Preparedness coach reviews checklists with mother holding a baby.

Prepare to leave a legacy

Earthquakes are rude; don't expect an invitation.

Unlike hurricanes, tornados and some other natural disaster, earthquakes are totally unpredictable. Even the most recent technology can do no better than to give us a couple of minutes warning — and that’s being generous. That means we have to get ready now. As in, today.

No Crystal Balls

Need more convincing? Searching the internet for “best guesses” about when the next big earthquake is likely to hit the Seattle area, the statistic I’ve most often seen quoted is a 23% chance in the next 50 years. Another estimate is as low as 14%, and another is as high as 75% in the next 50 years. The scariest estimate I found was from the USGS (United States Geological Society). The folks there believe there is a 70% chance that our area will experience one or more quakes of magnitude 6.7 before the year 2030!

Like I said, no one really knows.

By the way, if you’re interested in tracking earthquake activity in our area, check out the website MyNorthwest.com, where they post their earthquake tracker.

My Legacy

Depending on your age, fifty years may seem like a long time from now. I, for instance, will be dead well before we hit the 50-year mark. Those odds seem to be in my favor, so why am I concerned?

Well, I have two reasons. First, they could be wrong, as in way off. Second, even if I’m no longer alive to suffer the consequences, others that I love will be, and I’d like to think that a part of my legacy to them will be a mindset of preparedness. They are more likely to include preparedness in their lifestyle if I have modeled it for them.

What safety behaviors do you want to model for your loved ones?