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Emergency Preparedness

In the event of an emergency, dial 9-1-1
"Safety in our community is our priority"

Keep you and your family safe during emergencies resulting from storms and other natural disasters. Here's some tips to help you prepare for rain, snow, and winds.


Snow & Ice Information
The City of Kenmore contracts for public works services with the City of Lake Forest Park. The two cities share eight trucks for treating snow and ice conditions. Four trucks have sanders/spreaders and plows, two trucks have de-icers and plows, and two trucks have plows. The Public Works Department begins preparing early for the snow season by getting snow equipment ready, stockpiling supplies, training staff for emergency response and updating the snow response priorities map. During a snow storm, city crews work around the clock. Designated citywide priority routes are cleared first to accommodate emergency response, main arterials, and bus routes. If snowfall is continuous, those arterials may require repeated plowing and sanding before crews can work to clear neighborhood streets.

Driving on Ice and Snow
Ice and snow, take it slow! Driving in ice and snow, combined with Kenmore's steep hills, can make for hazardous driving conditions. Please remember to use safe driving tactics in winter conditions, including slower speeds, slower acceleration, slower steering and slower braking.

  • Check conditions: When you see snow or iceforecast, plan ahead. Talk to your employer, local school or day-care center. How will they provide you information? The Washington Department of Transportation (WSDOT) offers reports on highway conditions with online Statewide Traveler Information. If conditions appear hazardous, don't leave home unless you have to.
  • Extra time: Give yourself extra time. It's not worth putting yourself and others in a dangerous situation just to be on time.
  • Chaining up: A short how-to videoby WSDOT, posted on YouTube, showsthe basic steps for putting chains on your car.
  • Before leaving home: Pack a basic winter survival kit and travel gear in your vehicle. The kits should include: tire chains, ice scraper/snowbrush, jumper cables, road flares, snow shovel. flashlight, batteries, blanket, snacks, water, gloves, boots, and first-aid kit.
  • Driving tips: The faster you're going, the longer it will take to stop. When accelerating on snow or ice, take it slow to avoid slipping. When braking, do so slowly and never slam the brakes. Give yourself plenty of room to stop. Also make sure to keep your fuel tank full.
  • Black ice: Roads that seem dry or just wet may actually be slippery with black ice. Take it slow when approaching intersections, off-ramps, bridges or shady areas.
  • Snowplows: Give snowplows room to work. The plows are wide and can cross the centerline or shoulder. Do not tailgate and try not to pass. If you must pass, take extreme caution and beware of the snow cloud.

Home Safety
Severe cold can freeze the water in your pipes, causing them to burst. Be cautious with alternative ways of heating your home. If freezing temperatures are in the forecast, take the following steps: 

  • Drip warm water from the indoor faucet farthest from where water enters the house.
  • Insulate outdoor faucets and pipes in unheated garages and crawl spaces.
  • If a water pipe breaks, immediately turn off the main water shut-off valve and/or water meter to control flooding and water damage. Then call a plumber.
  • Use alternative heat sources safely and wisely. If you use a kerosene heater, make sure there is plenty of ventilation to avoid carbon monoxide gas buildup. Keep heaters away from curtains and clothing,and make sure heaters are turned off before going to bed. Do not leave children or pets alone with a portable heater. Do not use outdoor grills or camp stoves indoors as it may cause carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • When snow falls, shovel your sidewalk and driveway. If you have neighbors who have difficulty shoveling snow, consider cleaning theirs too.
  • Businesses and building managers should shovel sidewalks outside their locations so customers and employees can get around.

Message regarding trash, recycling and yard waste collection after snow storms


Rain/Flooding
When a large amount of rain falls, it can overwhelm the drainage system and cause flooding. Here's some tips for before, during, and after heavy rain and flooding events.

