About Mt. Rainier:
Mt. Rainier is considered one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world, and it is on the Decade Volcano list. The Decade Volcanoes refer to the 16 volcanoes identified by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior (IAVCEI) as being worthy of particular study in light of their history of large, destructive eruptions and proximity to populated areas.
[update]Although Mount Rainier is an active volcano, as of 2010 there was no evidence of an imminent eruption. However, an eruption could be devastating for all areas surrounding the volcano. If Mt. Rainier were to erupt as powerfully as Mount St. Helens did in its May 18, 1980 eruption, the effect would be cumulatively greater, because of the far more massive amounts of glacial ice locked on the volcano compared to Mount St. Helens and the vastly more heavily populated areas surrounding Rainier. According to Geoff Clayton, a geologist with a Washington State Geology firm, RH2 Engineering, a repeat of the Osceola mudflow would destroy Enumclaw, Orting, Kent, Auburn, Puyallup, Sumner and all of Renton. Such a mudflow might also reach down the Duwamish estuary and destroy parts of downtown Seattle, and cause tsunamis in Puget Sound and Lake Washington.
About earthquakes in Seattle:
A study from 2008 indicates that as many as 1,000 buildings in Seattle could fall down in a strong earthquake.
In that study engineers looked at 575 buildings from the outside and further that estimated 850 to 1,000 old brick buildings that date back to the 1930s would be at risk if a 6.7-magnitude earthquake occurred on the Seattle fault, which runs through the center of Seattle and Bellevue.
The Seattle fault is widely considered the most dangerous quake threat to Seattle. Scientists have predicted that a significant earthquake on this fault could cause widespread devastation and at least 1,000 deaths in the city because of collapsed buildings, fires and other infrastructure failures.Now is this going to happen? Mt. Rainier, probably not. Earthquakes, don't count it out.
My friends were surprised that I have a whole earthquake shed in my backyard. Why do I?
First, I lived in Northern California and felt plenty of shakes (although I missed the deadly one in 1989).
Second, (lucky me) I have now experienced earthquakes in 3 countries and experienced a NYC blackout. I get it - have a plan.
Third, after Katrina, I am convinced that no one in our government is coming for a couple of days if something massive happens. I'm just not going to count on it (I'll count on my neighbors, for sure).
Fourth, we are all computer and cell-phone dependent. Guess what will likely go bye-bye locally?
Here's some links (link 1) (link 2) (link 3) for info. Look, if all you do is this, that's something:
- make sure you have shoes by everyone's bed at night,
- a home evacuation plan (what spot does everyone meet at and forget the pets) AND
- a plan of how to get in contact during the day (when everyone is likely scattered)
- You have to have an out-of-state number that everyone can call into to check in. That way the out-of-town person can confirm who is where. An out-of-town call is more likely to work than local (but there's no guarantee).
- Also, get that ICE number on your cell phone. ICE is In Case of Emergency and emergency personnel, if they find your phone, will call it.
- Have a neighborhood list of who lives where and if there are small children/pets at home.
Now's a good time to think about doing a few simple things.