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Cascadia Fault Line Earthquake Prediction – Cause for Concern?

Are Seattle, Portland, and the Pacific Northwest really facing a catastrophic event?


You’ve probably read in the news lately about “The Really Big One” — the earthquake and subsequent Tsumani that’s being predicted to pound the Pacific Northwest along the Cascadia Fault Line sometime in the next 50 years. At least for me, I’ve heard talk about it all over the place.

I’m from Seattle, Washington. Well, I’m not from there — I was born in Utah — but I spent from the time I was 6 until I left for college in the Evergreen State, so I consider it home.

Seattle, Washington

Seattle, Washington in the shadow of Mt. Rainier.

I now call the San Francisco Bay Area home, so I’m no stranger to earthquakes. When I was about 10, I remember sitting on the first base side upper deck of the Kingdome, watching the Seattle Mariners take on the Cleveland Indians. The man behind us was boisterous and kept kicking the back of my chair all night. When an earthquake began to rattle the Kingdome, I thought this man was kicking my chair again. But when the stadium speakers began swaying in the rafters and I saw Kenny Lofton make a b-line from center field to the dugout in about 2 seconds, I realized it was something else.

Yes, this is normal when you grow up in the Volcano-clad Northwest, or anywhere in California.

So what about the article published in the July 20, 2015 issue of The New Yorker claiming an earthquake will destroy a sizable portion of the coastal Northwest? (It’s a really interesting article. You should read it).

The author of that article is referring to the Cascadia Subduction Zone which runs for seven hundred miles off the coast of the Pacific Northwest, beginning near Cape Mendocino, California, continuing along Oregon and Washington, and terminating around Vancouver Island, Canada. This video demonstration below does a good job of showing how the Cascadia Subduction Zone behaves, and what would lead to a catastrophic earthquake and tsunami.

This video demonstrates what the Cascadia Fault would do, should such a catastrophic event occur.

We’ve said it on this site before, and we’ll say it again. We’re opposed to fear-mongering. It’s just wrong. We feel strongly that everyone in this country should develop a strong sense of emergency preparedness independently, regardless of what may or may not happen.

But here’s the interesting part. I’ve read the article by Kathryn Schulz from The New Yorker, and I don’t think there’s any fear-mongering going on there. It’s a well-written piece that appears to be founded in established facts.

Will It Happen?

Should we be concerned with this new information? Will something this terrible really happen? I don’t know. You don’t know. Kathryn Schulz from The New Yorker doesn’t know. But do the sensible thing: get prepared. Because whether it’s another earthquake, another hurricane, another tsunami, another financial crisis, something is bound to happen, and I for one would rather be prepared with essentials like food and water.

That’s not fear-mongering. It’s common sense. And I hope that it doesn’t take a post from The New Yorker to convince you that sure, bad things can happen. That’s life. The least we can do is take a little time to get prepared.

According to the article, it estimates that “in the I-5 corridor it will take between one and three months after the earthquake to restore electricity, a month to a year to restore drinking water and sewer service, six months to a year to restore major highways, and eighteen months to restore health-care facilities.”

Can you imagine an entire year without access to clean water? That’s a long time.

2011 Japan Tsunami

A recent report claims a destruction akin to the 2011 earthquake and Tsunami in Japan is imminent in the Pacific Northwest.

How Do You Get Prepared?

We don’t claim to have all the answers on this website, nor have we reviewed every product imaginable that you would need in a disaster, but we have taken a lot of time to review products across many different companies — especially food. We hope our reviews and opinions will you help you make an educated decision about what emergency products are right for you and your family.

To get started reading reviews about food storage, generators, and other emergency products, head over to our Product Reviews page.

In any case, make sure you’re prepared with an adequate supply of food and a way to prepare it. You should also know that it’s impossible to store enough water. Rather, you need a way to filter water. You should also get your hands on a good “bug out” bag or “72-hour kit” that has other essential supplies.

Whether you live in the Pacific Northwest, the Great Plains, or the Gulf of Mexico, everyone should take time to analyze their level of emergency preparedness for any event that may occur, big or small. Because when it comes to mother nature, that’s all we can do — prepare.

What do you think? Will the next “big one” hit the Northwest?


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