Emergency Preparedness

In the event of an emergency that affects the health of the community, the Snohomish County Health Department is responsible for:

  • Coordination of public health and medical services within the county during a disaster response
  • Identifying ways to reduce risks to the community's health
  • Providing disease investigation and surveillance
  • Providing health information and updates to the community through our website, social media and news outlets
  • Working with local, state and federal partners during response efforts

In a major disaster, we work with the county Department of Emergency Management as the lead agency on all these items, known collectively as "Emergency Support Function 8."

Past Emergency Response Efforts

Snohomish County Health Department has used our emergency plans and resources to respond to both public health emergencies and community disasters.

  • H1N1 pandemic flu in 2009
  • SR530 mudslide and flooding event

Emergency Planning and Preparedness

Snohomish County Health Department coordinates public health emergency response for the five counties in our region:

  • Island
  • San Juan (Region 1)
  • Skagit
  • Snohomish
  • Whatcom

The Snohomish County Health Department's Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response program has developed a number of plans and community partnerships to assist in our local response efforts. These include internal plans that outline what staff should do during response efforts, and external plans describing how we could partner with pharmacies to provide medications to the community, or with schools to provide health care facilities if hospital buildings were damaged or overwhelmed.

We participate in regular emergency exercises and training to be prepared when disaster strikes.

Your Role in Preparing for Disaster

The Health Department strongly encourages everyone in the community to prepare at home, work, and school. One of the best things that you can do is to create your own emergency plan and create an emergency kit. You should have a kit at home, a kit at work, and a kit at your child’s school and/or childcare agency if possible. 

Medical Reserve Corps Volunteers

The Snohomish County Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) is a volunteer organization that will actively assist the community with its health-related care during crisis, emergency, and disasters.  Anyone in Snohomish County can become a Medical Reserve Corps volunteer; you do not need to have a medical background.