Oregon preparing for the next big earthquake

MEDFORD, Ore. — It’s not if but when the “big one” will hit.

A catastrophic earthquake from the Cascadia subduction zone is expected to hit Oregon and other Northwestern states.

It’s the reason experts say we need to be prepared.

Experts say the quake could reach 9.0 or higher.

It’s what they call a “mega” quake and they’ve been occurring about every three hundred years.

The last one was back in 1700.

That, of course, leaves us due for the next one. It’s the reason Oregon Governor Kate Brown is unveiling a new plan for preparing the state for a massive earthquake.

The plan has three main objectives:

First, making sure 250,000 vulnerable homes in Oregon have 2 weeks of supplies by 2021. Second, activating a statewide early warning system by 2023 to notify people about a quake minutes before. And lastly, to make more investments in schools and emergency service buildings to prepare.

Some say the Governor’s plan is a step in the right direction, but we all need to do more to be prepared.

“We used to say that you should plan on 72-hours,” said Prof. Charles Lane, Southern Oregon University. “We’re bumping that up. We’re saying it’s two weeks you might be on your own, so what does that look like in terms of preparing your own home…?”

Professor Lane says even right now there are some simple things you can do to prepare, such as having a “go” bag ready and storing food and water in a safe place. That’s if a structure was damaged, you could still get to it.

Tomorrow is also the Great Oregon Shakeout Drill, so far 570,000 Oregonians are signed up for the drill starting at 10:18 am.

Click here to register.

Amanda Rose is a multimedia journalist for NBC5 News. Amanda graduated from Columbia University earning a Master’s degree in Journalism. She also received a Bachelor’s degree in English with a specialization in literature from the University of British Columbia. She’s a Los Angeles native, but is thrilled to return to the beautiful Pacific Northwest and is passionate about reporting on the criminal justice system.

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