To prepare for heavy rains and prevent flooding:

  • Clear sidewalks and storm drains of leaves and debris. Most street flooding is caused by clogged storm drain grates. City employees clear storm drains, but it's hard to get to all public drains. Do not remove the grate from the storm drain opening - this does not unclog the system and creates a hazard for everyone. Place your leaves in a yard waste container or compost bin, not in the street. We appreciate your help.
  • Leave natural vegetation on steep slopes and along streams and lakes. Plants slow stormwater runoff and help prevent erosion.
  • To find out if your house is in a floodplain, call the City of Kenmore Land Development and Permitting Department at 425-398-8900.
  • Know how and when to turn off gas, electricity and water lines.
  • Clean gutters and downspouts at your home several times a year and direct flows away from your home.
  • Have an emergency kit prepared ahead of time in case you need to evacuate your home.
  • Consider buying flood insurance to protect your property. Homeowners' insurance does not cover flood loss, but most homeowners' insurance agents all sell flood insurance. Anyone can get flood insurance, even if you are located in an area not mapped as a floodplain, or even if you have never been flood before. Learn more: Floodsmart.gov
  • Consider using sand and sandbags to prevent flood damages: The City of Kenmore has deployed sandbags at four designated locations for use during the flood season. Please notify the City prior to taking sandbags by calling 425-398-8900. This will allow the City to track the number of sandbags used and to refill the locations. Make sure to know how to properly place the sandbags.

    Sandbag Locations:
    Near Kenmore Elementary, NE 192nd Street & 73rd Ave NE
    Rhododendron Park, 6910 NE 170th Street
    Log Boom Park, 60th Ave NE & NE 175th Street
    Arrowhead Drive; 67th Ave NE & NE 155th Street

During heavy rains:

  • Call 911 for life-threatening emergencies. Call the City of Kenmore at 425-398-8900 if your home or office is in danger of flooding.
  • Keep a battery-powered radio tuned to a local station.
  • If you are caught in your building by rapidly rising waters, call 911 for help. Then move to a higher floor or to the roof. Take warm, weatherproof clothing, a flashlight, a cell phone, and a portable radio.
  • Do not walk or wade in flooded areas.
  • Be prepared to evacuate: If advised to evacuate, do so immediately. Evacuation is much simpler and safer before flood waters become too deep.
  • If you evacuate by car: 
    • Do not attempt to drive through standing water. Even a small amount of water can stall your car.
    • If your car stalls in a flooding area, abandon it immediately and walk to safety in the direction you came from.
  • Stay away from fallen power lines and electrical wires. Assume any downed power line is an energized power line.
  • When flooding is imminent, but only if time permits:
    • Close the main gas valve.
    • Turn off all utilities in your building at the main power switch. Do not touch any electrical equipment unless it is in a dry area or you are standing on a piece of dry wood while wearing rubber-soled shoes and rubber gloves.
    • Record flood statistics such as time, gage reading, and local flood elevations for use in future home flood forecasting.
  • See general flood information at the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

After the flood:

  • Before re-entering your home: Check for structural damage that could cause the building to collapse. Be cautious of potential gas leaks, electrica shorts and live wires.
  • When re-entering a building: Use flashlights, rather than lanterns or candles in case of gas leaks.
  • Have a professional check: your heating system, electrical panel, outlets and appliances for safety before using. Call the gas company to have them turn the gas back on.
  • Document your losses: photograph damages and record repair costs.
  • Document your insurance agent for flood loss claims.
  • Remove and empty sandbags: do not dump sand into the river or on its banks. Store it for future use.
  • Apply for financial assistance: only available following a federal disaster declaration. Listen to the radio or television for updates on disaster assistance and registration procedures.

Wind/Power Outages

Puget Sound Energy provides electrical power to homes and businesses in Kenmore. Because power outages often occur during severe weather, it's a good idea to prepare a plan and build an emergency kit ahead of time. (PSE explains how to safely turn off gas and electric service to your home in the event of an emergency.)

Before a power outage:

  • Prepare a kit with a flashlight, batteries, bottled water, non-perishable food, blankets and warm clothing, emergency phone numbers, a first aid kit and other items you might need if power is out for several days.
  • If a storm is predicted, make sure your vehicle has plenty of gas. When power is out, gas pumps at service stations typically don't work.
  • If your garage has an electric door opener, locate the manual release lever and know how to operate it.
  • Stock up on shelf-stable foods such as canned goods, juices, peanut butter, energy bars, trail mixes and "no-freeze" entrees.
  • Plan ahead ways to keep foods cold. Buy some freeze-pack inserts and keep them frozen. Buy a cooler. Freeze water in plastic jugs or containers or store bags of ice.
  • Install surge protectors and/or battery systems for computers.
  • If a permanent generator installation is desired, consult a licensed electrician to install an approved transfer switch. Do not connect a generator directly into your home's main fuse box or circuit panel.
  • For help with planning and installing backup generators, call Puget Sound Energy at 1-800-562-1482.
  • Check information from King Countyabout preventing carbon monoxide poisoning and other extreme weather tips in multiple languages.

