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In case of emergency, listen to Mann

HANSVILLE — For Hansville residents, beach and water access is an asset that adds to the town’s beauty. However, in times of emergency, this beauty can lead to devastation.

Phyllis Mann, director of Kitsap County Department of Emergency Management, told the Greater Hansville Area Advisory Council April 8 in times of a Pacific Northwest disaster, “stay high to keep dry.”

Mann said it is important to get to higher ground — at least 25 feet above the beach — after an earthquake in case larger waves or, in worst cases, an inland tsunami is triggered.

“Earthquakes are our greatest threat,” she said.

The U.S. Geological Survey confirms a tectonic fault stretches from Bainbridge Island to Port Orchard, then bends into the mouth of the Sinclair Inlet south of Bremerton.

Faults, where earthquakes occur, are the pressure points between two blocks of the earth’s crust sliding against the other. According to the USGS Web site, faults can be a few millimeters to thousands of kilometers long.

The fault is reverse fault, which is the same kind responsible for creating the Sierra Nevada mountain range in northern California and Nevada, according to Bill Thompson, a science teacher at North Kitsap High.

Mann said in the past 100 years the Puget Sound has endured seven major earthquakes registering between 6.0-7.3 on the Richter Magnitude Scale. The most recent, rated a 6.8 on the Richter scale, occurred in February 2001.

“I was expecting to find everything destroyed,” she said. “The reason we didn’t was because the earthquake occurred so deep in the earth. We were incredibly lucky.”

According to the USGS, tsunamis are triggered by earthquakes exceeding a magnitude of 7.5.

Mann advised Hansville homeowners to make sure their homes are bolted to the ground and that they have earthquake insurance. “Especially for those of you who are over 50, haven’t fully paid off your home and plan on retiring soon,” she said. “You don’t want to be paying on a home that is no longer standing and a rental. Unless you want to move in with your kids.”

Other hazards to the Pacific Northwest are winter storms, floods, wildland fires and tornadoes.

To prepare for emergencies such as these, Hansville residents can aid in making the Greater Hansville Community Center at Buck Lake a warming shelter, she said.

“Up here at Buck Lake, we are just fine,” she said.

Mann said it is necessary to have five to seven days worth of water and food (three meals per day, per person) on hand.

Mann also encouraged everyone to participate in a state wide Emergency Disaster Preparedness “Drop, Cover and Hold” earthquake drill scheduled to take place at 9:45 a.m. April 22.

For more information contact Department of Emergency Management at (360) 307-5870 or visit the Web site www.kitsapdem.org.

GHAAC members also discussed two road projects scheduled for this summer.

Plans to widen the road between Hood Canal Drive and Ponderosa include adding six-foot shoulders on each side. In addition, a new culvert will be installed beneath the road. A one-month road closure is expected during the installation.

Hansville Road is also to be widened with eight-foot shoulders and two left-hand turn lanes at the south Casino entrance and Ecology Lane.

The project is based on the road’s accident history, said Dick Dadisman, design manager for Kitsap County Public Works.

The projects are estimated to cost $1.3 million each and take place between the end of May through October.

In addition, GHAAC members voted in favor of adding an additional member for representation.

Until now, Jerry Ulsund represented Driftwood Keys and the areas north and south. Now Ulsund represents the areas north and south of Driftwood Keys and Gene Borgomainerio represents Driftwood Keys.

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