Not to alarm you too much, but in case you haven't heard by now, this morning the Hanford Nuclear Plant sort of non-exploded! A huge tunnel containing hazardous materials collapsed. According to sources at our sister station,, Hanford employees have been safely evacuated, thank goodness! Residents of Benton and Franklin counties are not on high alert at this time.

That got me to wondering what would happen if there were a dire emergency in the Yakima Valley. What if something had happened at Hanford? Or what if something dreadful happened to Seattle? (North Korea, I'm looking at you). Seattle doesn't even have an emergency plan if North Korea should strike with a nuclear attack because the state government does not anticipate there will be any survivors! YIKES!

What on earth do we do if a state of emergency happens right here in the Yakima Valley? What on earth would YOU do?

I contacted the Yakima Valley Office of Emergency Management (2403 S. 18th St., Suite 200, Union Gap) for some insight and helpful contacts to share with our listeners.

Tony Miller, interim director of Yakima Valley Office of Emergency Management, says that in the event of an emergency/crisis, his team "works hand-in-hand with Washington state officials and the Department of Ecology." If there is an incident at Hanford and it looks like the winds will blow any radioactive dust our way, Miller says roadblocks would be put in place and winds would be closely monitored for any transportation concerns. For those living in the East Valley area, residents would be directed to appropriate shelter locations.

Here is an important list of emergency contact websites to have handy in the event of a state of emergency in our neck of the woods.

If you haven't already done so, create an emergency kit for you and your family. Get a flashlight, some extra batteries (all sizes just to cover all the bases), some bottles of water, food, snacks, a generator if you have room, and some extra clothes and blankets! Have in mind a place to run to for shelter, either by foot or by car. Speaking of cars, get yourself a spare gas can and fill it up! If there is an emergency, I highly doubt we'll be able to get any gas at a filling station! Check on your neighbors, especially the elderly and infirm! Put a small tool kit in your emergency bag, too, as recommended by the Yakima County "Preparing For Disasters" page.

Stay safe!

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