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Arlington Emergency Management hosts March 24 Earthquake Awareness & Preparedness Workshop

ARLINGTON — As the scenes from Japan continue to unfold, people living along the West Coast have awakened to the fact that this could and probably will happen in this area one day. Therefore, to help answer questions about how this area may be severely impacted due to a catastrophic earthquake, the Arlington Emergency Management Office is offering a 90-minute Earthquake Awareness and Preparedness Workshop on March 24, starting at 6:30 p.m. in the Arlington City Council Chambers.

"Emergency preparedness is the responsibility of every citizen," Arlington Mayor Margaret Larson said. "Investing in the preparedness of ourselves, our families, our businesses and our community can help reduce fatalities and economic devastation. This city and its partners — the Arlington Public Schools and the Cascade Valley Hospital and Clinics — have been working for more than three years to create community-integrated emergency plans to help facilitate our response and recovery from a disaster like the one in Japan. I highly encourage our neighbors and citizens to do the same."

"It is likely that we will sustain much the same devastation as they have in Japan from an earthquake," Arlington Emergency Manager Christine Badger said. "As you have seen or read, many of the citizens helped save the lives of those around them and are helping to share food and water as best they can. We all need to be prepared to do the same. We will be each other's first responders."

The workshop will go over the types of earthquakes that are most likely to occur in this area, as well as provide survival and preparedness tips for individuals, families and businesses. The workshop will also go over the possible economic impacts and infrastructure damages that may occur within Snohomish County, and how citizens need to be ready to mitigate some of those now.

Toward the end of the workshop, the presenters will describe an extended preparedness course called Community Emergency Response Training, that the Arlington Fire Department, Marysville Fire District and Lake Stevens Fire Department will offer starting on March 30, running one night a week for seven weeks. CERT provides actual hands-on techniques needed to assist others during emergencies and disasters. Through this training, citizens will learn how to manage small fires, provide basic medical aid, control bleeding, treat others for shock, conduct searches and rescue victims safely, as well as how to organize volunteers on the spot to be more effective during emergency responses.

"The more CERT-trained citizens we have living in our community, the greater our response will be to those who need immediate lifesaving help," Arlington Fire Chief Bruce Stedman said. "CERT gives such effective tools and skills to the individuals that take the time to complete the course that many of them have used the skills during their daily lives, whether helping an injured coworker or when coming upon an accident scene. CERT gives you the knowledge to know what to do and how to keep yourself and others safe. I encourage all Arlington citizens to take this course."

To register or for more information on CERT, contact Badger at Arlington Fire at 360-403-3618 or cbadger@arlingtonwa.gov, or Kristen Thorstenson at Marysville Fire at 360-363-8507 or kthorstenson@marysvillewa.gov. For more information on the Earthquake Awareness and Preparedness Workshop or to RSVP your attendance, please contact Badger.

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