This page is an on-going work-in-progress as we develop our community
plan and resources.
Our EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS PLAN PROJECT is in
recognition of the increasing need to be able to effectively respond
to significant emergency events here in our valley, and to provide
help and leadership through the District to our residents.
Building upon our
Community Wildfire Protection Plan and its phone tree
communications system, begun in 2004, this project is intended to
encompass not only fire-related emergencies, but any kind of significant
or large-scale emergency event that affects our community and/or
The involvement of community members at the very local
level is paramount to the success of this project, and ultimately,
to the quality of emergency response that we are able to provide
to our community and to one another in the event of an emergency
Since our initial community-wide efforts, over the past year, in
addition to encouraging individual emergency preparedness, we have
seen or learned of more neighbors talking to neighbors, particularly
regarding resources that could be available or shared during an
emergency, an awareness of who is here in the valley at various
times, and what might be needed for animal care, sheltering or evacuation
BACKGROUND: The Colestin/Hilt
Emergency Preparedness Plan Leadership Group held its
first meeting on Sat., January 18th,
2014, from 2 to 3:30 pm at the Hilt Church. Besides three members
of the Emergency Plan ad hoc organizing committee (Lisa Buttrey,
Peggy Moore and Nancy Bringhurst), we had a good turn-out of 14
neighborhood leaders and co-leaders.
Lisa Buttrey led the meeting and reviewed materials that she
provided, customized for our community and prepared for our neighborhood
leaders to use with their groups, and attendees discussed various
emergency preparedness and response topics as they relate to the
community as a whole.
A packet of Emergency Preparedness printed materials from the
Oregon Office of Emergency Management and the Jackson County OEM
that were provided to us by the Jackson County OEM was also given
to each person attending; packets were also mailed out afterward
to all community members not at the meeting.
In the months following the first January 2014, meeting, neighborhood
leaders contacted the residents within their groups and held localized
meetings, discussing Emergency Plan details, confirming basic
emergency contact numbers and alternate communications methods,
finding out what resources residents may be able to provide in
an emergency, and learning what particular and special needs various
individuals may have in an emergency event.
The information voluntarily provided by each resident on the
prepared questionaires is confidentially retained by neighborhood
leaders and will be updated for accuracy as much as possible;
confidential copies are also held by the Emergency Plan organizing
committee and can be accessed by the District upon request on
a "need to know" basis for the sole purpose of responding
to an emergency event.
We encourage the continued development of individual emergency
preparedness and neighborhood and community-wide preparedness.
The resource links below are intended to help this process, as
a stepping-off point; it is the actual steps taken, however, in
any and all of the ways possible, that will make a real difference
if and when an emergency event occurs.
The better informed and the more prepared we are, the more likely
it is that the effects of an event can be kept minimal, with the
least harm to our lives and to our community. Each step forward,
however large or small, is a part of the positive, pro-active
state of preparedness we need to achieve if we are to effectively
respond, both as a Fire District, and as a small, outlying community,
to a significant emergency event.
Thank you for participating in our Emergency Preparedness
Plan Project, for doing whatever you can to become better
prepared and to help our community become better prepared, and
for being a part of helping us all achieve a better outcome to
a significant emergency event.
For Resource links, see below.
Prepare Out Loud -
Presented by The Red Cross - Cascades Region
Thurs., October 6th - 5:30-7:00 pm in Medford:
From the promotional flyer:
"Learn the facts. Take action. Talk about
"Together we can rise to the challenge
of a Cascadia Earthquake."
Register at: redcross.org/PrepareOutLoudMedford
"The American Red Cross Prepare Out Loud presentation will empower
you to be ready for disasters of all kinds (including a Cascadia earthquake)
by taking practical steps to start preparing, being vocal about your
preparedness and encouraging others to start preparing."
Learn more about:
• The science and history of the Cascadia Subduction Zone
• Human behavior during disasters
• What to expect during and after a Cascadia earthquake
• How to prepare to quickly locate your loved ones following
• How much food, water, and supplies you will need to take care
of yourself and others
FREE TO ATTEND.
WHEN: THURSDAY, OCTOBER 6, 2016 - 5:30 –
WHERE: Asante’s Smullin Health Education
2825 E BARNETT RD., MEDFORD, OR 97504
View the event flyer: Prepare
Out Loud Medford 6 Oct. 2016 FLYER (pdf)
Register at: redcross.org/PrepareOutLoudMedford
SEPTEMBER IS NATIONAL PREPAREDNESS MONTH
NATIONAL PREPAREDNESS MONTH
ENCOURAGES OREGONIANS WITH SLOGAN
"DON'T WAIT. COMMUNICATE."
