In Thurston County, we face the threat of natural disasters like flooding, wildfire, and earthquakes. Below you’ll find links to publications and resources that can help you prepare. Check our Resources page for additional publications.
General Emergency Preparedness Resources
- Thurston County Preparedness Links – This extensive list of preparedness resources from Thurston County Emergency Management covers a wide range of emergency situations.
- Ready.gov – Ready.gov has a wealth of resources to help you and your family prepare for emergency situations.
- Department of Health: Home Emergency Preparedness – Check out these resources from the WA State Department of Health on emergency preparedness. Whatever the type of natural disaster, their extensive tips will help you prepare for whatever comes your way, with a focus on personal health and safety.
- Washington State Emergency Management Division– Learn about the natural hazards around you and make a preparedness plan, using these great resources from WA State Emergency Management Division. Their active Facebook and Twitter feeds will keep you up to date, informed, and prepared.
Emergency Alert Resources
- TCD Alert Notifications – Sign up to Thurston County’s Emergency Alert Notifications to stay up to date. You can choose the type of alerts you receive, and how you would like to receive them. Alerts can be sent by phone, email, text, or through the Smart911 app.
- State list of emergency alerts – Do you work in another county or at a university or college, and want to stay up to date with the latest emergency alerts? Check out this statewide list of emergency alerts. Links provided on this list for the Evergreen State College and Capitol Campus. Alerts for South Sound Community College and St. Martin’s University are available but are not included on this list. More information for those lists can be found on their respective websites.
- Thurston County Emergency Management – Stay up to date with the latest emergency news and resources from Thurston County Emergency Management.
- Thurston County Public Works: Road Closures – See the latest road closures on this page from Thurston County Public Works.
- National Weather Service: Seattle – Keep up to date with the latest weather news from NWS Seattle. You can find detailed forecasts and weather alerts on their website, or follow the latest on their frequently updated Facebook and Twitter feeds.
- NOAA Weather Radio – Did you know that there’s a special band of radio for weather alerts? NOAA-enabled radios will pick up and broadcast emergency alerts 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Our county has full coverage from the transmitter on Capitol Peak (WXM62 162.475MHz).
- WEA Mobile Alerts – Have a smartphone? You may already be set up to receive emergency alerts for certain events. Learn more at the link.
- Fire Department Websites – Your local fire districts can be a great source of information and for fire preparedness resources.
Natural Disaster Preparedness Resources
- Thurston County Flood Gauges: Thurston County Emergency Management– This page provides flood gauges for all major rivers in the county. Their gauge graphs can help you track where the rivers are at, and how they’re projected to rise. Includes historical information on past floods for reference.
- Chehalis Basin Flood Authority – If you live in the Chehalis Basin, this website has a number of Chehalis-specific resources. Their interactive flood inundation maps are particularly valuable in understanding which areas may be impacted at a given flood stage. They also offer high water alerts by email.
- Thurston County Sandbagging Information– To view sandbag information, scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on “Sandbag Information”, shown in blue text. This website provides a number of resources, including how to use sandbags and estimate how many you need, as well as locations where you can find sand or sandbags. Please note county’s sandbag priorities; not all locations may offer filled sandbags.
- Washington DNR Wildfire Preparedness – WA DNR has a wide range of resources for wildfire preparedness. Check out their checklists for tips on assessing your risk for wildfires and learn about ways to prepare.
- Firewise: Preparing Homes from Wildfire – This factsheet from NFPA’s Firewise Program shows a number of simple tips to prepare your home for a wildfire.
- Firewise: Wildfire Preparedness Tips – This factsheet from NFPA shares general wildfire preparedness steps that you can take.
- Fire-Resistant Plants for Home Landscaping – The plants around your home can play a large part in your home’s wildfire resiliency. Choosing the right plants can increase your home’s chances of survival during a wildfire. This extension publication by WSU, OSU, and University of Idaho, can help you choose fire-resistant plants.
- Ready, Set, Go!– The Ready, Set, Go! program is aimed at helping those in the Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI) prepare for wildfire. The WUI is where homes and other development are in close proximity to natural vegetation. These areas face unique risks from wildfire.
- Ready, Set, Go!: Wildfire Preparedness for Farmers and Ranchers – This guide from the Ready, Set, Go! Program provides preparedness tips for farmers, ranchers, and rural landowners.
- Reflective Address Signs – Many fire districts offer reflective address signs for sale. These signs, which are meant to be mounted on a mailbox or fencepost, improve visibility and can make it easier for emergency vehicles to locate your residence at night or in conditions of impaired visibility.
- Northwest Large Fire Interactive Web Map – This interactive map from the Northwest Interagency Coordinating Center shows all major fires across the Northwest Region. Note: most fires occurring locally are small, and won’t likely appear on this map.
- InciWeb Fire Map – InciWeb by the National Wildfire Coordinating Group shows all major fires across the region. By clicking on each fire on the map, a pop-up will appear providing a link to the InciWeb page for that fire. These detailed pages include the latest information available for each incident. Note: most fires occurring locally are small, and won’t likely appear on this map.
