of a disaster. It is overwhelming. We recommend you start with the five basics: 

Detailed information on each one is available here on our website.

Don’t put anything in your kit unless you know how to use it, have used it, have worn it and know it works the way it’s supposed to. The same concept applies to the food you include; make sure you have eaten it and would want to eat it again. 

COVID-19 was a practice drill!

The pandemic has given us a glimpse of what a large scale disaster could be like, except we have been able to stay in the comfort of our homes and had access to power and running water. And while we may have experienced short-term frustration at the low supply of some items at the grocery store, we were still able to shop for food and necessities.

How would you do without those things? Are you prepared to camp in your backyard? 

Additional Resources:



Center for Disease Control   

Washington State Emergency Management  

Languages Other Than English  

Questions? Contact info@CERTClarkCountyWA.com