Thursday January 26th, 2017 is the 317th anniversary of the last Cascadia Subduction Zone Earthquake. In recognition of this, and to increase earthquake awareness, City of Bellingham Mayor Kelli Linville has proclaimed January 26th as “Cascadia Subduction Zone Earthquake Awareness Day”
However, Mother Nature does not pay any attention to the calendar, the weather or the readiness of our communities. Dr. David Warner of the San Diego State University Homeland Security Program said at our last National Institute for Urban Search and Rescue Board Retreat that Mother Nature is the ultimate terrorist. Disasters and earthquakes can strike at any time, and all of us need to “Be Prepared”, at home, at school, in the workplace, while shopping, in houses of worship, or just taking a walk in the park.
Over 100 years ago, Lord Robert Baden-Powell (founder of the Boy Scouts) defined the phrase, “Be Prepared” … the meaning of the motto is that a scout must prepare himself by previous thinking out and practicing how to act on any accident or emergency so that he is never taken by surprise.” Ms. Kerri Salls, Founder and Managing Director of This Way Out, expands this by saying that “Be Prepared” is more than a Girl Scout or Boy Scout Motto and that we all need to “Be Prepared, Be Proactive, and Begin with the End in Mind.”
For the 2016 Cascadia Rising earthquake exercise we learned from the scientists, academics, first responders, and planners was that while there would be damage here in Bellingham and Whatcom County, it would not be as bad as coastal areas such as Pacific and Greys Harbor Counties, or what might happen in metropolitan areas including Seattle and Tacoma, or north into Canada and Vancouver. The more severe damage, injuries and infrastructure impacts in those areas demonstrated why Whatcom County communities should be prepared to be self-sufficient for at least two-weeks.
Being prepared for an earthquake, or any other type of disruptive event, is not just a first responder responsibility, it is the responsibility of each and every one of us – it is critical to our community being resilient. The difference in how a community survives is dependent on being prepared, and in recognition of “Cascadia Subduction Zone Earthquake Awareness Day” WhatcomReady.Org is publishing four articles:
- January 24th “Be Prepared” In The Home
- January 25th “Be Prepared” In The School
- January 26th “Be Prepared” In The Workplace
- January 27th “Be Prepared” A Compendium Of Available Resources.
Join us in taking some steps to “Be Prepared”!