How to prepare for a major storm

With the memory of the 50th anniversary of the Columbus Day Storm in mind, officials at the Snohomish County Public Utility District are cautioning customers to prepare for fall and winter storms.

They suggest that you:

1. Make a plan.

Everyone, including children, should have a plan for how they will communicate during an emergency and where they will meet family members if separated. Establish a meeting place near your home where family members will go if it’s not safe to stay in your home.

Establish someone out of state who each family member can contact. In emergencies, sending text messages might work, even if phone calls can’t go through. If cell towers are down, land lines may work. Long-distance calls may go through even if local calls don’t.

2. Build a kit.

Have basic supplies on hand to keep you alive and make you more comfortable during the first few days of a disaster. Set aside a minimum three-day supply of nonperishable, ready-to-eat food; drinkable water, 1 gallon per person per day; medications and personal hygiene items; radio, battery-powered or hand-crank style; flashlight, extra batteries; sturdy shoes and warm clothing; a supply of cash in case ATMs are not functional; first-aid kit, blankets, a whistle and comfort items for children and pets. Put these items together in one place.

3. Get involved.

Get to know your neighbors. A trusted friend next door can keep an eye on your property and take care of your kids or pets if an emergency keeps you from getting home. Check on your neighbors to make sure they are OK.

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