What should you do when disaster strikes? KING 5 asked three experts for advice, and they all shared a common theme: help yourself first; then reach out to your neighbors.

“The first thing is to take quake-safe action,” said Debbie Goetz, community planning coordinator for the city of Seattle. “Get underneath a table or counter top. Find a place to cover. Then check on others. Next-best thing: make sure the other people around you are okay.”

“I would really hope that people understand that they need to take care of themselves,” said Mercer Island Emergency Manager Jennifer Franklin. “They need to take care of their neighbors and families and not just rely on the city. It really is a joint effort. Between businesses, citizens, we need to all be in this together. And that would be my biggest point.”

“Make sure you have an emergency plan,” said Sue Robboy, a Mercer Island emergency preparedness volunteer. “Make sure you have adequate food and water for seven to 10 days. Look out for your neighbors, because we are going to be on our own to some extent in our neighborhood when something bad happens.”

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