Items of Interest


As of January 1st, 2018, SNOCOM and SNOPAC have merged into one agency, Snohomish County 911. The home for Snohomish County 911 is  WWW.SNO911.ORG. The SNOCOM and SNOPAC websites will remain online for a period of time in order to help get the word out that we have consolidated. The old sites will no longer be updated, so please use the new site for the lastest information about Snohomish County 911.


You need to know that wireless phone service may not be available in the wilderness.

If service is available, your 9-1-1 call for help will be picked up by the nearest cellular tower in the most direct line of sight to your location. It could be picked up at a county 9-1-1 center, by State Patrol dispatch, or even by the Canadian authorities. Since these call answering centers are all located outside the boundaries of the calling area, they would have no way of knowing from where you are calling unless you tell them. Be prepared to provide your location.

Remember, help may be several hours away or longer. Use 9-1-1 only in case of an actual emergency.


  • Start out with a fresh, fully charged battery and carry extra charged batteries with you. Keep batteries warm for extra-long use.
  • Be prepared to give complete information about the nature of the emergency. You may only be able to make one call. Turn off the phone when not in use.


  • Your location, including the trailhead and nearest city, destination or waypoints.
  • Your wireless phone number, including area code.
  • How your wireless phone works. Instruct everyone in your party on how to use your phone. Your phone may be pre-programmed to dial 9-1-1 with one button. You could accidentally call 9-1-1 and not even know it. Handle your phone carefully to prevent the automatic misdialing of 9-1-1.
  • How to increase your signal strength, to include: pointing your antenna up; finding a clearing; gaining elevation; and turning your body - you may be obstructing the signal.

Be prepared to provide the following information:

  • Speak slowly and clearly the following:
    • Name
    • Phone number (area code)
    • Location from where you are calling (general and specific)
  • Nature of Emergency
    • If there is an injury, the type of injury
    • Severity of the injury
    • Where is the injured party?
    • Can the injured party walk?
    • Lost? How many in your party?
    • Last known location you can remember
    • Direction traveled from there?
    • Distance/time traveled from there?

Before you leave on your trip:

  • Plan your trip and tell family or friends where you are going and when you will be back. Stick to your plan
  • Choose clothing, footgear, and equipment suitable for the weather and terrain
  • Carry the ten (10) essentials in addition to your other outdoor equipment
  • Get a weather forecast before you leave. Postpone the trip if bad weather is predicted
  • Carry this information with you


  • S- Stop and Stay Put. Stay calm. If you are in a group, stick together. Don't go any further without thinking things out.
  • T- Think. Use your brain. It's your best survival tool. Study your map and surroundings. Don't make snap judgments. If you have any doubt about where you are, stay put. Move only if necessary to clear a hazardous area (avalanche, rock fall, deadfall, lightning, flash flood, etc.), then Stop and Stay Put.
  • O- Observe. Are there any hazards nearby (avalanche, rock fall, deadfall, lightning, flash flood, etc.)? What is your personal condition and that of the members of your party? Does anyone need first aid? What does the weather look like? What do you have with you to help? Where is the best spot within view to make camp?
  • P- Plan and Prepare. Rig a shelter near an open space, if possible. If it can be done safely, make a fire. Set out signals (streamer, marker, or panel). Rest. You will survive. Wait for help. It's on the way.


  • Always carry on your person a whistle and an emergency shelter (large trash bag, tube tent, mylar space-rescue blanket or bag, etc.) whenever you are outdoors
  • In addition, always pack the following 10 basic items on every wilderness trip - whether it is a day hike or a two-week backpacking trip in the mountain
  • Pocketknife
  • First Aid Kit
  • Extra clothing, including a hat. Based on the season, pack enough clothing to keep warm while sitting still
  • Rain Gear
  • Canteen or Water Bottle (Full)
  • Flashlight with extra batteries and bulb
  • Extra Food
  • Extra Matches and Fire Starter
  • Sun Protection: sunglasses, sunscreen, hat, lip balm
  • Map and Compass. Know how to use them

    You may also want to carry a small piece of foam sleeping pad (12' x 18") for insulation from the cold ground, signaling devices like a mirror, a marker panel, and, in season, insect repellent and/or a head net.

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