Get Prepared – the Big One is Coming

Oregon beachLife as we know it in Oregon will end for weeks or even months when the Big One hits the Northwest, earthquake experts say. Long blackouts, food shortages and fuel outages are on the horizon, as well as bridge failures and landslides that could potentially cut off the Oregon coast.

The predictions are based on a study of Japan’s recent magnitude-9 quake, which caused worse damage than was reported despite the country’s high level of preparedness, a team of Oregon experts said. A similar earthquake here would be even more disastrous, given that we’re behind Japan in terms of preparation, they added.

And that’s when – not if – the earthquake hits, a recent Oregonian article emphasized. It’s been 311 years since the last major earthquake in the Northwest’s Cascadia subduction zone, which historically has received one every 240 years on average.

In order to minimize the impact of the expected quake, greater preparedness is needed on a community-wide as well as individual level. At minimum, families should prepare home survival kits that include enough food, water and supplies for at least three days – or preferably two weeks. Don’t forget to include an emergency LED lantern, individual LED flashlights or headlamps for each family member, a full change of warm clothes and a survival knife.

[Photo by: USFWS Headquarters]

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One Response to “Get Prepared – the Big One is Coming”

  1. Larry says:

    You can’t be too prepared! I was in the great earthquake in Chile last year. It was magnitude 8.8 which is much smaller than the one anticipated on the Cascadia fault. It affected the entire country with power outages, food shortages, no phone service, cell or landline, and important highway closures due to bridges etc. failing. All this in a country that has experienced a 9.5 and since built and prepared for great quakes. The terrain in Oregon and Washington is very similar to that in Chile and I would expect that any quake above an 8.8 magnitude there will be extremely devastating. Homes and commercial buildings there don’t appear to be as sturdy as those I visited in Chile (no offense intended). Since my experience, I am never without my Coast flashlight on my keychain, food, water, shelter, and fuel stored – in spite of living in an area with no history and minimal potential for a quake. You never know when the lights will go out!

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