City of Tukwila Emergency Mgmt
444 Andover Park E
Tukwila, WA 98188
Phone: 206 971-8740 or
When a disaster occurs, professional responders may be immediately overwhelmed with requests for help. They may not be able to meet the needs of all Tukwila residents during the hours and perhaps days following a disaster. Residents may need to serve as their own “first responders” during this critical time when help may not be available. Preparedness is key to being ready for disasters and being resilient enough to make it through. Here in Tukwila, there are four main steps we encourage you to take in order to be best prepared: make a plan, build a kit, be informed, and get involved. The goal at the end of the day is for you to be able to take care of yourself, your family, and possibly your neighbors, and most of all, to thrive in doing so.
Make a Plan
Having a plan helps people to remain calm and in control when faced with a catastrophe. It is important to make sure you have a plan in place as to what you will do when a disaster or emergency should occur. Consider what your needs will be and ask yourself some of the following questions:
- Where will you go if you can’t make it home?
- Where will you meet your family members if you become separated?
- What routes will you take to get home should roads become impassable?
- How will you receive any emergency alerts that are sent out?
- How will you communicate with my family members if the phones are not working?
Make sure that your planning includes the more specialized needs of any children, elderly or disabled family members, and pets. Thinking through this process now will help you to make better choices when faced with a potentially chaotic situation. Most importantly, make sure and practice your plans now, to make sure they will work during a disaster. You may be surprised and find that your plan went perfectly, or you may find ways to make it even better.
Family Emergency Communications Plan:
When major events occur, it can be difficult to make local calls and reach your family and friends. As part of your planning, consider ways in which you can communicate even if your phone is not working.
- Have an out of state contact—oftentimes when we cannot call locally, we can call someone outside of Washington and Oregon. Identifying someone outside of the area you and your family can call during and after a disaster can ease the process of communicating. Find more information on Out of State contacts here.
- Make sure and have important phone numbers written down somewhere on you. Many people depend on their cell phones these days to act as their phone book, but if the cell phone battery dies, you may not have access to your contacts.
- If you cannot make calls, try texting or sending messages through social media. Oftentimes one method will work, outside of making an actual call.
Build a Kit
During most serious emergencies and disasters, families may need to be self-reliant until responders can assist them. In some cases, this can be hours, but in others it can be several days. In order to ensure you can make it through a serious event, put together an emergency preparedness kit with supplies for each member of your family, which can last for at least 7 to 10 days. Consider the needs you and your family may have, and include them in your kit. Make sure to include copies of important documents, and consider having a separate, smaller kit for your car or work, and possibly for your pet. Potential items in your kit may include, but are not limited to:
- First Aid supplies
Remember that each family’s needs are unique, and must be considered when building the kit. For additional information regarding building your kit, including more extensive lists of items to include, check out the links below.
The best way to be successful in your preparedness is to know what you are preparing for and understand what you need to do before, during, and after a disaster. Every community has some type of hazard that poses a risk. In order to be best informed, take time to learn about the hazards that you should consider here in Tukwila. The three hazards that are the most common or pose the greatest risk are discussed here in some detail, and there are additional resources listed as well that can help you in your journey to becoming better informed.
The second most important step you can take to ensure you are as informed as possible is to familiarize yourself with methods that will be used to warn and alert the public when necessary. In general, emergency information will be broadcast on local radio and television stations, NOAA weather radios, and the Emergency Alert System. Tukwila specific information could be available, depending on the size and scope of the emergency, via the City’s website, Twitter and Facebook feeds, TV21, and the Tukwila Reporter. Make sure and register for King County ALERT in order to receive alerts directly via phone, text, or email and download the app to any smart phone or tablet to see other active alerts nearby.
Help Each Other and Get Involved
Being prepared isn’t only about building a kit, making a plan, and being informed. It’s also about learning how to help one another. Oftentimes, disasters bring people together as community members look for ways to help their neighbors. That process can begin long before a disaster event, however, through training and community involvement. Some steps you can take to be better involved might include:
- Connect with others in the neighborhood and get to know one another, pre-identify special needs that may arise during a disaster, and discuss pooling resources. Sometimes others might have access to resources you may not have, while you might have a skill that can be shared.
- Participate in community based trainings to build skills you can use day to day or during a disaster. Attend CERT or First Aid/CPR training and learn a number of lifesaving skills or obtain your amateur radio license so you can communicate should the phones not work during a disaster.
- Volunteer for the City of Tukwila’s Office of Emergency Management, become an Emergency Worker, or join the Tukwila Emergency Communications (TEC) Team.
- Lastly, become a beacon of information for others. Share information and skills learned and encourage others to also get involved.