Emergency Preparedness – There’s bad news and good news

NAPO Seattle Area Chapter, one of my two professional societies (National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals), hosted Dr. Rebecca Chatfield and Mr. Paul Thomsen who volunteer with the City of Bellevue Office of Emergency Management to teach Emergency Preparedness for a variety of audiences. We believe that helping our clients get organized can help them be more prepared for disasters, and Dr. Chatfield and Mr. Thomsen taught us an even more sophisticated level of readiness.

Emergency preparedness supplies

Supplies for emergency preparedness: freeze-dried food, a water purifier, a first-aid kit, a battery-operated radio, a knapsack packed with necessities like toiletries and meds.

The bad news – Washington is the fourth most disaster-prone state in America, according to data compiled by Megan Trimble of US News & World Reports and published on June 18, 2018 in America’s 10 Most Disaster-Prone States.


The good news: we can prepare for disasters. Even small changes in how we arrange our possessions can make a difference in how safely we can navigate a dangerous situation. For example – keep a pair of shoes by your bed. If something shatters your bedroom window, you’ll be able to slip them on before you step on to broken glass. There are many excellent sources for information on what you’ll need to do, have, and understand in disaster conditions. Ready.gov, the Washington Emergency Management Division and the City of Bellevue Office of Emergency Management are just three. Many more specialized agencies also provide valuable insights – for example, The Humane Society of the United States offers excellent guidance about how to include your pets and farm animals in your plans.


Don’t be afraid. Don’t ignore the possibilities. Think ahead and set yourself up for success.

About Lauren Williams

Lauren Williams, Certified Professional Organizer®, Certified Virtual Professional Organizer®

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