Vashon Specific Hazards

Vashon residents face a relatively higher earthquake risk than others in the Pacific Northwest www.kingcounty.gov/safety/prepare/residents_business/Hazards_Disasters.aspx has a current and excellent overview of all the potential disasters we might face here in King County.

Other specific reasons we should prepare:

  • Help is likely to take 10 days to arrive (according to Tom Miner) - and even then won't do much of anything to help individuals - aside provide some loans - which you'll need to repay. He also noted that in a disaster, those we normally  rely on for emergency services will most likely be home dealing with their own personal crises.
  • Earthquake Insurance makes sense in certain situations, but tends to carry a number of severe limitations too.
  • We're limited by our reliance on ferries. Without them, many families could be separated for days.
  • Our pioneer ways (and somewhat decentralized phone and water system) may prove to critical during an event.

Situation - from the Vashon Comphrehensive Emergency Management Plan

Vashon and Maury Islands (henceforth referred to as the Island or Vashon), the largest island in Puget Sound is located in King County, in the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue metro area. The Island has 45 miles of shoreline and is approximately 13 miles long and 8 miles at the widest point. Vashon is an unincorporated area of King County and has a population of approximately 10,800. The Island could encounter numerous hazards such as a natural or environmental disaster, a terrorist attack, or public health emergency and, as an island that is only accessible by ferry, could be isolated from mainland emergency resources. The following natural or man-made hazards are the prime consideration of this Emergency Operations Plan and are covered in more detail in the Hazard Mitigation Plan:

  • Drought
  • Earthquake
  • Flood
  • Landslide
  • Severe Wind
  • Snow/Ice
  • Tsunami/Seiches
  • Volcanism
  • Wild Fire
  • Lightning
  • Mass Casualty
  • Terrorist Attack
  • Ferry Service Disruption
  • Utility Interruption
  • Transport Incident
  • Armed Attack Bomb Incident
  • BENICE
  • Haz Materials
  • Civil Disorder
  • Cyber-terrorism

Accordingly, the situation is as follows:

  1. Vashon Island faces a wide array of risks, which may pose a significant threat to the population and property within the city. These include natural, human-caused and technological emergencies or disasters.
  2. Depending upon the extent and nature of the disaster or emergency, a potential condition exists that may severely hamper the economic and physical infrastructure Island.
  3. Vashon Island may be isolated for a long period of time (3- 10 days) without outside assistance.
  4. A catastrophic disaster may overwhelm local and state governments in providing a timely and effective response to meet the needs of the situation.