The recent earthquake near Anchorage, Alaska, is a stark reminder of the dangers and risks in living in earthquake country. Like Alaska, Washington is threatened by several natural and man-made hazards, including earthquakes. In fact, the State of Washington has one of the highest risks of being affected by large earthquakes due to its unique geological setting and population densities in hazard prone areas, second only to California.
Of particular concern is the possibility of an earthquake along the northern portion of the Seattle Faultline. This faultline bisects Sammamish in the southern part of the city and can produce earthquakes of similar size to the 7.0 magnitude earthquake in Alaska. A similar earthquake scenario along this faultline is expected to result in regional losses of over $36 billion dollars, and over three-quarters of a billion in losses within the city of Sammamish alone.
As the earthquake in Alaska has shown, major hazards do not need to result in a catastrophic loss of life, serious injuries, or long-term disruptions to affected areas. Resilient communities can recover faster, and the consequences of crises can be minimized. The key to disaster resiliency begins with individual and family preparedness. To assist in this effort, the City of Sammamish has developed and gathered guides to assist individuals, families, and neighborhoods in preparing for, responding to, and recovering from potential hazards. These resources, including the City of Sammamish Emergency Preparedness Guide and the 5 Step Neighborhood Action Kit can be found on the City's Emergency Preparedness webpage.
Another useful tool for emergency preparedness in Sammamish is the King County, WA Risk Assessment Story Map. This interactive map provides users with information about possible threats and hazards in our area, so that steps can be taken to mitigate them.
Lastly, for those individuals looking to access more in-depth disaster preparedness training, the Sammamish Citizen Corps offers Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training at numerous times throughout the year. This City sponsored training provides information on disaster preparedness, medical and first-aid, fire suppression, basic search and rescue skills, and much more.
With natural disasters, it is not a matter of if they will occur, but when. Because hazards like earthquakes provide no warnings or notice, the City of Sammamish urges all residents to take adequate steps to prepare for disasters before they occur.
Image: Damage to the Glenn Highway By Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities
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