The City of Lakewood works closely with other agencies in our community to prepare for and when necessary respond to emergencies and disasters, natural or manmade. Lakewood is in the process of updating our comprehensive plan for repair and recovery in the event of a disaster of any kind.
Lakewood is also working closely with Pierce County to have a plan in place to address the potential threat from pandemics such as the H1N1 Virus. For more information about pandemics visit the Tacoma Pierce County Health Department .
We all must work together to prepare for and respond to a disaster. Lakewood's residents and businesses also need to take part by being ready for an emergency. Disaster can strike at any time so it is best to be prepared now!
Are You Prepared?
Are you and your family prepared for a disaster? Recent events have caused us all to look more closely at how well we are prepared to handle an emergency or disaster. Emergency Management experts tell us we all need to be prepared to be on our own for the first 72 hours after a disaster, some even suggest that we plan to be on our own for up to seven days. You shouldn't expect to receive assistance from government agencies during the first 72 hours, because during that time officials are working to address the most serious and life threatening incidents and it is unlikely they will be able to provide much assistance in individual neighborhoods.
So what can you do to be prepared for the worst?
Make a family communications plan that includes an evacuation plan that coordinates with your school, work and community communication plans. Practice this plan with your entire family. Build a disaster supply kit that includes enough supplies for each family member for three days (don't forget your pets). Remember to check your kit every six months. There are six basics you should stock for your home in the case of an emergency: water, food, first aid supplies, clothing and bedding, tools and emergency supplies, and special items for medical conditions. Keep the items that you would most likely need during an evacuation in an easy-to carry container. For more information on emergency preparedness visit the Red Cross website, the Pierce County Department of Emergency Management website, or the U.S. Department of Homeland Security website Ready.gov .
The following is a checklist from the Pierce County Department of Emergency Management of things you can do to be prepared:
- Purchase a NOAA 'All Hazards' Radio for emergency alerts.
- Post emergency telephone numbers by phones (fire, police, ambulance, etc.).
- Teach children how and when to call 9-1-1.
- Show each family member how and when to turn off the utilities (water, gas, and electricity).
- Get training for each family member on how to use the fire extinguisher (ABC type), and show them where it's kept.
- Install smoke detectors on each level of your home, especially near bedrooms.
- Stock emergency supplies and assemble a Disaster Supplies Kit.
- Take a first aid and CPR class.
- Determine the best escape routes from your home. Find two ways out of each room.
- Find the safe places in your home for each type of disaster and learn shelter-in-place procedures.
- Practice and Maintain Your Plan.
- Quiz your kids every six months or so.
- Conduct fire and emergency evacuations.
- Replace stored water and stored food every six months.
- Test and recharge your fire extinguisher(s) according to manufacturer's instructions.
- Test your smoke detectors monthly and change the batteries at least once a year.
It is critical for businesses to be prepared for a disaster. History tells us that many small businesses will not survive in the event of an emergency or disaster, most small businesses can't afford to be closed down for more than three days. To protect your business, you need to be prepared. The Department of Homeland Security Ready.gov has lots of important information to help you and your business plan for a disaster.
Get involved through Pierce County Neighborhood Emergency Teams
You can also become a member of PC-NET (Pierce County Neighborhood Emergency Team) . PC-NET is a neighborhood-oriented approach to emergency preparedness and homeland security. It is based on the belief that a cooperative effort between government and its citizens is the only sure way to protect a neighborhood and to prepare for a major disaster. If individuals and their neighborhoods are prepared to mutually assist each other, lives can be saved, property can be spared, and emergency services can be freed to respond to the most devastated areas. This will be accomplished by organizing block groups into a variety of disaster response teams, each of which has a simple one-page list that clearly outlines necessary tasks. No special skills or equipment are required to participate – and only a minimal time commitment is needed. To find out more contact Barbara Nelson at the Pierce County Department of Emergency Management, (253) 798-2168.>
Emergency Shelter Volunteer Recruitment
No one can do everything, but everyone can do something
When large groups of people are temporarily displaced from their homes in a disaster situation, it may be necessary to effectively and sensitively manage their needs in an emergency shelter. Over the past year, the City of Lakewood has been committed to the development of an emergency sheltering program and is currently seeking volunteers willing to be trained to serve their community in a crisis.
The City is in the process of developing a comprehensive plan for repair and recovery in the event of a disaster of any kind. Click here to learn what you can do to prepare.
- FEMA Telephone Information (800) 462-9029
- Disaster Information Helpline (800) 525-0321
For more information on emergency preparedness visit West Pierce Fire & Rescue , Red Cross website , the Pierce County Department of Emergency Management website , or the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's site Ready.gov .