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Earthquake Safety and Preparedness

Situated along the Ring of Fire, the Pacific Northwest is a hot spot for geological activity. Earthquakes strike suddenly and can cause serious devastation, so it is essential to be prepared for the worst. A proactive emergency preparedness, response, and recovery plan is a must for any organization doing business in the Pacific Northwest.

Having a reaction plan in place allows for a controlled response to any disaster, whether it is an earthquake, tsunami, or volcanic eruption, all of which are potential natural disasters here in the Northwest. By designating actions, tasks, and procedures to be taken during and after the event, your organization can help protect itself from critical damage and substantial financial loss. Your employees should know where they should go, and what actions they they should take. Panic and uncertainty is your worst enemy.

With specific regard to earthquakes, your organization should hold periodic, mandatory earthquake drills and orientations, giving employees opportunities to practice what they learned and condition themselves to react spontaneously and safely as soon as an earthquake begins. Not all earthquakes are strong enough to require a full emergency response, so employees must be able to recognize the differences. Furthermore, training your employees in first aid, CPR, and the proper use of fire extinguishers will greatly increase the effectiveness of your company’s emergency response.

It is critical for employees to understand how and when to safely shut down equipment. In some cases, this needs to be done before seeking out shelter in order to avoid increasing risk and damage. Lastly, as equipment becomes damaged, and the ground becomes unstable, restarting work without proper caution can be deadly. Any emergency preparedness and response plan must include a recovery plan to deal with potential threats before beginning normal operations. Keep in mind that aftershocks are common and are potentially more dangerous.

For more information and consultation on the development of emergency preparedness plans,  please contact The Integrated Group at or 425.822.8500.

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