How Will the Cascadia Earthquake Impact Your Address (in Oregon), and What You Should do to Prepare

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The Cascadia Earthquake is coming. With a fault line from Northern California to Vancouver Island, British Columbia, and an anticipated force of at least 9.0 on the Richter scale, devastation will be profound.

Depending on your location, however, the impact of the quake will vary. How much your home, office, and infrastructure is destroyed, and how long they take to get back online will be important for your preparations. i.e., how much water, food, and sanitary supplies should you store? Will you be without running water for instance for days, weeks, or months?

Fortunately, you don’t need to be in the dark on how your address or zip code is anticipated to be effected by the Cascadia quake. Oregon Public Broadcasting, has put together a online tool, to generate you a personalized report on the anticipated immediate and long term effects of the quake.

The report, which only covers addresses in Oregon, estimates the following:

  • Severity of the shaking in your area
  • Cascadia Tsunami for those at the coast
  • How your home’s utilities and services will be affected and anticipated repair time
  • – Sewer and Water
  • – Electricity
  • – Natural Gas (LNG)
  • – Healthcare
  • – Police and Fire
  • – Major roadsand highways

For my address, things look dire. It could be anywhere from 2 months to a year before my water and sewer is brought back online. In the immediate aftermath of the quake, services like Police, Fire, and Healthcare will be very limited.

Fortunately, this report also offers up some guidelines on how to get prepared. It includes the following:

  • What to include in your basic supply kit
  • Planning evacuation
  • What to be ready to do in your home, i.e., turn off water and gas lines.
  • Recommendations for leadership and community involvement

In addition to what’s included in the report for earthquake preparation, additional government resources are available here:

  • FEMA – https://www.ready.gov
  • Oregon Office of Emergency Management – http://www.oregon.gov/oem/Pages/default.aspx
  • Portland Bureau of Emergency Management – https://www.ready.gov
  • In Portland? See if your office or home is an unreinforced masonry (URM) building by searching this map. URMs are much more likely to collapse than wood, steel, or concrete framed buildings during Cascadia.

There are myriad things that can be done both long and short term to prepare for the Cascadia Quake, and this earthquake report tool from OPB is a great place to start.

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