COOS COUNTY — According to Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, “Surviving and recovering from a major earthquake is not a matter of luck.”
Though most Oregonians have been told about the impending Cascadia-sized quake, not everyone has done what they can to prepare.
The anticipated 9.2 quake is expected to hit at any given moment, so last week Brown declared Oct. 19 as the “Great Oregon ShakeOut Day.”
On that day, “millions of people worldwide will practice how to ‘Drop, Cover and Hold On’ as part of the new earthquake preparation.
“This important earthquake drill is a good way to practice what to do when seismic activity occurs,” stated a press release from the Office of Emergency Management.
Brown’s proclamation also encourages Oregonians to be “2 Weeks Ready,” which reminds people to having an emergency kit and knowing what to do two hours, two days and two weeks after a major disaster.
According to the press release, surviving and recovering from an earthquake like Cascadia is “a matter of being prepared and practicing how you’ll protect yourself and what you’ll do next. Everyone, everywhere, should know how to protect themselves during earthquakes – at home, at work, at school, and even while traveling.”
Having the Great ShakeOut gives the public a chance to hold earthquake drills on an annual basis and remind communities on important earthquake tips.
"Earthquake safety is a very real concern in Oregon," said Andrew Phelps, director of Oregon's Office of Emergency Management. "We know that a Cascadia Subduction Zone quake and tsunami could leave large areas of our state without resources for days and weeks. Having two weeks of food, water and other emergency supplies is critical for individuals and families who may need to take care of themselves until formal response resources can reach them."
Though the 2 Weeks Ready campaign was launched in conjunction with the Great ShakeOut, aiming to help people be self-sufficient for two weeks in the aftermath of a disaster, the local U.S. Coast Guard has prepared for the area to be on its own for up to six months.
In June last year, the Coast Guard ran a Cascadia simulation at Air Station North Bend.
Part of the simulation included limited communications and technology, which consisted of pen and paper, and one satellite phone.
“We will use that phone to see how many Coast Guard members died, how many Coast Guard dependents have died, how many assets have been destroyed, how many are available, and then work from there,” said Lieutenant Wes Jones in a previous interview.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency provided the Coast Guard with an estimation for how devastating the quake will be. Those statistics showed that 17,000 lives would be lost, another 27,000 would be injured, and 2.5 million people would be displaced.
Jones explained that North Bend''s two main roads have bridges, and state highways 38 and 42 also have bridges. After the quake, “North Bend will turn into an island.”
“We will have to sustain ourselves and our people up to six months,” Jones said.
Being prepared means being equipped with the proper supplies you may beed in the event of a disaster. Keep your supplies in an easy-to-carry kit or bag you can use at home or carry it with you if you evacuate. Start with these items:
- Water - one gallon per person per day.
- Food - items that don't need to be refrigerated or cooked, such as peanut butter, canned meats, energy bars, canned fruits and vegetables.
- First Aid Kit - include any prescription and over-the-counter medications.
- Flashlight (battery or alternative power)
- Radio (battery or alternative power)
- Extra batteries
- Solar charger
- Family contact information and a copy of family's emergency plan
- Solar charger
- Copies of important documents
- Pet supplies
- Hygiene items
- Multipurpose tool and work gloves
- Manual can opener
To register for the Great ShakeOut, visit www.shakeout.org/oregon.