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Planning for 'The Big One'
June 3, 2013
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  • In the Pacific Northwest, earthquakes are a real danger. In Bellingham, Washington a group of volunteer seaplane pilots and other community members will be gathering on June 8th to prepare for what to do in the event of a catastrophic earthquake. Such an event would stop ground transportation virtually altogether and would likely damage runways, leaving areas cut-off from outside help. The Emergency Seaplane Response Plan, the brainchild of Sky Terry, makes use of lakes and other suitable bodies of water throughout the Puget Sound area to move injured people to locations in Eastern Washington, where the effects of the earthquake would be far less severe.

    There is a general consensus among geologists and seismologists that a major earthquake along the Cascadia Subduction Zone, where tension from two converging tectonic plates has been building for more than 300 years, is inevitable, although when it will happen is unknown. It could happen in a hundred years; it could happen tomorrow. The last major seismic event on this fault line was in 1700, and is understood to be the largest earthquake within the continental United States in known history.

    The event on June 8th will be an opportunity for partners, such as the Washington Seaplane Pilots Association, Columbia Seaplane Pilots Association, Kenmore Air (United States’ largest commercial seaplane operator) and Airlift Northwest, as well as volunteers from the community, to plan and simulate different scenarios.

    To learn how you can get involved, please contact Sky Terry at 425-737-3923 or