Being Prepared for a Natural Disaster

The Madison Clinic Community Advisory Boarda group of Madison Clinic patients, provided the impetus and material for this page.

Seattle is situated in a part of the country where it is prudent to plan for the possibility of earthquakes, floods, and winter storms.


The City of Seattle has many resources online about preparing for disasters, including

Staying Safe in an Earthquake, Building an Emergency Kit, and Storing Water here.

Building a Family Plan, Talking to your Kids, and Preparing your Pet here.

Training on Preparedness here.

King County also has a number of webpages with guidance on what to do in case of situations that might happen in natural disasters, including

Safety Precautions after a Disaster

How to Prepare Safe Water after a Disaster (if there is a “boil order”)

This article from the Seattle Times provides information about how to react to an earthquake depending on your setting at the time (e.g. outside/in a car/on foot/indoors/coastline/etc), provides a recommended list of Emergency Kit items, and provides information on how to prepare your home for an earthquake.

In general, sites recommend that individuals and families prepare Emergency Kits to be prepared in case of a natural disaster. Different organizations and sites may have slightly different recommendations about what items to pack and keep ready in an Emergency Kit, but most agree on these basics:

  • Clean water (1 gallon per person per day is a good guide)
  • Food – high calorie, long shelf life items like protein or meal replacement bars, canned food, or dried food that doesn’t require cooking.
  • First aid kit
  • Flashlight and batteries or other light source
  • List of important family contacts and phone numbers
  • Extra change of clothes, warm is good
  • Blanket, consider including a tarp
  • Old pair of eyeglasses or extra pair of contact lenses
  • Old pair of walking shoes
  • Small supply of essential prescription medications
  • Hygiene Supplies (an extra toothbrush, toothpaste, etc)
  • Whistle