How far are you with earthquake preparedness?

How far are you with earthquake preparedness?

How far are you with earthquake preparedness?

Yes, the world is spinning and our lives are busy with many things competing for attention. Understandably, we struggle to get ahead of the action curve. That’s why our volunteer Madison Park Emergency Preparedness committee has adapted materials and advice from our Seattle Office of Emergency Management (OEM) to make it easier for you to take this seriously and get prepared.

We have been holding convenient education events in the neighborhood. The next one is a first aid class called STOP THE BLEED, to learn how to control life threatening bleeding, from 7-8:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 7 at Parkshore Senior Living Center. Advance registration is recommended, so call Alea at 206-466-2409.

You may have seen our information table at the Madison Park Art Walk last month where we had an easy checklist for you to post on your fridge to make your way through key components of being prepared. To break this down into an even more manageable list, the first three tasks were printed in the September issue of the Madison Park Times.

On this list, the top-two priorities cover the essentials of storing an adequate amount of water for 14 days and supplies for an emergency toilet. The third priority is a short list of tasks that help you modify your home to prevent serious injury during a quake. 

Here are some more.

The fourth priority involves making a plan for reunification with family and significant others after a quake, as well as protecting your home from damage from gas and water leaks. Reunification involves making a household plan, with agreed upon meeting places and communication plans, and knowing how to turn off gas and water lines. A household plan should include emergency contact information on your phone, backup storage of important documents and the assembly of “get-home bags” for work and cars.

With these four essential tasks checked off, you turn your attention to preparing to shelter in place for two weeks after a quake. Many neighbors assume they can sling a backpack over their backs and safely hike out of Seattle. This is strongly discouraged by emergency preparedness experts for reasons too numerous to list here! The checklist for sheltering in place includes safe storage of warm clothing, boots, food, cash in small bills and other critical supplies. Finally, you’ll want to download emergency apps and sign up for emergency alerts.

As you make your way down this checklist you can also gain skills and confidence by attending related emergency preparation events in the community, as well as visiting Madison Park Hardware, Pharmaca and Madison Books, which have supplies and books you might want.

But the real test of preparedness is how well we can work together as a community post-quake. As you may have learned from the Associated Press article in the Sept. 23 Seattle Times, “With Ranks Thinning, First Responders Must Do More With Less,” the loss of skilled responders and the increase in natural disasters has led FEMA to conclude that they must prioritize teaching citizens how to fend for themselves. Do you know your immediate neighbors well enough to begin making a plan to support each other to survive for two weeks following an earthquake?

Toward that end, Seattle Neighborhoods Actively Prepare (SNAP) is underway in Madison Park. Will you join us in this effort? With the help of Madison Park volunteers, neighbors will organize in two facing-block clusters to learn who lives in their SNAP cluster, what tools and skills are available within the cluster, and how they will gather and organize into functional teams post-quake to help each other survive (i.e., first aid, search and rescue, utility management, shelter, damage assessment and communication). Let’s work together now, so we’re prepared to jump into action to help each other survive a serious emergency, if not a catastrophe!

Please join us by contacting the Madison Park Emergency Preparedness Committee to get on the email distribution list and/or to volunteer to train as a SNAP trainer for Madison Park.

To get involved or find out more, contact these Madison Park Neighbors: Sarah Armstrong at; Margie Carter at; Mary Beth McAteer at; and Dave Reeder at

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