Locals practice for ‘The Big One’

During the Oct. 15 statewide “Great Oregon Shakeout” drill, members of the local Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) practiced setting up a disaster Assembly Site at the CARTM recycling center. CERT is a part of the Emergency Volunteer Corps of Nehalem Bay.
CARTM, located on the south side of Manzanita, is one of several sites designated in north Tillamook County to take in people evacuating low-lying areas following a major earthquake.
The site is close to the Nehalem Bay State Park and could be expected to receive as many as 600 escaping campers during a typical summer weekend. Anticipating such a crowd, the Emergency Volunteer Corps has pre-staged disaster supplies there.
The “Great Oregon Shakeout” drill began at 10:15 a.m., and CERT members began arriving on-scene within minutes. They first set up an Incident Command Center under a canopy. Next up was a medical area, complete with triage tarps and another canopy.
CERT members also prepared a sanitation facility with two privacy tents, bucket latrines, “wag bags” (personal hygiene kits), and a hand washing station. Water was brought to the site from a storage supply at CARTM; other supplies stored in an emergency barrel were inventoried.
The assembly site was fully ready within an hour.
“In case of a local earthquake, local CERT members will go to the nearest assembly site to help evacuees,” said CERT leader Bill Harshbarger. “We were very pleased with how this drill went, and know we will be able to serve people in need in case of a real emergency.”
“We hope we never see the kind of emergency that would require us to open as an assembly site,” said CARTM Executive Director Karen Reddick-Yurka. “That said, we are prepared to do so, and happy to serve the community in that capacity.”

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