City of Tukwila Emergency Mgmt
15005 Tukwila Intl. Blvd
Tukwila, WA 98188
Phone: 206 971-8750
A hazard is something which has the potential for harm. Sometimes these hazards are natural (floods and storms), and sometimes they are more technological in nature (hazardous materials release). Risk describes the probability of the hazard occurring and the level of harm possible. In Tukwila, there are many hazards that should be planned for; however, those with the highest level of risk fall into three categories: earthquakes, floods, and severe weather. It is important to make sure you understand these hazards and can prepare adequately.
Earthquakes are described as the sudden slipping or movement of the Earth’s crust, most often where crustal plates meet, such as along the Cascadia Subduction zone off of the Washington and Oregon Coast, or along fault lines, which can be found throughout the Pacific Northwest. Within the United States, Washington ranks second among states susceptible to earthquake damages. Communities can be significantly impacted in many ways such as personal injuries, damage to property and utilities, fires, an increased demand on public safety organizations, and potentially lost revenue if businesses are not able to stay open after the earthquake.
What should you do if the earth shakes?
- During an earthquake, drop, cover, and hold on where you are until the shaking stops.
- If you are inside, stay inside – wait until the shaking stops and you are sure it’s safe to exit.
- If in bed – stay in bed and hold on, protecting your head with a pillow.
- When outdoors – find a clear spot away from buildings, trees, and power lines.
- In a vehicle – slow down and drive to a clear space away from overpasses, power lines, buildings, and trees.
- After the shaking stops, check yourself and then others for injuries. Give first aid for serious injuries.
- Inspect your home for damage. Get everyone out if your home is unsafe.
- Monitor your NOAA weather radio and keep a local radio and/or television on for information and emergency instructions.
- Use the telephone only to report life-threatening emergencies.
- Expect aftershocks.
Check out this video for additional tips on being prepared and making smart, life-saving decisions during and after an earthquake.
Floods are one of the most common hazards in the world. Anytime a body of water rises to cover what is normally dry land, it falls into the category of “flood.” Floods may be widespread, or only impact one area. They may happen quickly, such as flash flooding, or over longer periods of time. There are many causes of flood, and most are related to the amount of precipitation falling and the ability that precipitation has to be absorbed into the ground. In Tukwila, the Green/Duwamish River is constantly monitored to watch for potential flooding. However, floods can happen in other ways as well. Often referred to as urban flooding, streets can flood in low areas or where drains are clogged with leaves and debris. Even though local flooding most commonly occurs between November and February, historically King County rivers have flooded in every month of the year except August. The leading cause of flood-related deaths is from motorists driving through standing water or around barricades or road-closure signs.
What should you do if there is a flood?
- Keep a battery-powered radio tuned to a local station and follow all emergency instructions.
- If you are caught in your building by rapidly rising waters, call 911 for help and move to higher floors.
- Do not walk or wade in flooded areas.
- Be prepared to evacuate and do so when advised.
- If you evacuate by car do not drive through flooded areas. Turn around, don’t drown!
- Life threatening Emergencies: 9-1-1
- King County Flood Services
- National Weather Service Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service
- King County Road Alert
Severe weather refers to any dangerous meteorological phenomena with the potential to cause damage, serious social disruption, or loss of human life. Types of severe weather phenomena vary. High winds, hail, excessive precipitation, and wildfires are forms and effects of severe weather, as are thunderstorms, lightning, tornadoes, and drought. Regional and seasonal severe weather phenomena include blizzards, snowstorms, ice storms, excessive heat and/or cold temperatures, and dust storms. Severe Weather can happen anywhere and anytime and it can happen to you. In a severe weather situation, it is vital to think clearly and react quickly. If Severe Weather occurs, it is essential for you to know what to do and what not to do. The time to find this out is before an emergency happens.
What should you do during a severe weather event?
In a severe weather emergency, it is up to you to determine what action is appropriate because conditions can change quickly and events can vary widely. Here are some basic tips to help you out:
- Ensure you are prepared should the power go out.
- Stay inside if you can to stay warm (or cold) as needed. If your power goes out, check for other locations that might be open, such as community centers, libraries, emergency shelters, etc.
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- Conserve fuel in your vehicle and try to avoid travel if possible.
- If you must travel, ensure you have supplies in your vehicle, such as blankets, food, water, etc.
- Tune in to local TV, radio, or your NOAA radio for emergency information and updates.
- TakeWinter By Storm
- Washington State Department of Transportation – Winter Driving Tips
- About Carbon Monoxide poisoning
- Puget Sound Energy Outage Map
- Seattle City Light Outage Map
- FEMA Hazards – Thunderstorms and Lightning
- FEMA Hazards – Tornadoes
- FEMA Hazards – Winter Storms and Extreme Cold
- FEMA Hazards – Heat
- National Weather Service – Winter Weather Safety and Awareness