Are we prepared?
More specifically, is the infrastructure of the Pacific Northwest prepared for the next Cascadia Subduction Zone Earthquake?
What will happen to our roads, bridges, and airports?
Will we still have electricity?
Will cell phones work? What about the Internet?
Will there be fuel for our cars and trucks?
Will we have drinking water? Will our wastewater systems still work?
There is a high probability that the next Cascadia Subduction Zone Earthquake will will be a megaquake, one with a magnitude 8.0 to 9.0 or greater on the Richter Scale.
We know that a quake of that magnitude will severely damage our transportation, electricity, communications, liquid fuel, water and wastewater infrastructure lifelines.
These infrastructure lifelines were not built to withstand a great quake.
It will take months and even years to repair them - impassable highways, roads, and collapsed bridges; electrical transmission towers, substations, and transmission lines down; no cell phone communication and no internet; no fuel deliveries to service stations; broken water and wastewater pipes.
But it doesn't have to be this way. We have the skills and technology to make these "lifelines" more resilient to a great quake. Yes, there will still be damage, but we can significantly reduce the time it takes to repair and restore these lifelines.
But we must start now.