by Victor Simoes

In 2021, Seattle noticed its coldest day in 73 years, and this yr, winter doesn’t appear to be getting any simpler. La Ninã, the main international climate driver for the upcoming winter season for the third winter in a row, tends to deliver cooler and wetter circumstances to the season. With three of the final 4 years having record-breaking or record-tying snow occasions, this winter is ready to proceed the sample, according to The Climate Prediction Center.

Last week’s snow, although brief, left hundreds of Seattle residents with out energy, inflicting delays and crashes on roads and bringing down tree limbs, giving a preview of what’s to return within the following months. Brush up in your emergency winter preparedness data with this Emerald information that features tips and useful sources within the occasion of below-freezing temperatures, energy failures, lack of communication providers, and icy roads. 

Know of every other important tips for the chilly season that needs to be on our checklist? Send us a tip at

Prepare in Advance 

Before the storm strikes, guarantee your own home, office, and autos are stocked with the required provides within the occasion of an influence outage.

The Washington State Department of Transportation recommends that an important package on your automobile ought to embrace a flashlight, batteries, a blanket, snacks, water, gloves, boots, a first-aid package, jumper cables, flares, and tire chains (for directions on putting in tire chains, verify this tutorial video made by British Columbia’s Ministry of Transportation). 

Don’t neglect to verify your own home emergency provides, together with your emergency meals and water provide, every time you expect a winter storm or excessive chilly. (Keep meals which have a protracted storage life; that require little or no cooking, water, or refrigeration in case utilities are disrupte;, and that aren’t very salty or spicy, as these meals improve the necessity for ingesting water, which can be briefly provide.) Even although we will’t at all times predict excessive chilly upfront, climate forecasts can generally offer you a number of days’ discover to organize.

Also try the American Red Cross’ list of what needs to be in your survival package, together with first assist, drugs, and flashlights, and a ton of different useful tips. 

Protect your pipes from freezing by opening cupboard doorways to permit hotter air to flow into into the plumbing. If doable, preserve the thermostat set to the identical temperature in the course of the day and at evening. Be certain to alert a trusted neighbor for those who’ll be away for various days, and ask them to verify periodically to make sure that the measures you’ve gotten taken to forestall frozen pipes work and that nothing has ruptured.

Critical Updates and Training Resources

The City of Seattle gives a spread of sources to assist put together for and pay attention to emergencies, together with excessive climate circumstances. 

By subscribing to AlertSeattle, you possibly can obtain texts, emails, and cellphone alerts about doable harmful conditions in your neighborhood and generally frequented locations, equivalent to work and faculties. 

Other precious sources provided by the City of Seattle embrace:

Another nice useful resource is the Rainier Beach Ready Hub, a bunch of South End neighbors and volunteers. Part of the Seattle Emergency Communications Hubs Network, this group gives group coaching for emergency response in conditions of pure disasters. This yr’s hubs concerned coaching on getting ready for main earthquakes. Follow Rainier Beach Ready Hub on Facebook for loads of useful preparedness tips, security data, and extra.


Even although most in a single day shelters usually are not out there all winter lengthy, King County Regional Homelessness Authority (KCRHA) gives regularly updated lists of shelters all through King County. The KCRHA web site additionally offers a map with indoor warming areas. Sometimes, warming facilities might change, so verify the map to substantiate.

Some warming facilities in South Seattle embrace:

Beacon Hill Branch – The Seattle Public Library
2821 Beacon Ave. S. #5813, Seattle, WA 98144
Monday, Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday, 10 a.m. to six p.m.
Wednesday and Thursday,10 a.m. to eight p.m.
Sunday, 12 to five p.m.

Jefferson Community Center
3801 Beacon Ave. S., Seattle, WA 98108
Monday to Friday, 9 a.m to 9 p.m.

Columbia Branch – The Seattle Public Library
4721 Rainier Ave. S., Seattle, WA 98118
Wednesday by way of Saturday, 10 a.m. to six p.m.
Monday and Tuesday,10 a.m. to eight p.m.
Sunday, 12 to five p.m.

NewHolly Branch – The Seattle Public Library
7058 thirty second Ave. S. #104, Seattle, WA 98118
Monday and Tuesday, 1 to eight p.m.
Wednesday and Thursday, 11 a.m. to six p.m.
Sunday, 12 to five p.m.

Rainier Beach Branch – The Seattle Public Library
9125 Rainier Ave. S., Seattle, WA 98118
Monday, Friday, and Saturday, 10 a.m. to six p.m.
Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday,10 a.m. to eight p.m.
Sunday, 12 to five p.m.

YouthCare South Seattle Youth Center
9416 Rainier Ave. S., Seattle, WA 98118
24 hours (besides Wednesday, CLOSED from 12:45 to three p.m.) 
Youth solely (ages 12 to 24)

Mutual Aid 

An enormous a part of being ready consists of understanding the place to seek out help. Check out our Emerald Mutual Aid Groups Guide for useful details about the place you’ll find help. Mutual assist teams present provides, meals, clothes, or different sources given freely by group members and neighbors, not from nonprofits or different organizations. You can verify the Emerald information for particular providers provided, and for those who’re fascinated about giving, there’s data on donating and volunteering.

Some examples embrace:

(North) Beacon Hill Mutual Aid
This group offers warming kits and propane for cooking in winter. It delivers propane tanks to over 20 individuals weekly, serving to preserve them heat and protected in generally lethal temperatures. 

Homies Helping Homies Seattle
This mutual assist group distributes winter duffel luggage that embrace meals, heating provides, private hygiene objects, and extra. The group is at present asking for particular objects and financial donations to proceed crafting and distributing these luggage. You can attain out and discover extra info on its Instagram page.

Victor Simoes is a global scholar on the University of Washington pursuing a double diploma in journalism and picture/media. Originally from Florianópolis, Brazil, they take pleasure in radical organizing, hyper pop, and their beloved cats. Their writing focuses on group, arts, and tradition. You can discover them on Instagram or Twitter at @victorhaysser.

📸 Featured Image: Plan forward for energy outages and excessive climate alerts this winter. Check out our South End Guide for Winter Preparedness to brush up in your emergency data and learn the way to assist these in want. (Photo: photka/

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