The TL;DR: The "Big One"

November 2, 2016
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If the 'Big One' hit us tomorrow (or anytime soon, for that matter), we would be in pretty bad shape. 

What's the 'Big One?'
If you have lived in Seattle for longer than five minutes, you have probably heard someone talk or joke about 'The Big One' - the expected 9.0+ earthquake that we are long overdue for in the region. With two recent, destructive earthquakes in Mexico, and recent tremblings around Mount Rainier, 'The Big One' has shaken its way back into the forefrom of Pacific Northwesterner's minds. 

Unsettling right (Pun absolutely intended)?

The last major quake to hit Seattle was the Nisqually Earthquake, which ranked in at a whopping 6.8 magnitude and killed one person (of a heart attack). A 9.0 would be 2,000 times as strong as the Nisqually.

"That's bad, right?"

Yeah, really bad. The Japan earthquake in 2011 that caused devastating damage to the country, as well as a nuclear meltdown was just an 8.9 magnitude. The shaking from the 'Big One' will be felt as far away as Spokane, despite the quake epicenter being just miles off the PNW coastline.

We have known about this for a long time, so we totally prepared, right?
TL:DR: The response has been deemed "Grossly Inadequate" and has the likelihood of becoming a humanitarian disaster within 10 days.

Hahahaha....*starts crying*....sadly, no. As Seattle Times discovered on October 23, 2016 from this report, Washington's plans to deal with the megaquake are considered "Grossly Inadequate." 

"Grossly Inadequate" is how you should describe the Star Wars prequels, not our state's plans to deal with a cataclysmic natural disaster.

Remember doing fire drills when you were a kid? Well, the state basically did one of those, but on a massive scale. It was a four-day drill back in June called "Cascadia Rising" that simulated a hypothetical quake that basically puked destruction all over western Washington and the "plans" to deal with the disaster were found...let's just say unsatisfactory.

Buildings won't be able to deal with the shaking. Response and rescue plans won't be ready for widespread destruction. Barely anything is in place that would be necessary to react and prevent it from becoming a "humanitarian crisis."

And they still have the guts to keep raising rent in Seattle? Rude.

Will I be ok?
TL:DR: Be as prepared as you can, but also don't expect to ride this one out in your basement.

It really depends on a few things. The casualty count is expected to be greater than 10,000, with more than 30,000 injuries to those that survive. It scares me just writing this.

Roads will be jammed or blocked. Sinkholes might open in the middle of some streets. The tsunami (did I mention the tsunami, yet?) will be landing 30-60 minutes after the first shocks. Why do we even live in this god-forsaken place? Oh yeah, pretty mountains.

As many as 50,000 people live in the Tsunami Zone of Terror™ (unofficial name) and will be unable to get to higher ground before the first waves hit. 

The entire region is going to be a mess. The best you can do is make sure to have two weeks of supplies ready and a plan to get to higher, safer ground.

Supply List

  • Water (one gallon per person, per day)
  • Canned food (meats, veggies, fruits, foods that don't require water to prepare)
  • First-Aid Kit
  • Tools
  • Toiletries
  • Important documents
  • MORE

THE TL;DR
We (our state) is about as prepared for a Megaquake of Doom™ (unofficial title) as we are for orcas to grow legs, walk out of the ocean and start devouring people in the streets. OK, maybe more prepared than that, but it's still going to be pretty terrible.

I'm scared. Does anyone want to move to Ohio with me? 

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