Severe Weather

The Kitsap County Department of Emergency Management (KCDEM) offers a Community Warning System (CWS) to the public. The CWS alerts subscribers when an incident happens. And, the CWS sends both the general public and CWS subscribers basic information about an incident and required actions to protect life and health.

These could include messages to: 

  • Shelter in place 
  • Be on the lookout
  • Stay out of the area
  • Evacuate and more 

The CWS is not used for: 

  • Political or commercial messages
  • Traffic status messages 

Subscribers to the CWS can opt to receive messages one or more ways or view the messages online. Options include: 

If you are not subscribed, messages from the CWS are also available via:

  • Web site
  • Social media channels
  • Broadcast media

Message Definition

CWS alerts use a combination of urgency, severity, and certainty to help the public make informed decisions. 

Urgency describes the time available to prepare.  Urgency could be: 

  • Immediate: Responsive action should be taken immediately 
  • Expected: Action within the next hour 
  • Future: Action in the near future (typically 6-24 hours) 
  • Past: No preparatory action needed 

Severity describes the intensity of the impact.  Severity could be: 

  • Extreme: Extraordinary or large-scale threat to life and property 
  • Severe: Significant threat to life and property 
  • Moderate: Potential threat to life and property 
  • Minor: Limited threat to life and property 

Certainty describes the alerting authority’s confidence that the event will occur or has occurred. Events could be: 

  • Observed: Definitely occurred or occurring 
  • Likely: Likely, although not certain (p>50%) 
  • Possible: Possible, but not likely (p<50%) 
  • Unlikely: Not expected to occur (p<5%) 


  • Excessive Heat Warnings.  The National Weather Service issued a warning in late June 2021 of excessive heat for Bremerton and vicinity. This warning was expected, extreme and likely. 
  • Active Shooter messages to stay out of an area.
  • Wild Fire messages to evacuate or shelter in place, depending on whether the emergency was fire or smoke.
  • HazMat messages to shelter in place.
  • Missing Person message to be on the lookout.
  • Floating Mine to shelter in place, evacuate now, or stay out of the area.

Volunteers Make a Difference

A volunteer appreciation event was held at the KCDEM Staging area December 15th to recognize volunteers who have given so much to the COVID-19 response [...]

May 19, 2021 – CTAC Meeting Minutes

The Community Warning System (CWS) Technical Advisory Committee (CTAC) working group convened on May 19, 2021. Find the meeting notes here: CTAC Meeting Minutes (PDF)

Helpful Links

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