Much has been made lately about a shocking “new” revelation in a recent edition of the New Yorker magazine. Author Kathryn Schulz picked up on information that has been floating around our area for years, and lots of people have already been preparing to deal with it.
The revelation was that there’s a big geological formation about 80 miles off the Oregon coast called the Cascadia Subduction Zone, and it’s ripe to rip. When it does, we’ll get a major earthquake followed by a giant tsunami.
A federal emergency planner quoted in the article said, when the Big One hits, “everything west of I-5 will be toast.”
That’s a pretty bold statement, but there’s no need to throw up ones hands in surrender, or to move away. Just make some simple preparations.
Granted, we expect an earthquake and tsunami to cause a lot of damage here in north Tillamook County – no doubt some deaths — but people who plan ahead have a better chance of surviving and dealing with the disaster.
That’s why so much work has been done in the past eight years to develop a culture of preparedness in north Tillamook County. It’s been done by the Emergency Volunteer Corps of Nehalem Bay, working in cooperation with our local first responders – fire, medical, police and utilities.
Of the 3,100 or so people living in Manzanita, Nehalem and Wheeler, and surrounding areas, over 300 have already been involved in one way or another with the Emergency Volunteer Corps. They’ve taken classes, stockpiled supplies, and/or signed up to serve their community in time of need. These are people who have taken the threat seriously.
It doesn’t have to be the Big One – the earthquake and tsunami, but that’s what folks think about as our worst crisis.
It will begin with major ground shaking, and that could go on for up to five minutes. Duck, cover, and hang on.
If you’re in the Inundation Zone (low ground), when the shaking stops grab your Go Bag and RUN — inland and uphill. Don’t try to drive. The roads will be broken, and trees and power poles will be lying across them. Make your way around them and keep going — quickly.
If you’re above the Inundation Zone, STAY PUT!
Since earthquakes don’t follow a set schedule, we could experience the Big One in daylight or dark, blue skies or rain, winter or summer. What about all the tourists? We will need plenty of locals who have already done some thinking and planning to step forward and call out to those visitors, “Follow me!”
If we – meaning you, your family and your neighbors – do some basic planning and set aside some supplies, we will come through the worst.
Take a class, talk to your neighbors — especially those already involved in the EVCNB.
We shouldn’t stop at 10% involvement. The more the better.
I like toast – especially with peanut butter. I will continue to eat toast, but I will not be toast.
Be prepared, not scared. (Or toast!)
Editor’s note: Dillon serves as Public Information Officer for the EVCNB.
HOW TO PREPARE
On the Web: visit evcnb.org, or on FaceBook (evcnb) to learn more and get involved.
The EVCNB has divisions including Map Your Neighborhood, CERT (Community Emergency Response Teams), Medical Reserve Corps, Ham Radio team, a WaSH (Water, Sewer and Hygiene) group, Shelter planning, and American Red Cross, which offers First Aid and Shelter training.
Sep. 19: “Go Bag”
Oct. 10: Red Cross Shelter Training
Oct. 15: The Great Oregon Shakeout