Geological hazards are natural events that occur from the earth's crust or involve large movements of land. The following hazards are may impact the City of Bothell:
Earthquakes strike suddenly, without warning, at any time of day or night and cause widespread damage and injuries. Washington has the 2nd highest risk of earthquakes in the United States making our community very susceptible to this geological hazard. That's why it is so important to be prepared. Make an emergency plan, build a emergency kit, and acknowledge that infrastructure may no longer be operational:
- Have enough supplies to last two weeks.
- Check if you live or work in a liquefaction in area.
- Seismically safeguard your home.
- Secure furniture
- Water heater
- Wall décor
Remember, when you feel the earth shaking, drop to the ground, take cover under a sturdy table and cover your neck with one arm, and hold a table leg with the other to ensure your protection does not move. It is not recommended to take shelter under a door frame. Contrary to popular belief, door frames do not provide enough protection.
Bothell is not a risk for tsunamis.
- Pacific Northwest Seismic Network
- Earthquakes and Faults
- The Great Washington Shakeout
- When an Earthquake Strikes
- Seven Steps to Earthquake Safety
A landslide is a large movement of rock, soil, and debris downhill that can cover structures, destroy roads, and take lives. Landslides are often caused by heavy rainfall, rapid snow-melt, erosion, earthquakes, and even construction. There are some warning signs that an area is at risk for a landslide. Cracks in the soil, tilted trees, leaking or broken pipes, sunken road beds, or movement of soil away from foundations can show risk of a landslide. If you think a landslide may happen evacuate and contact first responders.
To reduce your risk of a landslide, understand if your area is susceptible to landslides.
- Get a ground assessment of your property.
- Plant ground cover on slopes/build retaining walls.
- Plan at least two evacuation routes.
If a landslide has happened before, it is more likely to happen again. You can consult the U.S. Landslide Inventory Map to know your areas risk of a landslide and the Washington Geologic Information Portal to see where landslides have happened in the past.
Flooding is the hazard that causes the most damage in Washington and can be very costly. Floods are usually caused by heavy rainfall, large snow-melt, and severe storms that cause flash floods. Rising water can destroy fields, damage structures, and cover roads. Floods can also cause erosion and destructive landslides increasing the dangers of the hazard.
Some preparedness tips include:
- Learn safe evacuation routes to higher ground.
- Learn how to turn off utilities
- Identify family meeting area outside of the flood zone.
- Monitor flood gauges.
- Review your flood insurance policies for coverage.
In the instance of a flood, evacuate when you are advised to, move to higher ground to avoid rising water, and never drive or walk through a flooded area.
It is important to keep storm drains clear of leaves and debris to prevent clogs and flooding.
Bothell Public Works has more resources on how you can prevent floods.
Washington is known for our beautiful mountain range, the Cascades. In the Cascades, there are 5 major active volcanoes that could erupt. Mt. Saint Helens in, as recently as, 1980 had massive eruption causing loss of life, widespread damage, and blanketed the Pacific Northwest in ash. The only hazard from volcanic eruptions in Bothell is ashfall. Massive amounts of ash in the air can cause irritation of the eyes and lungs, diminish visibility, and contaminate water.
To prepare for a volcanic eruption:
- Identify volcanoes in your area.
- Know about community warning systems.
- Know at least two evacuation routes.
- Include goggles and disposable breathing masks in household emergency kit.
In the event of a volcanic eruption and ashfall, wear dust masks and wear a mask. Minimize your time outdoors and avoid driving since it is damaging to your vehicle and can stir up ash. Our Air Quality tab in Public Health Hazards has more information on staying safe in poor air conditions.
- Department of Natural Resources: Volcanoes
- Pacific Northwest Seismic Network: Volcanoes
- Volcanic Ash and Ashfall
- Washington Emergency Management: Volcanoes