The official site of the City of Renton

You are here : City News

Print Friendly Version

Ready in Renton” helps citizens prepare for an earthquake

August 29, 2016

City of Renton Contacts:

Deborah Needham, Emergency Management Director, 425-430-7027
Preeti Shridhar, Deputy Public Affairs Administrator, 425-430-6569

EmergencyKitMake a plan, build a kit, and help each other

- September is designated as “Ready in Renton” month and the city urges citizens to prepare their family and property for the eventuality of an earthquake.

“Preparedness really makes a difference. It reduces both the risk of injury and the demand on our first responders,” says Deborah Needham, Emergency Management Director for the City of Renton. “You’re better protected and better provided for if you’re prepared, and you lighten the load on first responders so they can get around to those who truly can’t help themselves.”

The city’s effort to educate is part of National Preparedness Month, which is sponsored by FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The Ready in Renton campaign emphasizes basic emergency preparedness: make a plan, build a kit and help each other.

There are three simple steps citizens can follow to be prepared:

Make a plan: Talk with your family about where to meet up, how to communicate and where to get emergency information. Remember, the person who is your emergency point of contact may live outside your immediate area.

Build a kit: Plan for a 7-10 day minimum supply of food, water, medications, clothing and other essentials for all family members.

Help each other: Get to know your neighbors. Who needs extra help? What training might you need to help take care of yourself, family and neighbors?

The city also offers both residents and non-residents classes in Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) and amateur (Ham) radio.

CERT classes cover personal preparedness, first aid, fire suppression, search and rescue, terrorism and team organization and are a combination of classroom and practical ‘hands-on’ training. CERT graduates will serve as their own ‘first responders’ during the critical period after a disaster when existing resources may be overwhelmed. The class meets for seven Wednesdays from September 21 to November 2, from 6 to 9 p.m. at Renton Fire & Emergency Services. The class also meets on Saturday, November 5, for a half-day disaster simulation. Cost is $25 for residents and $30 for non-residents. You must be 18 years old to take the class.

Ham radio is both a hobby and a service in which participants use various types of radio equipment to communicate with other radio amateurs for recreation and public service. This course covers all of Element 2 of the FCC Amateur Radio Service materials and prepares participants to take the Technician Class licensing exam, which is administered at the end of day two. After passing the exam, you will receive your amateur radio license by mail from the FCC. A $40 fee, payable to the instructor covers the manual and exam fee. You must be 18 years old to take the class, which is held at Renton Technical College.

For more information or to enroll in either of these classes, please call 425-430-7041 or visit What’s Happening, Renton Community Service’s Fall 2016 guide to community activities.

Other preparedness steps you can take:

  1. Go to to get detailed information about earthquakes and general emergency preparedness.
  2. Participate in the Great Washington ShakeOut earthquake drill on October 20, at 10:20 a.m. Drop, Cover, and Hold is the correct protective action to take in an earthquake.
  3. Update your home to meet current seismic codes, including bolting your house to its foundation and strapping the hot water heater in place.
  4. Sign up for Alert King County, the community notification system that can send urgent information.