I’m sure many of you have seen this week’s New Yorker article, The Earthquake that Will Devastate Seattle. The vivid scenario described in the article has prompted lots of discussion about what would happen here and potential ways to mitigate the many impacts that a large earthquake would have.
On the heels of this discussion, we received an announcement from the Seattle Office of Emergency Management about the rollout of AlertSeattle, their new emergency alert service. Here is an excerpt:
AlertSeattle is a free service that allows you to sign up online to receive customized alerts by text messages, email, voice message and on social media (Facebook and Twitter)
Emergency alerts are sent when there is a significant risk to life and/or property, at any time of day.
This will be a welcome addition to existing emergency preparedness resources, which include King County’s RPIN (Regional Public Information Network), a very useful regional alert system.
FYI, the New Yorker article has stirred up discussion on our West Seattle Be Prepared page on Facebook), as well as on other sites. There are some excellent, informative responses to it from local earthquake experts including those at the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network. Their Facebook group (ThePNSN) always has relevant, useful content; the scientists on that forum take the time to answer questions and explain seismic events.
On the subject of emergency alerts, I wanted to mention that the PNSN scientists are developing and testing an actual Earthquake Early Warning System that would detect the earliest shaking and provide some time to react. This would certainly help immensely if we do have a huge earthquake.
I’m heartened to see all of the new tools and apps rolling out, as well as all of the emergency planning work going on. While a significant quake could indeed devastate the Seattle area, taking steps to understand the dangers, gather information, plan and prepare will help us be more resilient.