Oregonians have learned the importance of preparedness due to numerous recent hazards – including wildfire, drought, floods, ice storms and more. Though earthquakes are less common, they are top of mind in the Northwest due to the Cascadia subduction zone, a fault located off the Pacific Coast with the potential to deliver a 9.0+ magnitude earthquake and resulting tsunami. Governor Kate Brown has proclaimed Thursday, Oct. 21, as Great Oregon ShakeOut Day to encourage Oregonians to learn and practice safe methods to use during an earthquake.
A global earthquake drill taking place at 10:21 a.m. this Thursday, the Great ShakeOut urges people to take the following simple but critical safety steps during an earthquake: “Drop, Cover and Hold On:”
- Drop onto hands and knees.
- Cover head and neck and crawl to a sturdy desk or table if one is nearby.
- Hold On until the shaking stops.
“The state of Oregon takes seriously its responsibility to help ensure the safety of its residents and visitors,” said Oregon Office of Emergency Management Director Andrew Phelps. “Understanding what to do in the first few moments after a disaster can mean the difference between being a survivor and a victim. As we work to build a culture of preparedness in Oregon, it is up to each of us – and all of us – to take action to reduce our risk. Participating in the Great Oregon ShakeOut is a proactive step anyone can, and should, take.”
More than 500,000 Oregonians – including schools, individuals, families and businesses – have committed to take part in this year’s ShakeOut drill, pledging to drop, cover and hold on wherever they are and whatever they’re doing.
“Knowing what to do before, during and after an earthquake can save your life,” said OEM Geologic Hazards Coordinator Althea Rizzo. “The event also serves as a reminder to review and update emergency preparedness plans and supplies.”
OEM’s 2 Weeks Ready program recommends citizens be informed and knowledgeable about the hazards where they live; make an emergency plan for themselves and their loved ones; and build an emergency kit with at least two weeks’ worth of food, water and other necessities.
The 2 Weeks Ready program offers several resources to help people prepare, including a free publication informing what actions to take in the event of an earthquake or tsunami. To learn more about earthquakes in Oregon and how to prepare, Living on Shaky Ground is available for download at OEM’s website, and hard copies may be obtained at county and Tribal emergency management offices.