Weather hazards are natural events caused by strong atmospheric conditions. Our City is at risk of severe storms, including high wind, winter weather, extreme heat, and wildfires.
A severe storm is a weather event that includes any combination of high winds, heavy precipitation, thunder, and lightning. It is important to keep a eye on weather forecasts to know when a severe storm may strike your community.
Preparing for severe storms may include:
- Storing or securing lawn furniture and decorations.
- Know how and where to shut off utilities.
- Keep tree branches away from home.
- When possible park vehicle away from falling hazards.
- Avoid being outside or near windows.
- Keep extra flashlights in case of a power outage.
A strong storm can knock over trees, destroy homes, cause flooding, and cause loss of utilities like electricity. If you see a downed powerline, never go near it or touch anything that could be in contact with it! The lines are still active and can cause electrocution. Instead, call 911 to report the downed power line.
With a loss of electricity, many decide to use a generator to provide temporary power to their home. Used improperly generators, can be incredibly dangerous. If used inside the generator can emit a colorless, scentless gas called Carbon Monoxide (CO). Prolonged exposure to carbon monoxide can lead to unconsciousness and eventually death. So, when using a generator, keep it outside, in a well ventilated area, and away from windows.
To alert the potential of rising carbon monoxide levels, make sure you have a working carbon monoxide detector in your home and test them regularly. A working carbon monoxide detector can save your life.
Severe Storm Resources
Winter weather can mean anything from freezing cold temperatures to heavy snowfall that can last for several days. Although, Bothell does not usually have blizzards, we do experience colder temperatures and some snowfall. Keep an eye on weather forecasts so you are aware of inclement winter weather and prepare yourself for power outages.
Colder temperatures can lead to icy roads and an increased number of car accidents. So, it essential use extreme caution when driving driving in near freezing temperatures.
- Avoid driving if you can.
- Keep a winter preparedness kit in your car with items like a flashlight, blanket, and kitty litter.
- If you find yourself stranded: wait in your car, turn on your flashers, call for help, and wait for it to arrive.
Winter weather can lead to hypothermia and frostbite. Always wear many layers of warm clothing and avoid spending too much time outside.
Like severe storms, winter weather can cause widespread power outages. A danger of power outages is increased carbon monoxide levels. Prolonged exposure to carbon monoxide can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning and even death.
- Never use propane stove as a heat source.
- Never bring a grill or generator indoors.
- Never leave your car running in your garage.
- Keep extra blankets on hand for heat.
- Keep a flashlights handy.
- Insure pipes are well-insulated.
Winter Weather Resources
Extreme Heat is defined as several days of hotter than average temperatures. In June 2021, the Pacific Northwest experienced a record-breaking heat wave with several days reaching temperatures over 100ºF. Many were unprepared to deal with the extreme heat.
On hot days, there are actions you should take to stay cool and stay healthy:
- Stay hydrated. Drink water throughout the day and drink before you feel thirsty.
- Limit times outdoors.
- Reduce physical activity.
- Wear lightweight clothing.
- Use cold washcloths on neck or wrists.
- Spend time in air-conditioned spaces such as cooling centers, public library, senior center, or mall.
- Keep your blinds and windows shut during the day and open at night when temperatures are cooler.
- Limit use of ovens, stoves, or other appliances that increase indoor temperatures
Try to reduce physical activity and drink lots of fluids. This will help prevent heat-related illnesses such as heat stroke. Symptoms of heat related illnesses may include:
- Fast Pulse
For heat safety preparedness on the job, please visit Be Heat Smart and talk to your supervisor.
NEVER leave animals or children in the car. It gets hot very quickly inside vehicles and if a child or pet is left in a hot car; death from heat exposure is very possible.
Remember always wear sunscreen, practice safe water practices, and drink lots of fluids when its hot outside.
Extreme Heat Resources
A wildfire is an uncontrolled burn in forests, grasslands, or prairies that spreads very quickly. These fires can destroy wildlife habitats as well as communities. A wildfire can start from dry conditions, severe storms, and human activity. Nearly 85% of wildfires are caused by humans.
- Never burn trash or debris.
- Monitor burn bans.
- Never leave a campfire unattended.
- Properly extinguish all cigarettes, grills, and recreational fires.
- Maintain a defensible space around your home.
Although wildfires usually occur in Eastern Washington, they can still occur in Bothell. To be better prepared for a wildfire, make an emergency plan, build an emergency supplies kit, and know your evacuation route.
Our community is mostly affected by smoke from wildfires. Smoke and ash in the air can lower air quality and make conditions difficult for sensitive groups. Very poor air quality can be dangerous for all populations. So, if it is very smoky and air quality is unhealthy, limit your time outdoors and keep windows shut. Go to our Air Quality tab for more resources on air quality safety.