Seattle is a beautiful place to live, but it is not hazard free. Heavy winter storms routinely sweep through the city. Sometimes the heavy rain triggers landslides, and other times it triggers urban flooding. Seattle has been the scene of civil disorder (Mardi Gras 2001 and the WTO) and tragic hotel fires (the Ozark Fire), but most significantly, Seattle is earthquake country. The 2001 Nisqually Earthquake that rocked Seattle caused millions of dollars in damage, but this quake pales in comparison to a Cascadia Megathrust earthquake, that could rival the one that unleashed the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2005, or a Seattle Fault earthquake that would be centered right in the middle of the city.
This section contains information on these and other hazards as well as links to resources about preparing for them. Although these hazards can seem overwhelming, experience shows that you can dramatically reduce your risk by completing a few simple tasks. See our preparedness section for more details.
The Office of Emergency Management has just completed the most comprehensive update to the Seattle Hazard Identification and Vulnerability Analysis (SHIVA) (PDF 6MB) in 15 years. This document is the foundation of Seattle's emergency management program. It identifies the biggest threats to our community so we know what to plan and prepare for, educate the public about, and mitigate against. It is the best single source of information about the hazards that occur in Seattle.
The SHIVA is intended for anyone wishing to better understand how hazards impact the Seattle community. Those wishing for an 'At A Glance' ranking of hazard threat can turn to the Hazard Ranking table on page 25. Others can use it as a reference and summary of current research. We welcome comments and suggestions. Please send them to T.J. McDonald at firstname.lastname@example.org
Seattle All-Hazards Mitigation Plan (PDF) - Explains what Seattle is doing to reduce hazard exposure risks.
Is Your Home Protected (PDF) - Reduce non-structural hazards in your home