News Release from [the] Oregon Office of Emergency Management
Posted on FlashAlert: September 1st, 2016 10:55 AM
September is National Preparedness Month and a good time to think about
things you can do to make sure you and your family are prepared for
emergencies. Oregon Governor Kate Brown has issued a state proclamation
in support of National Preparedness Month, highlighting the efforts
of Oregon's Office of Emergency Management (OEM) to work with communities
across the state to train, educate, prepare and equip Oregonians for
National Preparedness Month
September is recognized as National Preparedness Month (NPM) which
serves as a reminder that we all must take action to prepare, now
and throughout the year, for the types of emergencies that could affect
us where we live, work, and also where we visit.
Due to the success of last year’s theme, “Don’t
Wait, Communicate. Make Your Emergency Plan Today,” will be
returning for this September with a continuing emphasis on preparedness
for youth, older adults, and people with disabilities and others with
access and functional needs.
Thank you for taking time to help make America more prepared
• Week 1 - Aug. 28 - Sept. 3:
Kickoff to National Preparedness Month. Find resources at:
• Week 2 - September 4 - 10:
Preparing Family & Friends: Make a family emergency communication
• Week 3 - September 11 - 17: Preparing Through Service: Honor
9/11 by Getting involved in your community & planning with neighbors.
• Week 4 - September 18 - 24: Individual Preparedness: Take
individual steps to prepare for a disaster today like downloading
the FEMA app.
• Week 5 - September 25 - 30: Lead up to National PrepareAthon
Day: Be counted and register your preparedness event for National
"Oregonians are known for our grit and resilience," Governor
Kate Brown said. "National Preparedness Month is a great reminder
that we each must do our part to be personally prepared and develop
family plans so we are ready for and able to quickly recover from major
disasters, emergencies, and ultimately, the 'Big One.'"
This year OEM is participating in FEMA's Ready.Gov campaign to inform
and empower people to prepare for and respond to emergencies. The campaign
theme "Don't Wait. Communicate." provides a call to action
for families, neighborhoods and individuals to make an emergency plan
and communicate the plan before, during and after emergencies. OEM is
encouraging Oregonians to set a goal of being prepared for at least
"What we do today to prepare will saves lives and property tomorrow,
or whenever a disaster strikes," said OEM Director Andrew Phelps.
"As we build a culture of preparedness in Oregon we are empowering
Oregonians to be disaster survivors not victims. We want Oregonians
to be prepared not scared."
* Be informed about disaster risks. In Oregon winter
storms, floods, heat waves and earthquakes threaten residents. Monitor
all types of media -- newspapers, websites, radio, TV, mobile and land
phones, and amateur radio are all good sources of information about
disasters. Check out www.ready.gov
for the latest preparedness information.
* Build an Emergency Kit. A disaster can happen anywhere
you live and work. Once it happens it may take days for responders to
reach you and you may have to go without food, water, or electricity.
Build an emergency kit with two weeks supply of food, water and other
necessary supplies. The American Red Cross has a recommended list of
emergency kit items: http://www.redcross.org/flash/brr/English-html/kit-contents.asp.
* Make an Emergency Plan. Talk with your family and
friends about what you will do and if you're not together during an
emergency. Discuss how you'll contact each other, where you'll meet,
and what you'll do in different situations. Read how to develop a family
disaster plan at http://www.redcross.org/flash/brr/English-
OEM has an array of preparedness materials to help plan for disasters
available through local county emergency management offices. One of
those publications is the OEM
Emergency "Go-Kit Passport," a mini-booklet that
provides a way to track family information, a home evacuation plan,
medical contacts and prescription needs, as well as insurance carriers
and critical information for family pets. In addition, the booklet contains
a list of basic emergency kit items and links to other disaster preparedness
Families and individuals can receive a Certificate of Preparedness
signed by Governor Kate Brown for completing a "Go Kit Passport"
for their emergency kit. Contact email@example.com for more information.
September 11 - National Day of Service
While September 11 is a time for remembrance and reflection, it
is also a National Day of Service. The September 11 National Day of
Service and Remembrance is the culmination of efforts originally launched
in 2002 by the nonprofit organization 9/11 Day with support from the
entire September 11th community and well-known national service organizations.
In 2011, President Obama asked Americans to remember the lives of
those lost, pay tribute to those who rose up in service, and honor
those who serve our country today by engaging in service on the September
11th weekend. According to Serve.gov,
these deeds can be as simple as volunteering at a food drive, sprucing
up schools and neighborhoods, or supporting and honoring veterans,
soldiers, and military families.
Find volunteer opportunities in your area and make plans today!
If you are interested in organizing a community service project, Serve.gov
has communication toolkits and other resources to help you get started.
But it doesn’t have to end there! Volunteering with your local
Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) is another great way to give
back while preparing your community for emergencies. Be sure to share
your community service experiences on social media using #911Day.
