There's no better time to prepare for a disaster than today, because once a disaster strikes it's too late.

During the first few hours or days after a disaster, essential services may not be available. So people must have a plan and be ready to act on their own.


The list of supplies is long. People need food, water, flashlights, and much more.

"The first thing to start out with is some kind of backpack, and then you start filling it up with clothes and shoes," said Rosanne Garrand, head of public outreach for Washington State Emergency Management.

You will need a lot more to be on your own in own for two weeks, like a gallon of water for each person for each day, not just for drinking but for cooking and sanitation.

Washington's biggest threat is from earthquakes. Washingtonians are advised to be ready to be on their own for at least two weeks before help could arrive.

Washington state's Emergency Management Division says you should be prepared for two weeks and offer a Two Weeks Ready brochure (PDF) that outlines what you need for your emergency kit.

In the event of an earthquake, the agency also offers a drop, cover and hold earthquake scenario map. And you don't have to do it all at once - they offer a prep plan you can do in a year.

KING 5's Disaster Preparation section also offers complete coverage and tips on how to prepare yourself and your families, including a printable disaster checklist, building an emergency supply kit on a budget, and how to prepare your pets for a natural disaster.