Southern Oregon — While an Oregon commission is working on a resilience plan to make the state more seismically sound for the Cascadia earthquake, there are things we can do to be more prepared.
Even having a sturdy pair of shoes next to your bed can make a difference.
It’s important to realize that once the earthquake does happen we’ll all be our own rescuers.
“When this thing happens it’s going to shake from Northern California all the way up to British Columbia, it’s going to be felt east of the cascades, it’s going to affect 15-20 million people, and the effects could last decades,” Althea Rizzo said.
Althea Rizzo is the geologic hazards program coordinator for the Oregon Office of Emergency Management.
She spends much of her time on the road educating others on how to prepare for the Cascadia earthquake.
“We really recommend that families, neighborhoods and communities are able to be self-sufficient for at least two weeks,” Rizzo said.
The basic needs come to mind… food, water, medications, some toiletries, and a way to make shelter.
Rizzo says you’ll want to have one gallon of water per person, per day.
“You can have some gallons of water set aside, but also think about how to make clean water. You can buy filters… There’s lots of different filters online that you can buy for 20-30 bucks,” Rizzo said.
Beyond setting aside items, other ways to prepare include skills like foraging for native foods, staying in shape, and learning how to garden.
“If you live in an apartment, even having a pot of tomatoes on the patio will make a difference,” Rizzo said.
With more than 40 Cascadia earthquakes in the last 10,000 years, history shows it’ll happen again.
But Rizzo says if you prepare now, you could save your own life and the lives of other people around you.
“After the event is not when you want to be thinking about ‘I need water, or my kid’s medication is gonna run out in three days,'” Rizzo said.
Rizzo says Southern Oregonians may have even more of a responsibility to be prepared as resources will first go up to areas like Portland where the highest concentration of people are.