We’ve been preparing for a potential major earthquake in the region. Here’s how YOU can get ready too.

SDOT employees work together at the Seattle Municipal Tower to respond to a simulated major earthquake event on June 14, 2022. Photo credit: Ching Chan.

QUICK LINKS – How You Can Prepare: For additional resources on how you can prepare for a large-scale earthquake or other natural disaster, please visit the Seattle Office of Emergency Management’s website or read more in this blog post.


Overview

Team SDOT recently participated in “Cascadia Rising,” a multi-agency exercise to help prepare for a major earthquake of 9.0 scale. An earthquake of this scale would cause major damage to the region and require a response from all levels of government and the public in the aftermath.

A graphic showcasing damage from an earthquake. A large building is shown having sustained major structural damage.
Graphic showcasing the scale of potential damage of a major earthquake event in the Cascadia Rising 2022 simulation & emergency response training exercise. Graphic credit: FEMA.

Check out how our team worked this week to prepare, practice our response protocols, and continue to stay ready for this and other types of natural disasters and emergency situations.

Below that, we are sharing resources on how YOU can prepare yourself, your family, and your local community to be more ready and resilient when the “big one” – an earthquake of this massive scale – hits our region.

Team SDOT preparations

On Tuesday, June 14, we participated in a full day of emergency training exercises that included the activation of our Department Operations Center where our team of transportation subject matter experts (aka: Incident Management Team) put to practice the emergency response scenario. Teams throughout SDOT and along with other City departments trained through exercises to ensure clear roles and responsibilities, and how we would coordinate in a real earthquake disaster situation.

An SDOT staff member monitors live traffic conditions on Seattle streets. Several large television screens are visible mounted on a wall, with computers in the foreground, in a large conference room.
An SDOT staff member monitors live traffic conditions on Seattle streets. Photo credit: Ching Chan

Our Communications Team also conducted trainings on publishing real-time public information via the media, our SDOT Blog, our Twitter account, and other channels. You can read our previous Cascadia Rising blog post for additional details. Given that access to electricity and the internet could be impacted by a large-scale earthquake, we expect to use a range of communications methods which could include radio and other media, to reach the public.

Members of SDOT and other City of Seattle employees train on emergency response protocols via a Microsoft Teams video call.
Members of SDOT and other City of Seattle employees train on emergency response protocols via a Microsoft Teams call on June 14, 2022. Photo credit: Jeanné Clark.

But enough about us…here’s how you can prepare!

Preparing for an earthquake or other major natural disaster

The City of Seattle offers resources on how to prepare yourself, your family, your home, and your local neighborhood for a range of potential natural disasters and emergencies, including a large-scale earthquake. Please visit the Seattle Office of Emergency Management’s website for helpful information.

Be Prepared for Disasters video (2 minutes)

This short, 2-minute video highlights how you can be better prepared for disasters. Video credit: Seattle Office of Emergency Management.

Here are links to additional resources online:

Prepare yourself

  • Staying safe
  • Building a kit
  • Enhancing your skills
  • Sanitation
  • Storing water
  • Preparing for people who are deaf and hard of hearing
  • Preparing for people with low vision/blind
  • Preparing for people with medical needs
  • Preparing for people with low mobility
  • Preparing for seniors
  • Preparing for service animals

Prepare your family

  • Building a family plan
  • Talking to your kids
  • Preparing your pet

Prepare your home

  • Controlling utilities
  • Earthquake proofing your home
  • Retrofitting your home

Prepare your neighborhood

  • Seattle Neighborhoods Actively Prepare
  • Community Emergency Hubs

As noted above, please continue to visit the Seattle Office of Emergency Management web page for additional information and resources to help you prepare. This includes a printable disaster plan template which you can review and fill in with your family, and a step-by-step guide to being prepared, including earthquake information on page 3.

Graphic detailing steps to stay safe during an earthquake event. In the graphic, people cover under a table or other nearby items such as chairs.
Graphic detailing steps to stay safe during an earthquake event. Graphic credit: Seattle Office of Emergency Management

Other resources to stay informed and get involved

Thank you

Thank you for your interest and dedication to prepare for this type of natural disaster in advance, which is a vitally important activity to promote community safety when a disaster strikes. Your efforts are important and appreciated.