Civil/Structural Engineering, Vashon, Washington, USA 206-463-5311
Ellisport Engineering Blog
VashonBePrepared Talk - Could Oso Happen Here? Community Meeting on Landslide Risk

On October 29, 2014, I attended, and participated in, a community meeting on Landslide Risk.  I was asked to fill in for a speaker who had a last minute family emergency and had to bow out.  The five presenters attempted to answer four questions:

- Why does the risk of landslide matter?

- What are the risks on Vashon?

- What can each of us do at home?

- What’s being done to respond if it happens?


I teamed with Dr. Tom DeVries, a PhD geologist and retired high school teacher.  We addressed the landslide risks on Vashon.  He spoke about the geology of the island, and I presented pictures of several landslide mitigation structures from Vashon Island projects and discussed their significance.  All of my pictures are shown in the special projects section of our website.


The talks were well received by the approximately 150 people in attendance.  Since the talk occurred on the night of the 7th game of the World Series, it was obvious that the attendees were not baseball fans.  Notably, nearly all attendees were 50+ in age. 


The final talk was presented by Assistant Fire Chief George Brown.  It was quite sobering to hear that he typically has no more than 9-11 full-time responders present on our island of 8500 people.  Any large-scale emergency will rely heavily on volunteers.  Many volunteer responders will be the 250 people trained in the past 10 years by VashonBePrepared.  While Vashon has a reputation as being one of the best prepared communities in the country, we’ll hope that our preparation is never fully tested.

Add a Comment

(Enter the numbers shown in the above image)