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 an update to the
Seattle Hazard Identification and Vulnerability Analysis (SHIVA)
(PDF 10MB). 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.
This plan is currently being updated. For more information download this brochure or
visit our homepage for more details about how you can get involved.
Is Your Home Protected (PDF) - Reduce non-structural hazards in your home