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Earthquake potential and preparation for Spokane.

  • Earthquakes are the 7th most-likely disaster to occur in the Inland Northwest.

  • Spokane Fault.   Geologists discovered a shallow seismic fault in North Spokane.   Shakes from shallow faults can also be deadly.   (American Geophysical Union)

  • There are other known faults in the area, including the Latah Fault, which skirts the west side of Spokane. 
What You Can Do
  • Secure shelves, making sure tall, heavy furniture will not fall over during an earthquake.
  • Secure your water heater (and any other appliances that could rupture pipes if they move during an earthquake) to the floor or wall.  
  • Secure major gas appliances.  Teach everyone in your family how to turn off your natural gas meter.  The shut-off valve is located next to the gas meter.  Use a wrench to turn the valve a quarter turn in either direction to the “off” position.  (Keep a wrench in a specific, easily accessible location.)  After turning the meter off, do not attempt to turn it back on yourself.  Natural gas meters should be turned on only by a properly trained technician, plumber or heating contractor.  If you smell natural gas (which has a strong odor), do not light a flame, use light switches, telephones, or other electrically operated devices that may spark and ignite the gas.  Instead, evacuate the building immediately, and call 911.
  • Store heavy objects on lower shelves.  
  • Install latches that are strong enough to hold cabinet doors shut during an earthquake.  
  • Have a family emergency plan.  Teach your family to find safe places in rooms—under sturdy furniture, against an inside wall, and away from windows.
  • Teach your family to find safe places outside—open areas and away from buildings, trees, telephone and electrical lines, and overpasses.