What do I do first if a major disaster strikes?

If you aren't planning to prepare ahead of time, at least save this information.

You will be scared. You will be confused. You won't be sure what to do in the initial minutes, hours, maybe days after a 9.0 earthquake or tsunami hits the Pacific Northwest.

Here are the first steps you should take (not necessarily in this order). All of this downloadable in a document at this link. Download it to your phone so you'll always have access to it.

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* Check: Are you injured? Is anyone else injured?

* Determine if you need to evacuate (This is a good reason to have a small ax at your home in case the disaster has made it impossible to open doors or windows -- you need a tool to break out).

* Take your 3-day (or more) supply kit.

* If this was an earthquake, do not go outside unless it's not safe to stay in your building. If you live around high-rises, glass could fall to the ground or facades of older buildings could crumble.

* If a tsunami is approaching, get to a higher floor or higher ground immediately.

* Do you smell or hear gas leaking? Turn it off. (You'll want to have a tool that will not create a spark)

* Check on your neighbors

* Conserve water

* Check for water stored in your water heater -- it may hold 30-50 gallons of potable water (Here's how to do it)

* Get water from the toilet tank (not the bowl)

* Fill bathtub and sinks, making sure to tightly plug drain

* Keep refrigerator and freezer closed as much as possible if power is out.

* Save your phone battery

* Charge phone immediately in case power goes out

* Shut off apps

* Shut off Push notifications except for those you absolutely need

* Decrease screen brightness

* Shut off GPS, location services, and Bluetooth unless you absolutely need them

* Call only who you need to and keep conversations short.

* Forward calls to another phone, if you can

* If you can't call, send email or social media messages to friends and family

* Write down important phone numbers in case your phone dies

* Monitor local radio and TV broadcasts

* Monitor websites and social media for information

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Join KING 5’s Disaster Preparedness Facebook group and learn how you and your community can get ready for when disaster strikes.