From Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, to a 8.1 magnitude earthquake off Mexico’s south coast, and wildfires burning across the northwest, these recent disasters serve as a reminder of the necessity of emergency preparedness. And scientists expect the entire Puget Sound region to be hit with a significant earthquake without warning which could make the Nisqually quake look like a minor trembler.
Pierce County’s Department of Emergency Management, and Aging and Disability Resources, in conjunction with the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network, is hosting a free Getting Real About Earthquakes workshop on Oct. 11, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Evergreen State College – Tacoma campus, 1210 6th Ave. in Tacoma. No RSVP is required.
“The recent disasters in Houston and the entire state of Florida are wakeup calls to us all,” said Aaron Van Valkenburg, Pierce County Aging & Disability Resources manager. “Even with advance warning, residents were overwhelmed with the consequences. We live on the edge. Earthquakes don’t give any warning. We have to be prepared at all times.”
Keynote speaker is Bill Steele from the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network at the University of Washington. Steele has been recently touring the region introducing the ShakeAlert, West Coast Earthquake Early Warning Project (EEW) to businesses, utilities and public agencies. He is also seeking to document how EEW can be used to reduce injuries and economic losses during an earthquake and speed recovery.
In addition to the keynote, a panel discussion will focus on impacts and preparation steps for families, older adults and individuals with disabilities. School staff will also discuss how elementary and secondary schools have prepared for the eventuality of a future earthquake.
Accommodations may be requested by calling 253-798-2221 before Sept. 29. For more information call the Aging & Disability Resource Center at 253-798-4600 or 800-562-0332.
Nicole Johnson, Pierce County Department of Emergency Management
Bob Riler, Aging & Disability Resources