Plan for Windstorms banner

Every fall and winter, windstorms cause extensive damage, including the loss of electricity. By taking action now, you can save lives and reduce the damage caused by windstorms and other weather-related hazards.

Prepare - Before the Windstorm


Contact your local emergency management office or the National Weather Service to find out what types of storms are most likely to occur in your community.

Fuel your vehicles

Keep your vehicle's gas tank at least half (1/2) full because:

  • You may not be able to get to the gas station
  • The power may be out and you will not be able to pump gas, or;
  • The station may be out of gas

Assemble a disaster supply kit

  • Learn: Emergency plans for the workplace, school, and daycare center
  • Conduct: Home safety evaluation to find out which nearby trees could fall in a windstorm
  • Pet owners: Check with your veterinarian for animal care instructions in an emergency situation
  • Evacuation Routes: Familiarize yourself with the routes
  • Check: Portable or weather radio for instructions
  • Electric garage door opener owners: locate the manual overdrive

Home Generator Owners

  • Know how to use it safely
  • Follow all instructions from the vendor
  • Improper use of a generator can cause carbon monoxide poisoning

During the Windstorm

Power Goes Out

  • If you are cooking when the power goes out, turn off stove/oven
  • Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed to keep food frozen for up to two days
  • Report or monitor power outages with Puget Sound Energy (PSE)

Natural Gas Users

  • Turn off natural gas appliances
  • Never use a gas stove for heat

Alternative Heating Options

  • Do not use charcoal indoors
  • Never use a generator indoors or in a garage or carport.

After the Windstorm

  • Check yourself and those around you for injuries
  • Only Call 911 to report a life-threatening emergency
  • Evaluate the damage to buildings
  • Evacuate buildings if necessary - do not re-enter buildings until they are declared safe
  • Gas smell: If you smell gas or hear a hissing sound:
    • Open windows and leave the building
    • Turn off the gas source and call your gas company
    • Do not use matches, candles, open flames, or electric switches indoors
  • If you can, assist neighbors, especially the elderly or disabled
  • Contact your out-of-area phone contact (avoid making local calls)
  • Continue to monitor your portable or weather radio for instructions or an official "all clear" notice. Radio stations will broadcast what to do, the location of emergency shelters and medical aid stations, and the extent of the damage.