For more information about NATIONAL PREPAREDNESS MONTH:
FEMA's Ready Campaign: https://www.ready.gov/september
United We Serve: National & Community Service - 9/11 National Day
of Service and Remembrance: http://www.serve.gov/?q=site-page/september-11th-national-day-service-and-remembrance
The NFPA'S September is National Preparedness Month blog at: https://community.nfpa.org/community/fire-break/blog/2016/08/31/dont-wait-communicate-september-is-national-preparedness-month?order_src=C365.
Earthquake Preparedness Training Opportunity
- July 14th, 2016:
Sponsored by the Oregon Office of Emergency Management and
hosted by the Josephine County Office of Emergency Management, this
is a day-long local FEMA training event. According to the event
"This training will first provide an overview of mitigation strategies
for nonstructural components along with hands-on demonstrations (FEMA
P-909) and conclude with a more in-depth look at nonstructural earthquake
risks and strategies for reducing these risks. (FEMA E-74).
"The target audience for the FEMA P-909 training includes home/property
owners, building owners, small business owners, emergency managers,
and the general public. The target audience for the FEMA E-74 training
includes property owners, facility managers, local officials, engineers,
architects, small businesses, and emergency managers. // The listed
target audience is not meant to limit participation, but is provided
for guidance purposes only."
Josephine County Emergency Services Manager Jenny Hall also provides
the following information:
here] please find [the] training announcement for FEMA
P-909, Home and Business Earthquake Safety and Mitigation, and FEMA
E-74, Reducing the Risks of Nonstructural Earthquake Damage.
"The training will be held [Thurs.] July 14th from 8-5
at Josephine County Search & Rescue," at 250 Tech Way, Grants
Pass OR 97526.
"Registration is being handled by Oregon Emergency Management
and instructions for how to register are in the flyer.
"The course is FREE.
Please forward this on to anyone you think may be interested."
To learn more about the recent (June 7-10) Cascadia Rising
exercise, the Cascadia Subduction Zone, the earthquake hazard in the
Pacific Northwest, and for earthquake preparedness information, visit
Office of Emergency Management online and check out our
June 7-10, 2016: Cascadia Rising
Cascadia Subduction Zone Pacific Northwest Catastrophic Earthquake
and Tsunami Functional Exercise:
"Much attention has been given lately to the possibility of an
8.0-9.0 magnitude Cascadia Subduction Zone (CSZ) earthquake occurring
in the Pacific Northwest, along the CSZ fault line, which stretches
from southern British Columbia to northern California. History has shown,
and scientists confirm, this quake occurs, on average, once every 200
to 500 years. The last major CSZ earthquake and tsunami occurred in
"June 7-10, the Cascadia Rising 2016 (CR-16) region-wide functional
exercise will help prepare the Pacific Northwest to coordinate
a response to a CSZ earthquake and tsunami. Participants in this
exercise include agencies at state, local and federal levels in
Oregon, Washington and Idaho." [Quoted information is from
the OOEM website.]
We encourage everyone to participate
locally by taking actions to prepare for a large-scale
seismic event, including signing up for Citizen Alert, preparing
an emergency evacuation go-kit, and preparing shelter-in-place
resources starting with a 3-week emergency supply of water and
food, and a first aid kit. This is also a good time to review
and update your emergency plans and contact info with your neighbors.
To learn more about the Cascadia Rising exercise,
the Cascadia Subduction Zone, the earthquake hazard in the Pacific
Northwest, and for earthquake preparedness information, visit
Office of Emergency Management online and check out
our Earthquake Preparedness
"Unprepared: An Oregon Field Guide Special"
has been re-airing on SOPTV (KSYS) periodically, in case
you missed the original full hour-long version last October. It
was most recently re-aired on Sun., March 27th, at 1:00 - 2:00
am and at 6:00 - 7:00 pm. Watch local program listings for future
"The Pacific Northwest is due for an earthquake
as large as any the planet has seen. What are the risks? How can we
prepare? Over a year in the making, this special presentation
takes an in-depth look at Oregon’s lack of preparedness and
looks to Japan for specific lessons learned from the 9.0 Tohoku earthquake
that struck there in 2011." [As stated in the SOPTV March
2016 program guide (p26); bold font is ours.]
We encourage those who haven't yet seen this program
to give it your attention. The information presented includes
mega-quake damage research and suggestions for possible ways to
prepare for and mitigate some of the anticipated worst effects
of such a major, devastating event. More
"CASCADIA: It's MY Fault"
EARTHQUAKE FILM SERIES: "Are
you ready for the Big One?"
"Watch a series of films relating to earthquakes and
emergency preparedness developed by the University of Oregon
geology department, on select Saturday afternoons in November
and December, 2015, from 12 noon – 2 p.m., in the Guanajuato
Community Meeting Room of the Ashland Branch Library, 410
Siskiyou Boulevard. Community discussions will follow each film showing.
