Earthquake News

The American Red Cross commemorates the anniversary of the Nisqually earthquake.
The tenth anniversary serves as a reminder to plan forward.

SEATTLE, WA, February 22, 2011 — On the tenth anniversary of the Nisqually earthquake, the American Red Cross invites citizens of Western Washington to assess their own earthquake readiness and make disaster plans.

The 6. 8 Nisqually Earthquake rocked Washington State ten years ago on February 28th. This earthquake struck between Olympia and Tacoma, 30 miles southwest of Seattle. The American Red Cross stepped in right away and helped 200 families in Western Washington.

"We were extraordinarily lucky in that the depth of the earthquake spared major damage, injuries, and even fatalities," Randy Hutson, CEO of the American Red Cross Supporting King and Kitsap Counties, said. "The Red Cross has relaunched a campaign to help tens of thousands of citizens in western Washingtonpreparing for such occurrences and learning how to respond when the next earthquake or tragedy comes.

The Red Cross opened seven disaster assistance supply sites in King County and one in Kitsap County in the aftermath of the earthquake.
These Red Cross supply centers allow emergency supplies to be pre-positioned and transported to emergency shelters in the event of future disasters.
In addition, during the last ten years, the Red Cross has delivered disaster education to thousands of Western Washington people. 

 Tips for Earthquake Preparedness:

  • Learn the fire evacuation and earthquake strategies for every building you visit on a regular basis.

  • Select a safe location in each room of your home, business, or school.
    A safe spot could be beneath a piece of furniture or against an interior wall, away from windows, bookcases, or other tall furniture that could fall on you. 
  • In each safe location, practice drop, cover, and hold on. Sit on the floor next to an inner wall with your arms covering your head and neck if you don't have any substantial furniture to grab on to.
  • By each person's bed, keep a flashlight and sturdy shoes.

  • Make sure your house is securely anchored to the ground.
  • Water heaters and gas appliances should be bolted and braced to the wall studs.

  • Bookcases, china cabinets, and other tall furniture should be bolted to the wall studs.

  • Heavy items like portraits and mirrors should be hung away from beds, couches, and other places where people sleep or sit.

  • Fixtures in the ceiling should be braced.

  • For large or heavy cabinets, use robust latches or bolts. Learn how to turn off the gas valves in your home and keep a wrench on hand to do so.

  • Before you start a new construction project, learn about the seismic building requirements and land use rules in your area.

  • Keep an emergency supply kit in a readily accessible position.

  • Because local lines can be difficult to reach during a disaster, have an out-of-area contact.

    During a disaster, family members from out of state might call the contact person to report on their own situation and check on others.

    Even if a cellular signal is not strong enough to make a voice call, SMS text messages from a wireless communication device will often operate.

Visit or to understand what to do in the event of an earthquake.

Contact us at (206) 709-4528 in King County or (360) 377-3761 in Kitsap County for more information or to schedule a disaster preparedness presentation for a community group.

The American Red Cross is a humanitarian organization dedicated to making families and communities safer in the United States and around the world.

Visit for additional information.


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