Be Prepared in 2014: Make Preparedness Part of Your New Year

From Darryl Madden, Director of FEMA Ready Campaign

For many, the New Year is a time for setting goals and making new resolutions for the year to come. If you are anything like me, each year you find yourself resolving to achieve a healthier lifestyle – eating right, exercising more, losing a few pounds.

Setting personal health goals in the New Year is great, but improving overall well-being involves taking actions to be prepared. Knowing what to do in an emergency is vital to the health and safety of you and your loved ones.

This year, the Ready Campaign is challenging you to be Prepared in 2014. Start the New Year by connecting with family and friends on the importance of preparedness. Not only can the information shared potentially save a life, connecting with those you love has an added benefit. People who have strong social connections tend to be healthier and more resilient.

I know the hardest part of keeping a resolution is sustaining it after those first few weeks of the year, but you don’t have to do it all at once.

First, start by simply having the conversation: who to call, where to meet and what to pack in an emergency.

Build your family’s emergency supply kit by picking up recommended emergency items over the first month or two of the year.

Create a preparedness checklist. This should include things such as emergency phone numbers and copies of important documents, and information on how to register for programs such as the American Red Cross Safe and Well website.

Set reminders throughout the year to talk about and update your family emergency communication plan. If you have children, include them in conversations and planning activities. The Ready Campaign has age-appropriate tools and resources you can use to introduce disaster preparedness to them. And you can learn more about talking with kids after disasters so you’re ready to help them through tough situations.

Have pets? Make sure they are a part of your planning process. Create a pet go-bag to help keep them safe during an emergency. Find helpful tips from FEMA on how to plan for your furry friends

Older adults often have special needs in a disaster and may depend on medications or other special requirements. If older adults are a part of your social connection, be sure to include them in your preparedness planning efforts.

Emergencies can and will happen, but being ready can minimize the impact they have on the overall well-being of you and your family.

This year, make disaster preparedness part of your New Year’s resolution. On January 1st 2014, join the Resolve To Be Ready Thunderclap to promote a message of preparedness to your social connections on New Year’s Day. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #Prepared2014 whenever you discuss family preparedness on Twitter.



Countywide emergency preparedness fair set for Sept. 21

EVERETT — When disasters hit home, are you prepared?

If not, now’s the time to take the first step toward being ready. September is National Preparedness Month, and this year, the focus is on turning awareness into action.

“It’s not enough to know what to do in an emergency,” Snohomish County Executive John Lovick said. “We need to take real steps to prepare ourselves and our families. If an earthquake or major storm hits and you’re trapped in your home, you should make sure that you have the resources you need to make it through.”

A countywide “Empower” preparedness fair on Saturday, Sept. 21, is designed to help local residents find preparedness ideas, tips and tools for emergency planning. The free event runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Snohomish Health District’s atrium, located at 3020 Rucker Ave. in Everett, and is cosponsored by the Snohomish Health District, Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management, the Medical Reserve Corps and city of Everett Office of Emergency Management. Low-income and uninsured adults can also get free whooping cough shots at the preparedness fair.

Preparing for an emergency doesn’t have to be overwhelming. The county Department of Emergency Management recommends taking one step each day toward emergency preparedness:

• Add one more item to your emergency kit. If you don’t have a kit, start one today.

• Find local sources of information that will help you before, during and after an emergency.

• Identify an out-of-area contact your household can notify in an emergency.

• Buy or prepare nonperishable food and water.

• Identify alternate routes to and from school or work.

For more helpful tips and information about National Preparedness Month and the Ready Campaign, visit, or call 800-BE-READY or 800-SE-LISTO in Spanish.

Tribes form national emergency council


Organization provides ‘united voice’ on efforts

Jonathan Brunt, The Spokesman-Review

A national tribal group with roots in Washington has a new, high-profile leader to help with emergency preparedness.

The association works to help tribes to prepare for floods, fires and other disasters and to make sure other governments work with tribes.

More than 300 people are attending the Northwest Tribal Emergency Management Council annual conference this week at the Northern Quest Resort and Casino. And on Monday, council officials announced they had created a separate organization focused on the whole country that will be led by the recently retired tribal affairs director for the Department of Homeland Security.

“The benefit is a united voice more than anything else,” said Steve Golubic, the new executive director of the National Tribal Emergency Management Council. “If we don’t speak for ourselves, nobody’s going to do it for us.”

Golubic, 63, has agreed to take the position as a volunteer and will work from his home in Wisconsin. The Northwest council is based in Snohomish, Wash. Before working at Homeland Security, he was the national tribal liaison for the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The Northwest council was formed shortly after 9/11 when the federal government began awarding grants to local and state governments to improve emergency response. But at the time, none of the nearly 30 federally recognized tribes in Washington had emergency management offices, said Lynda Zambrano, executive director of the Northwest council. Today, almost all of the state’s tribes do.

Golubic said tribes often have been neglected by federal, state and local government planning for disasters.

Claude Cox, chairman of the Northwest council, noted that as of this year tribes can go directly to FEMA to request a disaster declaration. Before, they had to work through state governments.

“We’re going to prepare our members to better govern themselves,” said Cox, a member of the Spokane Tribe and police chief for the Sauk-Suiattle Tribe in Darrington, Wash.

Members of the Northwest council include the Spokane, Colville, Kalispel, Coeur d’Alene and Nez Perce tribes.