To say that Kathryn Schultz' recent piece about the potential for a devastating earthquake in the Pacific Northwest for The New Yorker put people in a tizzy is an understatement. The article brought to light, in vivid detail, the somewhat under-publicized possibility and effects of a massive earthquake in this region within the next fifty years and the area's unpreparedness for this kind of seismic event. Feeling freaked out? Here's some good information about preparing yourself and your home:
Reddit, as you probably know, has been all over the news these days but their AMA (Ask Me Anything) yesterday with three earthquake experts demonstrated its ability to provide a useful forum for timely topics. The AMA was filled with questions and answers about the probability of a massive earthquake, the likely impacts on specific areas, early warning systems, emergency plans, emergency preparedness and what both homeowners and renters can do to mitigate damage to property and increase personal safety.
Here is a link to the full AMA on Reddit. Below I've pulled links to some of the most relevant topics related to the home:
If you're not familiar with the format of an AMA, the experts' collective answers are highlighted in blue with the respondent's name at the end of the comment, like below:
- What to look for in housing in the Pacific Northwest with earthquake risks in mind
- Is there anything renters can do to make their homes safer
- Will homeowners insurance cover damage from "the big one"
- Best course of action during a quake if you're in an older building
- Is it worth it to retrofit older, wooden homes
- How many days of supplies should I have on hand
- What's a smart escape plan
And, on a note of optimism, the experts hope the threat of a quake won't keep people from living in, moving to and enjoying all the beauty of the Pacific Northwest:
"I live here, and I personally wouldn't advise anyone to stay away from this beautiful region because of earthquake risks." - Sandi Doughton, science writer at The Seattle Times
"The PNW is one of the most beautiful parts of the country! Do your due diligence to prepare, know the reality, and then enjoy your life. Earthquakes will happen, yes, the big one, yes. But there are hazards everywhere. I love it here. - Debbie Goetz, Seattle’s Emergency Management Office