One of the first things I observed about my new home on Whidbey Island was a blatant sign along Spyglass Dr. giving helpful tips to the passerby as to what to do in case of tsunamis. Tsunamis! I have spent little time in my life thinking about tsunamis. Of course this is due to the fact that I've lived in landlocked states most of my life, far from any volcanically active areas, and just as far from any coast.
I quickly realized that my new island locale sits directly in line of the Pacific Ring of Fire. The Ring of Fire is one of the most volcanically active regions in the world. The ever moving Pacific plate grinds and slides against the adjacent tectonic plates. The result of this slow but continual process? A ring of active volcanoes that encompass the Pacific plate. The Japanese Islands, the Philippines, Mt Baker (of which I can see on clear days on my way to work), Mt St Helens, the Andes Mountains, and a whole list of other mountains and islands directly related to this amazing force.
Earthquakes, inevitably, precede volcanoes. In fact, seismic activity generally triggers the escape of poisonous gasses and magma from deep within the earth. So here I sit on 307 Spyglass, right on the water, on the edge of the "Ring of Fire", in the probable path of one of the most amazing and devastating natural disasters - the tsunami. Cool! Way cooler than the Midwest tornadoes!