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Webinar: Disaster preparedness during a pandemic

The Washington Emergency Management Division is hosting a public preparedness webinar on July 21 to talk about how to prepare for all hazards during COVID-19. Topics include financial preparedness, mental health support, online safety and about strategically shopping, not over-buying.

“It is important to consistently prepare over time rather than one large shopping trip once a disaster has happened,” says Kiana Kabanje, Disaster Preparedness Outreach Program Manager for the state agency. “Strategic shopping for a few extra supplies each time you go to the store allows everyone to access the supplies they need.”

The event is free, taking place from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., on Tuesday, July 21. There will also be an opportunity to ask questions.

Joining our agency are officials from Bellevue Office of Emergency Management, Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management, the emergency management division for the city of Marysville and a public health expert from Eastern Washington.

Financial preparedness is about how people can plan ahead for unexpected financial surprises or expenses. Mental health support is about the importance of people seeking support for themselves and supporting others around them – encouraging awareness of mental health and self-care while discouraging stigma of mental health needs. Online safety is about keeping yourself safe during an increasingly online life. There are many tools and resources available to protect your online information. The best step is to know how to keep yourself safe.

“We chose those topics because of their relevancy to all Washingtonians right now, during a disaster,” Kabanje said. “We’ll also talk about how important it is to be prepared for disasters even now, since we’re not immune from other disasters happening even though we’re experiencing a pandemic.”

Besides COVID-19, the state is in the midst of fire season and an earthquake could happen anytime. In February, the state Emergency Operations Center handled the response of major flooding as well as COVID-19.

More preparedness tips at

For mental and emotional well-being tips.

The Washington Department of Financial Institutions has resources to help here.

For more on COVID-19, visit