Emergency & Disaster Resources

Prepare, Prepare, Prepare!


When a disaster occurs is not the time to start planning. The Pierce County Department of Emergency Management has excellent recommendations for emergency preparedness.

The message can be boiled down to one basic reality - be ready to be on your own for a minimum of three days. Emergency responders can only react to the most severe emergencies in a crisis. People have to be able to rely on themselves, on their families and friends and on their neighbors.

Below are some resources to help in your planning and in an emergency. But remember - in a crisis, resources will be stretched very thin.

Disaster Assistance


  • American Red Cross: (253) 474-0400
  • Pierce County Emergency Management: (253) 798-7470
  • Tacoma Emergency Management: (253) 591-5003

Shelters


The American Red Cross and Pierce County Emergency Management decide when and where to open shelters. People are encouraged to bring personal comfort items, medications and toiletries to shelters. Pets are not allowed; owners are responsible for making alternative arrangements in advance.

To find out if a shelter is open and where it is located, call Pierce County Emergency Management: (253) 798-7470.

Pierce Transit provides transportation to shelters. Please call (253) 581-8000 for more information.

Floods


  • Flood warning information, Pierce County Emergency Management: (253) 798-7470
  • Continuous flood alerts
  • Flooding is not covered under normal homeowner or tenant insurance policies
  • To obtain flood insurance call the National Flood Insurance Office in Bellevue:
    • Ph: (206) 646-4908
    • Federal Emergency Management Agency
      Federal Insurance Administration
      Washington, DC 20572
Flood insurance costs about $300 for $90,000 of coverage annually.

Hazardous Materials Spills


  • Call 9-1-1
  • Fire departments handle spill
  • Police and State Patrol handle evacuations

Power Outages


  • Downed power lines / poles
    • Tacoma Public Utilities: (253) 502-8602
  • Power lines in the street
    • Street Maintenance: (253) 591-5495
  • Downed power lines between pole and house, on private property
    • Homeowner's responsibility

Telephone


  • US West: If dial tone is delayed or interrupted, it could be because of heavy call volumes; remain on the line and it may be available momentarily. If phones are not working or inaccessible due to emergency situation, customers may be able to receive free Call Forwarding. To request help:
    • Residential customers: 1 (800) 573-1311
    • Business customers: 1 (800) 954-1211
  • Telephone service provided via cable provider
    • Call your cable provider

Transportation


  • Recorded updates on Seattle / Tacoma roads, mountain passes and ferry schedules
    • Ph: (206) 368-4499 or 1 (800) 695-7623.
  • Call 5-1-1 for real time traffic and weather information throughout Washington State.
  • Mountain pass information: 1 (888) 766-4636
  • Ferry information: 1 (800) 843-3779
  • Pierce Transit
    • Voice information: (253) 581-8000 (business hours)
    • Recorded route information: (253) 984-8155 (24 hours / day)
  • Sound Transit
    • Voice information: (206) 398-5000 or (800) 201-4900
  • Seattle Metro
    • Voice information: (206) 553-3000 or (800) 542-7876
    • Recorded schedule information: (206) 287-8463
    • Customer Service: (206) 553-3060
  • Greyhound: 1 (800) 231-2222 - fares and schedules
    • Tacoma terminal: 510 Puyallup Avenue
    • Terminal hours: TBA
    • Ph: (253) 383-4621 - local terminal information only
  • Amtrak: 1 (800) 872-7245 - fares and schedules
    • Tacoma station: 1001 Puyallup Avenue
    • Ph: (253) 627-8141 - local station information only
    • Station hours: 7:30 a.m. - 9 p.m.
      • Subject to train arrivals

Trees


  • Trees down on public property: (253) 591-7813
  • Trees (limbs) on power lines: (253) 502-8729
  • Trees down on private property: homeowner's responsibility
    • Homeowner's insurance typically pays if a tree falls on the roof, outbuilding or fence.
  • The City of Tacoma does not have a program to help with tree trimming or removal.
  • Complaints or concerns about trees hanging over property lines: (253) 594-7813