‘Be prepared, not scared’ — 3 things to do before Saturday’s major windstorm

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Our series of October storms continues as the remnants of Typhoon Songda threaten a more powerful windstorm Saturday afternoon through Saturday night.

The National Weather Service has issued a High Wind Watch for that time period across all of western Washington.

The storm Saturday has been advertised by weather models to take a critical track over the Olympic Peninsula and pass over the southern tip of Vancouver Island.

The low pressure is key in pulling sea level upwards of 30 feet creating chaotic seas, coastal flooding, high surf, and very dangerous conditions to be on the beach or on the water.  Warnings have been issued for all of these through Saturday’s storm.

The organization Take Winter By Storm suggests 3 main things to do before Saturday’s storm to keep your family safe:

1. Create an emergency preparedness kit with at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food and water for your home and office. Kits prepared for vehicle road travel and winter weather evacuation go-kits are also advised.

Here are some basics to pack in your kit:

  • Water – one gallon of water per person, per day, for at least three days (for drinking and sanitation)
  • Non-perishable food – at least a three-day supply of nonperishable, ready-to-eat food
  • Battery powered radio/hand crank radio
  • NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert
  • Batteries (AAA, AA, C, D, 9-volt)
  • Flashlight
  • First aid kit
  • Multi-purpose tool
  • Whistle
  • Antiseptic towelettes
  • Garbage bags with plastic ties
  • Dust mask
  • Cell phone charger
  • USB hand crank charger (may be included on hand crank radio)
  • Blankets for each person
  • Rain ponchos
  • Personal hygiene supplies (toothbrush, paste, sanitary napkins, soap, towel, etc.)
  • Prescription medications (seven-day supply suggested)
  • Cash
  • Can opener
  • Paper and pencil for notes
  • Pet supplies (food, water, blanket, medications)
  • Children/baby supplies (diapers/wipes, formula, baby food, coloring book/crayons)

2. Make a plan and practice the plan with your family and those who depend on you.

  • Discuss with your family and/or friends how to prepare for and respond to emergencies that are most likely to happen where
    you live, learn, work and play. Identify responsibilities for each member of your household and plan to work together as a team.
  • Learn how to use technology to be weather ready for storms. Go to http://www.TakeWinterByStorm.org for National Weather Service
    forecasts for your local area, weather information resources and to register for alert systems in your area.
  • Ask places your family frequents if they have site-specific emergency plans. Schools, childcare providers, workplaces and
    apartment buildings should have a plan, know who they will communicate with families during a crisis, and store adequate food,
    water and other basic supplies. Find out if they are prepared to “shelter-in-place” if need be, and where they plan to go if they
    must evacuate. Post this contact information on your Family Communication Plan and Emergency Contact Card.
  • Identify a safe out-of-neighborhood meeting place. During a storm related disaster, family members may not be in the same
    location. In case your neighborhood has been damaged in a storm related event, a safe out-of-neighborhood meeting place may
    be the best alternative. This place may also be the best place to meet in case family members get separated. Know the phone
    number and contact information of your family out-of-neighborhood meeting place.
  • Identify an out-of area contact. After a disaster, long distance phone lines may be more reliable than local lines. Ask a friend
    or relative who lives outside of Washington state to be your “family contact.” After a disaster, your family contact becomes a
    communication point to share information with all household members. Your plan depends on everyone knowing your contact’s
    phone number.
  • Program all emergency contact numbers into all of your phones and keep a list with you because your personal address book
    on your phone may not be accessible. Tell your local emergency contact and out-of-area contact that you’ve listed them as
    emergency contacts. Make sure your out-of-neighborhood meeting place has a phone available for communication.
  • Use text messaging if network disruptions are causing phone calls not to go through. Wireless phones will not work if the
    electricity is out. Corded (also known as land line) phones are the most reliable.
  • Stay informed. Tune in to local media channels for important updates and directives. Go to TakeWinterByStorm.org for links
    on how to register for alert systems in your area.

3. Stay informed and know the weather approaching so you are prepared for whatever Mother Nature throws our way.

Prepare your home

Prepare your car

Additional storm resources: