There are many risks that could disrupt our lives, cause property damage, injury, loss of food & water or cause death. Understanding these risks and building a support system is our responsibility. There is no government entity that will magically come to our aid the instant we are in need. Help will come, eventually, but in the mean time we must survive. Some of the risks that could impact our isolated community are shown below. Some are direct impacts and some are indirect, but in either case, we will feel the impact.
Echo Lake Community Risk Impacts
Drought - In the past century, Washington State has experienced a number of drought episodes, including several that lasted for more than a single season.
Earthquake - More than 1,000 earthquakes occur in Washington each year. A dozen or more are felt; occasionally, they cause damage. We are sitting directly on top of the South Whidbey Island Fault. This fault is shallow and the impact to us will be greater than the Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake.
Flood - Damage from flooding exceeds damage by all other natural hazards in Washington State. While we live on a ridge, the flood risk could impact our ability to go to work, get food and fuel.
Severe Storm - All areas of Washington State are vulnerable to severe weather. A severe storm is an atmospheric disturbance that results in one or more of the following phenomena: strong winds, large hail, thunderstorm, tornado, rain, snow, or freezing rain.
Tsunami - The Pacific Coast, Strait of Juan de Fuca, Puget Sound, and large lakes are at risk from tsunamis, trains of powerful waves that threaten people and property along shorelines. While we live far from Puget Sound and the ocean beaches, a tsunami will stop all traffic to our ports and potentially damage rail service for a considerable time. We are at risk of not having a source of food and other supplies we take for granted today.
Volcano - Washington has five major volcanoes – Mount Baker, Glacier Peak, Mount Rainier, Mount St. Helens and Mount Adams. The risk posed by volcanic activity is not always apparent, as volcanoes can lie dormant for centuries between eruptions. If a major eruption impacts a large populated area, it will have a secondary impact on our ability to get supplies when we want them. If there is ash fallout or fires directly impacting our community, we will be in crisis.
Wildfire - Short-term loss caused by wildland fire can include the destruction of timber, wildlife habitat, scenic vistas, and watersheds, and increase vulnerability to flooding. Long-term effects include smaller timber harvests, reduced access to affected recreational areas, and destruction of cultural and economic resources and community infrastructure.
Hazardous Material - Hazardous material incidents are intentional and/or unintentional releases of a material, that because of their chemical, physical, or biological nature, pose a potential risk to life, health, environment, or property. Of particular interest is material being transported on SR522, I405, by the many rail lines in the area and especially the natural gas pipeline.
Radiological - A radiological hazard is the uncontrolled release of radioactive material that can harm people or damage the environment. If there is an event south east of here, the prevailing winds will bring it here.
There are several programs specific to the Echo Lake Community to assist us in addressing the local hazards. These are programs created here, and managed here by people that live here. These are the backbone programs that keep us safe and secure, especially in times of crisis.
If you know of another program that may help our community be stronger, please let us know.