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Ready in Renton

August 23, 2011

For more information contact:

Deborah Needham, Emergency Management Director, 425-430-7027
Preeti Shridhar, Communications Director, 425-430-6569

City Campaign Helping You to be Ready When Disaster Strikes 

RENTON, WA –September is National Preparedness Month and Mayor Denis Law kicks off Renton’s “Ready in Renton” emergency preparedness campaign with a proclamation urging Renton residents and businesses to take action now to be informed and prepared. 

“The thought of being caught in an earthquake, flood, winter storm or other emergency can be very frightening and if we aren’t prepared the results can be devastating,” said Mayor Denis Law. “That’s why I am asking everyone in Renton to take personal responsibility and be prepared for any kind of emergency.” 

 This year Ready in Renton will focus on communication and helping residents to stay informed before, during and after a disaster. In September this year, the city will be unveiling neighborhood information centers that have been established in partnership with the Renton School District. Under disaster conditions when normal communication methods are disrupted, important information such as shelter locations, food and water distribution points or evacuation routes can be posted at these information centers by trained volunteers. Residents are encouraged to look for an information board at the main entrance of all public schools in the Renton School District within the city limits.  A map of school locations with neighborhood information centers can be found at rentonwa.gov. 

“Communication is always important,” said Deborah Needham, Emergency Management Director. “However, during a disaster, lives depend on it.” 

Another new feature of this year’s campaign is the active use of various modes of social media.  The City of Renton Emergency Management Division will be using its Facebook and Twitter accounts and eagerly encourages everyone to join in on the conversation.  Residents are being asked to follow RentonEM on Facebook and use the hash tag #readyinrenton on Twitter during September to share tips and stories about what they are doing to be better prepared for emergencies. 

Because normal communication systems may fail during a disaster, it is critical to have a plan for contacting family members and knowing how and where to get essential information.  Having emergency information systems in place and available is the first step in being informed.  However, it is up to residents to be sure they are ready to receive the information. 

Here are some easy things residents can do to be ready to receive important information during an emergency or disaster:

  • Locate your nearest neighborhood information center and store a map showing its location with your household emergency kit.
  • Register with CodeRED, the automated telephone warning system used in some emergencies. Sign up at rentonwa.gov.
  • Bookmark the Critical Emergency Information page at rentonwa.gov for up-to-date emergency information on Renton roads, utilities, shelters, etc.
  • Subscribe to the free e-Alert service at rentonwa.gov to receive urgent automated emails and text messages for your specific areas of interest, including updates to the Critical Emergency Information web page.
  • Place a NOAA Weather Radio in your home and office to sound an alarm when severe weather or Emergency Alert System messages are issued. Look for one with the Public Alert logo and the Specific Area Message Encoding (S.A.M.E.) feature.
  • Sign up to follow the city’s Emergency Management Division on www.facebook.com/RentonEM and Twitter (RentonEM).

During the month of September residents are also encouraged to take these steps to be prepared in their homes, businesses and communities:

Make a Plan

  • Know how to safely evacuate your home and neighborhood if needed.
  • Establish an Out-of-Area Contact to serve as a message board for family members.
  • Find out how you will get information in an emergency.

Build a Kit

  • Three days of non-perishable food.
  • One gallon of water per person per day.
  • Flashlight, whistle, first aid kit, medications and a battery-operated radio.

Get Involved, Volunteer!

  • Train in advance to become a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) member.
  • Become an amateur radio operator with the Renton Emergency Communication Service.
  • Check the Renton Emergency Preparedness Academy (REPA) class schedule for more opportunities.

If you have questions about the Ready in Renton campaign or want to learn more about emergency preparedness, please call the City of Renton’s Emergency Management Division at 425-430-7000 or email em@rentonwa.gov.