Leaders urge preparedness on Nisqually earthquake anniversary

February 26, 2011

By Warren Kagarise

NEW — 10 a.m. Feb. 26, 2011

Monday marks 10 years since the Nisqually earthquake — a magnitude-6.8 earthquake credited for changing attitudes about emergency preparedness and for spurring a decade of reforms.

In Issaquah, city leaders credited the temblor for alerting officials and residents to the importance of disaster preparedness and response. Issaquah School District planners also learned lessons from the earthquake.

The state Emergency Management Division prepared a summary of changes implemented since the earthquake struck at 10:54 a.m. Feb. 28, 2001.

American Red Cross leaders used the 10-year anniversary to encourage Western Washington residents to evaluate personal earthquake preparedness plans and to prepare for disasters.

Red Cross teams responded immediately in the aftermath to provide assistance to 200 families in Western Washington.

“Although this was the second-strongest earthquake in state history, we were extremely fortunate in that its depth prevented extensive damage, injuries and even deaths,” local Red Cross CEO Randy Hutson said. “The Red Cross embarked on a renewed campaign to help tens of thousands of Western Washington residents prepare for such events and learn how to respond when the next earthquake or other disaster strikes.”

The nonprofit organization also established seven disaster relief supply centers around King County and another in Kitsap County.

The supply centers allow emergency supplies to be pre-positioned for use in future disasters, and can be transported to emergency shelters.

Planners from the Red Cross, plus state and local groups, also stepped up education efforts for residents in the last decade.

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One Response to “Leaders urge preparedness on Nisqually earthquake anniversary”

  1. Leif Jackson on February 27th, 2011 11:07 am

    Good points. It would be a mistake to get complacent because the Nisqually earthquake was not terribly destructive. A subduction zone quake could be hundreds of times more violent. A shallow earthquake on the Seattle fault zone would be untempered by distance or depth. Either of these scenarios would cause widespread damage to homes, roads, and utilities.

    Preparation is the key. Governments can and should do what they can, but individuals must also take responsibility for their families and homes.

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