Imagine, you are settled in at work this morning and your children are in their classrooms at school. Your parents are waiting in line at the supermarket when all of a sudden, the ground begins to rumble and shake. Pictures and computers fall from walls and desks. Light fixtures from the ceiling of your child’s classroom fall, shattering glass all over the room. Bricks, boards and window glass fall to the street from homes and businesses.
For 45 seconds the ground shakes and rumbles as food on shelves tumbles to the floor in local stores. Roadways roll, sway and begin to crack, opening large crevices and potholes. Water begins to push up from the ground as liquefaction begins to erode the foundation of your home, business and the street you live on. Hundreds of landslides begin to impede traffic.
Imagine the Capitol Dome in Olympia and the Sea Tac airport control tower becoming badly damaged. Over 400 people become injured from flying glass and debris. Power outages take place throughout Southwest Washington. Phone service is disrupted. You cannot call to check on your family or friends. You are frantic wondering if they are ok!
All of this happened 12 years ago today, at 10:54am, February 28, 2001. The danger of earthquakes hasn’t lessened over the years but the “Be Prepared” message has grown incrementally. Are you prepared? Recent surveys indicate that most families are NOT prepared for most natural disaster events even though they know the danger exists.
Grays Harbor County Emergency Management urges every citizen to become educated on your site specific issues for all hazards and the risk you have at home, work and your child’s school. Learn what has occurred in the past and what scientists predict could happen. The time to begin planning is before an event occurs.
For more information on family disaster planning and your site specific risks, contact Grays Harbor County Emergency management at (360) 249-3911 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org