January 26 marks 322 years since the last Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake and tsunami struck the Pacific Northwest, the Oregon Office of Emergency Management reminds us. This week, Oregon Governor Kate Brown designated it as “Cascadia Earthquake Preparedness Week” and urged Oregonians to prepare.
The occasion is a good reason to ask yourself: are you ready for the Big One?
According to the Oregon Office of Emergency Management, “scientists predict that the odds of a mega-earthquake occurring within the next 50 years are about one in ten.”
The Oregonian/OregonLive has regularly offered guides to prepare us for emergencies, especially earthquakes. Here are nine ways to assess your preparedness and things you can do now to prepare for an emergency.
Sign up for notifications: Register for Public alerts, Citizen Alert or service in your county to be notified by text, call or email from emergency response agencies when you need to take action such as sheltering in place or evacuating.
Bookmark the website Where Facebook page of the Oregon Health Authority and a local health department that regularly informs residents of health emergencies and other issues affecting the community. Follow public health services like HAE who use social media to communicate accurate and timely information.
the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather radar live app offers real-time radar imagery and severe weather alerts. Or buy one weather radio to stay abreast of the latest developments.
Review what you should do in the event of one of these emergency alerts. (Here’s a hint: drop, cover and hold on.) It seems so simple. But as this article by Dare A. Baldwin of The Conversation at the University of Oregon says, researchers studying people’s responses to emergency alerts indicate that many people simply do nothing.
Have a household escape plan: Make sure everyone in your home knows your emergency escape plan, including how to get out of homes safely, where you’ll all meet, and how to contact you if the phones aren’t working.
Think about your emergency kit. Seriously, we’ve known for years that we need to put together emergency kits for our homes. look this 2015 unboxing video As the Earth Science Information Officer at the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries, Ali Ryan, shows us the inside of his emergency kit and offers tips on what to do you have to take away. Listen to this Peak Northwest podcast as Jim Ryan and Jamie Hale interview Marilyn Bishop, founder of Cascadia Quake Kits, as they talk about how to prepare. And then, hey, maybe do something about it.
Gather the essentials in one place. Ideally, you’ll need two weeks worth of supplies, and water is at the top of the list. Janet Eastman details essential items to store and what to consider when preparing. (Also don’t forget what your pets will need.)
Prepare your “Go Bag”. Wildfires have changed some of the ways we think about preparing for emergencies. Having a “Go Bag” ready has become essential for all of us. Apply the lessons from this guide to your earthquake preparedness, with reminders on portable essentials such as first aid kits, masks, extra clothing, tools and, of course, food and water .
Already equipped with supplies? Good for you. Take this opportunity to check your emergency supplies for expired items like drugs. Even canned goods have expiration dates (don’t forget to pack a can opener), and you’ll want to check if your batteries and chargers are still working or if any important documents need updating.
Earthquake-resistant homes and workspaces: When the earth begins to move, normal everyday objects can become dangerous projectiles, says Kale Williams. Experts recommend that you do a meticulous “hazard hunt” through your home, identifying anything that could pose a hazard. Install latches on cupboards containing crockery, secure heavy bookcases to the walls with straps or bolts, and use closed hooks or earthquake sealant to secure pictures and mirrors to the walls so they don’t slip. don’t collapse. Learn more in Williams’ step-by-step guide to preparing for the Big One.
Take inventory of your home. An hour spent taking inventory photos of your home now can save you hundreds of tedious hours trying to gather information for an insurance claim after a disaster. Follow these steps to create a home inventory.
Learn more. Oregon Office of Emergency Management has all kinds of resources for individuals, communities and businesses.