Preparedness Tips

February 2018 - 

How are preparedness resolutions going?

images of all types of families, single, couples, multi ethnic,gay, vulnerable, pets.

Prepare Because You Care

Motivation to act is a heavily studied topic by sociologists, and one which has great impacts on encouraging residents in Pierce County to prepare for disasters.  Research has shown that being overly emotional with what could happen usually backfires. Showing pictures of low probability disasters that have high consequence, such as catastrophic earthquakes, volcanoes erupting, etc. get people’s attention, but in the long run tend to not incur personal action. Yet, people do want and deserve information, this is a delicate balance.  As Emergency Managers, we have a due diligence to inform officials and residents of hazards, risks and our capabilities. Studies also show that personal actions that are a default, or easily incorporated into what we already do, are more likely to be adopted. Preparing for “catastrophic what ifs” does not fall into default behaviors, default behaviors are more often shown in our day to day actions.

Grocery shopping is a default activity, we like and need to eat! Having items on that shopping list that are for a home/car/grab-and-go  preparedness kit, makes it more likely to add that extra can of soup, tuna or extra protein bar to the shopping cart..  Encouraging preparedness for what often happens is a good first step, such as stormy weather, power outages, broken down car or being stuck for hours in traffic; events that do create interruptions to normal processes thus a need to prepare for them. A good example is being stuck in traffic due to train derailment, and I cannot get home to pick up my children from daycare. Having plans for those events is very important, the same situation could also occur from a major earthquake.  Being ready for a day of travel disruptions is a great first step to getting prepared for the catastrophic events, be they human or nature caused. Having some preparedness actions as a default action makes steps towards getting prepared for the extended “on your own events” (at least 2 weeks) more realistic. 

The other area that researchers point out is individuals’ preparedness behaviors have the one of the greatest impact on others getting prepared. The preparedness acts you do and have done, if shared with friends, family and neighbors will greatly improve their and your communities’ resilience.  The need to belong is very strong in the human psyche, being it a part of a family, club, or recreation group and in those relationships people make choices, choices that the group supports.  Have your group, club, family take on preparedness, humans tend to choose actions that are default, and supported by those that are important to them.  Make preparedness your default.

Prepare because you care!

Sources; Psychology of Climate Change Communication-Center for Research on Environmental Decisions; The Twelve Cs of Disaster Preparedness Education – Rocky Lopes 

image of mount rainier, the narrows bridge and a HAM radio in foreground. Text: Ham Radio and Neighborhood Teams

Ham Radio and Neighborhood Teams

Thursday February 15, 7 PM  at Pierce County Emergency Operations Center
2501 South  35th street, use the Emergency Operations Center entrance through the gate,  no registration required.

If you are part of PC NET, Map Your Neighborhood or CERT and are interested in communicating through HAM radio during disasters, attend this meeting to learn how to interface with officials and get messages to loved ones.

Preparedness Academy - 2018 , contact us if you are interested in hosting a course.

Follow above link to read more details of these courses and registration

Disaster First Aid

February 17 - P.C Emergency Management, Emergency Operations Center,Tacoma
March 18-       East Pierce Fire Headquarters Bonney Lake - For residents in East Pierce
   Fire District
April 21 -         Location TBD                         
August 11-      Location TBD
October 20 -   Chapel Hill Presbyterian, Gig Harbor

Psychological First Aid - taught by Washington Chaplain Corps

February class postponed due to low enrollment, watch our Preparedness Academy page for new date. 

May 22 -       Location TBD
Sept 25 -      Location in Gig Harbor TBD
Oct 17 -        Orting Valley Fire and Rescue Headquarters, Orting

How to Communicate with Neighborhood Emergency Teams Using FRS - Family Radio Service/Walkie-talkie's During Disasters

Learn how to use walkie-talkie in your neighborhood during a disaster. Common language, stations to use, maintaining the radio are some of the topics covered. Course is available upon request. Contact us to arrange this course: 
FEMA image of business disaster plan

Prepare Your Business With The New Tool Kits

Prepare your business with the new toolkits and videos from Ready Business.

Organizations and their staff face a variety of hazards. The Ready Business program helps organizations plan for these hazards.
The Ready Business Toolkit series includes hazard-specific versions. The following versions include step-by-step guides in English and Spanish to build preparedness within an organization:

  • Earthquake “QuakeSmart” Toolkit
  • Hurricane Toolkit
  • Inland Flooding Toolkit
  • Power Outage Toolkit
  • Severe Wind/Tornado Toolkit
The Ready Business videos, available in English and Spanish, briefly explain several key parts of getting ready, such as:
  • Staff/Employee Management;
  • Physical Surroundings;
  • Physical Space;
  • Building Construction;
  • Systems; and
  • Community Service.

Download and view these new resources at
 Pass this article on to those who you know could benefit.

Winter Wise banner, shovel in the snow along a road covered in snow, trees with snow cover lining road. Link to Public Works Winter Wise webpage

Be Winter Wise

Pierce County is gearing up for winter weather, and you should do the same. Pierce County Emergency Management encourages you to take time now to create emergency kits for your home, car and workplace. You should also create a family plan to identify an out-of-state emergency contact, where you will meet if your family is separated, etc. Pierce County Planning and Public Works plays an important role in responding to winter weather. The department responds to roadway flooding, river flooding, windstorms and snow and ice events. It also manages storm cleanup. BE ‘WINTERWISE’ At, you can learn about response efforts during winter weather, how to stay informed and how to prepare now for inclement weather or an emergency.

Yellow banners with "If we can't reach you...we can't alert you

Pierce County ALERT

The county cannot send an emergency message
to your cell phone via text or voice if you have not registered your cell phone. 
Please take the time to register today!  Let others know of this service.Have family members out of state register as well, have them use your address, they will get any ALERTS that are impacting your household or community.

Wildfire preparedness day May 5th

Between January 8th and March 2nd you can apply for a $500 award to work on a community wildfire hazard mitigation project.  

Get ready to be a part of something big! National Wildfire Community Preparedness Day will mark its fifth anniversary in 2018. 
Between January 8 and March 2, you can apply for a $500 award to work on a community wildfire hazard mitigation project. See some best practices that will help you create an effective proposal for your application, and see the official rules.

Watch a free Webinar to assist you in "Completing a successful Wildfire Community Preparedness Day" funding application, Thursday, January 18, 2:30-3:30 pm ET Presenter: Faith Berry, NFPA Associate Project Manager, Wildland Fire Protection

Learn how easy it is to apply as well as tips to completing a successful award application.

Citizen Corp

Citizen Corps Council of Pierce County 

If you are interested in learning more about Citizen Corps of Pierce County contact David Alger, current Chair of Citizen Corps

email logo

If you have read this newsletter please respond with a YES.

send an email to:
and type Yes!  Let us know if you sent this to others as well. Thanks

FAcebook ICon

Like Us On Facebook

Pierce County Department of Emergency Management regularly posts education information on our Facebook. Please like us, share the information with your friends and networks. 

Pierce County Neighborhood Emergency Teams

We are in the process of developing PC NET trainers around the county. Watch for ads for volunteers in your community.
Information on PC NET

Pierce County Neighborhood Emergency Teams
) provides neighbors with information and tools necessary to work together for an effective response following emergencies and disasters. Professional responders will not be available to assist your neighborhood after a major disaster—you become the first responder. If individuals and their neighbors are prepared to mutually assist one another, lives can be saved and property can be spared.

Pierce County Emergency Team logo  Houses, trees, community stores
Footer Monthly Tips

Contact Us
Phone: 253-798-6595


Powered by CivicSend - A product of CivicPlus