Risks & Hazards

Echo and Lost Lake 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.  The long term impact will mostly be seen with wells in the community, limiting the source of fresh water.

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.

Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) - 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.  A pandemic potential exists for the region however mitigation within the Echo Lake Community is limited at the present.

Natural Gas Pipeline - The Williams Natural Gas pipeline passes, roughly North-South through the community.  While the pipeline owner has established safety protocols and constant monitoring of all operations, the potential of an incident remains.  The probability of an incident is small, however the hazard severity could become life threatening.  For this reason we need to remain aware of mitigation procedures to minimize the impact on the community.

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.

Cascadia... The Big One

This is an excellent PBS presentation about the impact of The Big One.  That is the big earthquake that will happen in the Pacific Northwest just like it has in the past.  Please watch this video and take steps to prepare.  Click photo at left or click HERE.

The Echo Lake emergency responders will be there to help with the recovery, but it would make a dramatic difference to saving lives if every home owner took steps to prepare, now.

Islands of Isolation

At a recent international educational event, Jason Biermann was invited to speak about impact due to earthquakes in our region and more specifically Snohomish County.

This presentation directly pertains to our community and establishes the framework  and emphasis for our Community Emergency Response Team.

Some may say this will never happen, however it has happened to others and we are not immune to earthquakes.

Please take the time to watch this video.

Are We Ready?

Washington state's Map Your Neighborhood (MYN) programh recognizes that during an emergency "your most immediate source of help are the neighbors living around you."  The Echo/Lost Lake Community is actively working to complete the Map Your Neighborhood program to address these risks.  If you have not connected with this program, please contact us.

Hazards Viewer

This Snohomish County Hazard Viewer is an interactive digital map that was developed to help people better understand and manage natural hazard risks. Information is presented in a searchable format so you can be aware of, and prepare for potential hazards where you live and work, and in the many other places life takes you. There also are links to tips and other helpful tools. Are you ready? 

South Whidbey Island Fault

Our risk of an earthquake happening tomorrow may be low, but when the South Whidby Island Fault earthquake does happen it will be devastating.  This fault passes through our community and according to the USGS it is capable of generating the largest crustal earthquake in Puget Sound at 7.5. 

When considering this earthquake will be shallow, the USGS believes damage will be extensive and widespread.  This Everett Hearld article has more information.

We should expect significant aftershocks and liquefaction.  Two new lakes will be created in our community as a result of this earthquake. 

Cascadia 9.0 Tsunami  

When the big one hits it will cause incredible damage around Puget Sound.  You may think this does not impact us.  Well, it does have a huge impact on our small community.  In addition to the devastation regionally from the Cascadia event, the damage to the ports and shoreline means the food and supplies coming to the region have no working ports to offload the ships.  In addition, all recovery efforts available will be applied to the ports to return the supply capacity.  Those are resources that would normally help us.

Just to give you a perspective of the extent of shoreline damage, watch this video.