In the Inland Northwest, we are pretty fortunate--we do not to get dramatic disasters, such as hurricanes and major earthquakes; however, we do have our share of emergencies/disasters as listed below. In all cases, they are unpredictable so thinking about their potential and how each person or household can maintain a level of preparedness becomes very important.
History of local emergencies and disasters:
- Earthquakes: every year there are from 6-12 earthquakes throughout the Inland Northwest. Many are low magnitudes: 1.6-2.3, but there have been a few larger magnitude quakes:
- Coulee Dam: 4.3 magnitude,
- Floods: 1963, 1986, 1996, 2008 and 2017
- Home Fires (most common): every year many people have died due to fires in their homes, and unfortunately, many of these could have been prevented if the residents had fully working smoke alarms
- Snow Storms (major): 1996, 2008-2009 and 2016
- Volcano (Mt. Saint Helens): eruption in 1980. The region shut down for several days and store shelves were completely bare after a few days
- Hangman Hills, 1987
- Fire Storm, 1991
- Bowie Road,1996
- Newkirk/Red Lake, 1997
- Valley View Fire, July of 2008
- Spokane Complex Fires, 2016
- Wind storm: June of 2005 and November of 2015
NOTE: Power outages are often associated with one of the above incidents. They can last a short period of time or up to a couple of weeks. As one might imagine, the severity is usually greater during winter months when home heating and lighting are crucial.