Disaster expert to discuss Vashon’s vulnerability to earthquakes

In the wake of mounting concern over Vashon’s vulnerability to a large earthquake, VashonBePrepared is bringing a disaster expert with knowledge about the so-called Tacoma Fault to Vashon next week. 

Thomas Miner, who wrote the federal practice exercise scenario for the Tacoma Fault, will be the keynote speaker at VashonBePrepared’s annual meeting on Wednesday, April 13. 

Miner recently retired from the Pierce County Department of Emergency Management as a program manager for the Washington Urban Search and Rescue Task Force, on call for dispatch nationwide to major emergencies. He has helped conduct search and rescue operations at most of the major disasters the United States has experienced in the last two decades. 

The Tacoma Fault runs directly underneath the center of Vashon, which means the Island could be profoundly affected if the fault ruptures, geologists now believe. The latest computer analysis indicates that shaking from the fault could be as severe as the recent earthquakes in New Zealand and Japan. 

VashonBePrepared, the Island’s volunteer emergency response organization, says the talk will give Islanders plenty of opportunities to learn about Vashon’s vulnerability and to ask Miner questions.  

Miner will speak about lessons learned while organizing communities to respond to disasters, chasing hurricanes and finding missing persons. Experts say Vashon residents should be prepared to sustain themselves for as many as 10 days at home until help can arrive.

The meeting will begin with refreshments at 6:30 p.m. at the Land Trust Building on Bank Road. There will be a small amount of business conducted before organizers turn the meeting over to Miner.



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