- Wildfire Public Information Map: ESR – Interactive map from ESRI which combines a range of data from a number of agency resources. This map contains data on thermal hotspots and smoke forecasts. Open the Map Layers menu to turn these on or off.
- Air Quality Program Map: Department of Ecology – Fire season can lead to rapidly declining and even hazardous air quality. Keep up to date on air quality readings near you with this web map from Department of Ecology. Make sure to select PM2.5 at the top of the map to display smoke-relevant values. (Note: there may be significant lag due to heavy traffic during periods of heavy regional smoke)
- Washington Smoke Information Blog – This blog is a partnership between state, county, federal governments, and tribes, and includes the latest news on smoke conditions across the state.
- Burn Portal: WA DNR – Keep up to date on burn bans and fire danger with WA DNR’s Burn Portal.
- Wildfires in Western Washington: A Different Animal – A webinar by WSU Extension Forestry – Learn more about fires in Western Washington. This webinar, held by WSU Extension Forestry, discusses the unique characteristics of fires in our corner of the state.
- US Drought Monitor – The US Drought Monitor posts weekly assessments of drought conditions nationwide. See the extent and severity of drought conditions, when present, across the county and state. Their historical comparison tools help you compare current and past conditions.
- Snowpack Maps: NRCS – Snowpack is a vital source of water in Washington State. These maps from NRCS show information on current snowpack levels and precipitation, as compared to long-term averages.
- Windstorm Preparedness: WA Department of Health – This list of tips from WA DOH can help you stay prepared before, during, and after a windstorm.
- The Storm King: The Climatology and Meteorology of Windstorms That Affect the Cascadia Region of North America – Learn more about past storm events and the kinds of impacts our county and state face from windstorms. This page by the Office of the Washington Climatologist outlines major windstorm events across the decades.
- Heat Illness Prevention – Heat illnesses are a serious danger in extreme heat. Those working outdoors can be particularly exposed to this risk. These tips from PNW Agricultural Safety and Health Center can help avoid and identify heat illness when it occurs.
- Management Practices to Mitigate Livestock Heat Stress – A comprehensive WSU Extension Bulletin on heat stress in different types of livestock. Covers how to recognize, respond to, and prevent heat stress in your animals.
- Dealing with Heat Stress in Beef Cattle Operations– This NDSU publication describes proactive management approaches to avoid heat stress in beef cattle.
- WSDA Ag Brief – Hot weather tips for pets and livestock – Overview of how to identify heat stress in animals, as well as basic steps you can take to help keep your pets and animals safe during extreme high temperatures.
- USDA Cattle Heat Stress Maps – These maps from the USDA forecast heat stress conditions for livestock up to 6 days in advance.
- Livestock Indemnity Program–Livestock which have died due to extreme heat may be eligible for the Farm Service Agency’s (FSA) Livestock Indemnity Program. This fact sheet contains more information on eligibility.
Geologic Hazards Preparedness Resources
In Thurston County, we face risks from our regional volcanoes in the forms of ashfall, and from lahars in the Nisqually River Valley. Thankfully, there’s a wealth of resources that can allow you to learn about our nearby volcanoes and be knowledgeable and prepared for the risks they pose.
- Volcanoes and Lahars: WA DNR – WA DNR has a wealth of resources to help you familiarize yourselves with our nearby volcanoes, and prepare for potential hazards.
- Volcano Hazards Brochure: WA DNR – This concise guide covers the main dangers we face from volcanoes, and simple steps you can take to prepare yourself.
- Volcano Updates: USGS – This page by USGS provides regular updates on activity levels from our state’s volcanoes. You can also sign up to the Volcano Notification Service (VNS) and receive alerts of any new volcanic activity.
Earthquakes & Landslides Risks
- USGS Earthquake Map – This interactive map by the USGS shows recently occurring earthquakes.
- A Homeowner’s Guide to Earthquakes – This informative guide from WA DNR provides information on earthquakes risks in our state and ways you can prepare your home.
- Shallow Landslide Hazard Map – This interactive map from WA DNR shows the current risk from shallow landslides based on recent rainfall.
- What are Landslides and How Do They Occur: WA DNR – Learn more about the types of landslides that can occur in our state.
- Landslide Hazards in Washington State: WA DNR – This publication covers the hazards posed by landslides, some of the warning signs, as well as ways to prepare.
Soil liquefaction is a phenomenon when water-saturated ground is subjected to shaking and it begins to take on properties more in line with that of liquid or quicksand. This can lead to significant destruction of overlying structures. Soil liquefaction occurred in multiple places in Thurston County during the 2001 Nisqually earthquake (magnitude 6.8), and is a significant risk in many areas of our county.
- Thurston County Soil Liquefaction Map – This map from WA DNR shows areas of soil liquefaction risk across the county. See if where you live is at higher or lower risk for this phenomenon.
- Interactive Soil Liquefaction Map – This interactive map allows you to view relative soil liquefaction risk across the state. Click “Liquefaction Susceptibility” in the table of contents to show liquefaction risk.
- Soil Liquefaction: University of Washington – Learn more about soil liquefaction at this informative guide from the University of Washington.