During a power outage:

  • Call Puget Sound Energy at 1-888-225-5773 to report a power outage. It may be quicker to leave information on PSE's automated phone system. Their service personnel will be notified, and the system provides updates to specific addresses. Updated information is also available at Puget Sound Energyif you have access to a working internet connection.
  • Do not use gasoline-powered machinery, such as generators, indoors or in a garage; toxic fumes can build up and are dangerous! Operate generators outdoors. Plug appliances directly into the generator using heavy duty, properly grounded extension cords that aren't worn or frayed.
  • Do not use charcoal grills indoors. Dangerous carbon monoxide can result.
  • Do not use a gas range or oven for room heating. A fuel-burning heater, such as a kerosene heater, requires plenty of ventilation to prevent buildup of harmful fumes. Place heaters on a hard surface away from flammable materials. Never leave children or pets alone when using a portable heater.
  • Turn off lights and appliances, including your furnace, and unplug sensitive electronic devices, like computers to avoid a circuit overload when power is restored. Leave one light switch on so you'll know when service returns.
  • Keep freezer and refrigerator doors closed; open them only when necessary.
  • Food will usually stay frozen for 36-48 hours in a fully loaded freezer if you keep the door closed. A half-full freezer will generally keep food frozen for 24 hours.
  • If driving and traffic signals are out, treat the intersection as a four-way stop.

Build a Kit

Following is a listing of some basic items that every emergency supply kit should include. You should have enough food, water, and other supplies to last for at least three days. However, it is important that individuals review this list and consider where they live and the unique needs of their family in order to create an emergency supply kit that will meet these needs. Individuals should also consider having at least two emergency supply kits, one full kit at home and smaller portable kits in their workplace, vehicle or other places they spend time.

Recommended Items to Include in a Basic Emergency Supply Kit:

  • Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
  • Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Dust mask, to help filter contaminated air
  • Plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers

Additional Items to Consider Adding to an Emergency Supply Kit:

  • Prescription medications and glasses
  • Infant formula and diapers
  • Pet food and extra water for your pet
  • Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container
  • Cash or traveler's checks and change
  • Emergency reference material such as a first aid book or information from www.ready.gov
  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person.
  • Complete change of clothing including a long sleeved shirt, long pants and sturdy shoes. Consider additional clothing if you live in a cold-weather climate.
  • Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper - When diluted nine parts water to one part bleach, bleach can be used as a disinfectant. Or in an emergency, you can use it to treat water by using 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners.
  • Fire Extinguisher
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
  • Mess kits, paper cups, plates and plastic utensils, paper towels
  • Paper and pencil
  • Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children

Remember to rotate and update your supplies every six months. For a more detailed list of recommended disaster kit items, visit www.ready.gov/.


For Assistance and Information

City of Kenmore Website:
Visit the City of Kenmore website for individual and business preparedness brochures, snow and ice removal plan, and additional information.

Kenmore Residents: To Report Severe Flooding
If localized flooding is severe and you are unable to clear the drain, please call Kenmore City Hall at 425-398-8900 during business hours or after hours call 206-296-8100.

Kenmore Residents: To Report Icy or Hazardous Road Conditions
To report icy or hazardous conditions during business hours call Kenmore City Hall at 425-398-8900 or after hours call King County Dispatch at 206-296-8100. A copy of the snow and ice removal plan is above.

Puget Sound Energy
To report a power outage, call PSE at 1-888-225-5773
http://www.pse.com/

Northshore Utility District
425-398-4400
http://www.nud.net/ 

Allied Waste
206-682-9730
http://www.alliedwastenorthwest.com/

Washington State Department of Transportation
Road Conditions call 511
www.wsdot.gov/traffic  

King County Metro
206-287-8463
http://metro.kingcounty.gov/
Sign up to receive King County Transit Alerts online.

Sound Transit Rider Information
1-888-889-6368
http://www.soundtransit.org/
Sign up to receive Sound Transit Alerts online 

Emergency Services Coordinating Agency
http://www.esca1.com/
The City of Kenmore is one of nine members that contracts with the Emergency Services Coordinating Agency. ESCA assists its memeber cities in managing emergency response during disasters that overwhelm local resources. ESCA also helps its cities plan and exercise for disaster scenarios.


Additional Resources

City of Kenmore Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan (CEMP)

Individual Preparedness Publications

Business Preparedness Publications

Kids Preparedness Publications

Other Resources