Author’s note: In July 2015, I was in a media conference in New York City and when one of the participants learned I was from Seattle, he looked at me and said, You’re toast! I didn’t know what he has talking about until he referred to the article in The New Yorker magazine, The Really Big One by Kathryn Schulz that convincingly asserts an earthquake will destroy a vast portion of the coastal Northwest.
A good way to sell magazines is by inciting high voltage fear that scares readers to death. Even though I’m a seasoned P.R. professional, who understands how well scary spin increases magazine sales, I too can succumb to electrifying fear when the probability of disaster strikes close to home.
Full Disclosure: I do live in Seattle with my husband and we also own a home on the Oregon coast in Manzanita that is located in the heart of the subduction zone. The signs we see on the Pacific Coast Highway 101 clearly note when we are entering the Tsunami zone. Since 2003 we’ve lived here and while there is plenty of grave geologic certainty that this part of the world is marked for a natural disaster, the exact timing of death and destruction also invites a spiritual exploration where all roads inevitably point to “Waiting for the Big One.”