"The Nov. 28 film is about Pacific Northwest
earthquake hazards and preparedness. Details.
"The Dec. 5 film is about how a major earthquake
could affect Oregon. Details.
"The Dec. 12 film is about what you can do
to protect yourself and your family. Details.
"Call 541-774-6980 or see www.jcls.org."
OREGON 2015 took place at 10:15 am, Thurs. October 15th:
The Oregon Office of Emergency Management states that "ShakeOut
participants included businesses, schools, local, state, and federal
government organizations, and many others. The worldwide drill is
conducted to practice earthquake safety and promote emergency preparedness."
According to a 10/15/15 news release from the OOEM, "Approximately
540,000 Oregonians participated in this year's Great Oregon ShakeOut."
Read on to learn more:
From Sara Rubrecht, Manager of Jackson County's Office of Emergency
Management - Mon. Oct. 12th, 2015:
Jackson County is registered to join the over 510,000 Oregonians
and over 40 million people worldwide participating in the annual “Great
Oregon ShakeOut Earthquake Drill.”
Thursday, October 15th at 10:15 a.m., millions of people
worldwide will practice how to Drop, Cover and Hold On in preparation
for an earthquake.
Participating in the drill is a great way for you, your family, friends
and coworkers to be prepared to survive a large earthquake. Everyone,
everywhere, should know how to protect themselves in an earthquake.
Even though earthquakes are rare in Jackson County, they may happen
where you or your family travel, or perhaps where you or your children
may live one day.
You can help by telling people you know that you are participating
(via social media, e-mail, and in person) and invite them to join
you. A one minute “Drop, Cover, and Hold On” earthquake
drill may one day minimize injuries or save their life. You and/or
your agency can register to participate with us here http://shakeout.org/oregon/register/.
At 10:15 a.m., we encourage you to practice drop, cover
and hold on for 60 seconds as if we were having a real earthquake.
(Visit the following website for more information: http://www.shakeout.org/oregon/dropcoverholdon/.)
Many of you may already have plans for earthquake safety and response
in your agency. In addition to the “Drop, Cover and Hold On”
drill, you may wish to have a brief discussion about your plans with
The Earthquake Country Alliance has put together 7 steps
to earthquake safety. The 7 steps are simple things you can
do to make yourself safer before, during, and after an earthquake.
The information in the steps will help you learn how to better prepare
to survive and recover, wherever you live, work, or travel.
Step 1: Secure your space by identifying hazards and securing moveable
Step 2: Plan to be safe by creating a disaster plan and deciding
how you will communicate in an emergency.
Step 3: Organize disaster supplies in convenient locations.
Step 4: Minimize financial hardship by organizing important documents,
strengthening your property, and considering insurance.
Step 5: Drop, Cover, and Hold On when the earth shakes.
Step 6: Improve safety after earthquakes by evacuating if necessary,
helping the injured, and preventing further injuries or damage.
Step 7: Restore daily life by reconnecting with others, repairing
damage, and rebuilding community.
For more information about ShakeOut, please visit: http://www.shakeout.org/oregon/index.html
Additional Earthquake and preparedness information, visit:
Oregon Emergency Management - http://www.oregon.gov/omd/oem/pages/plans_train/earthquake.aspx
Jackson County Emergency Management - http://jacksoncountyor.org/emergency/Hazards/Earthquake
News Release from Oregon Office of Emergency Management - September
GET READY TO SHAKEOUT
OREGON ON OCT. 15 - EARTHQUAKE AWARENESS/READINESS INCREASING
IN OREGON WITH RECENT INTEREST IN QUAKES AND CASCADIA:
"Millions of people worldwide will practice how to Drop, Cover,
and Hold On at 10:15 a.m. on October 15* during Great
ShakeOut Earthquake Drills!
"Oregonians can join them today by registering for the 2015
Great Oregon ShakeOut. Participating is a great way for your family
or organization to be prepared to survive and recover quickly from
big earthquakes– wherever you live, work, or travel. ShakeOut
is also a major activity of America's PrepareAthon!
"* If you cannot hold your ShakeOut drill on 10/15 you can select
another day when you register."
On October 15 at 10:15 a.m., Oregonians are encouraged to
participate in the world's largest Drop, Cover, and Hold On! earthquake
drill called the Great ShakeOut.
Approximately 385,000 Oregonians have already registered for this
year's drill. Due to the fact that Oregon is seismically active with
both inland earthquakes and the Cascadia Subduction Zone off the Oregon
Coast, the Oregon Office of Emer gency Management (OEM) is encouraging
participation in the Great Oregon ShakeOut.
"Participating in the drill is something you can do to protect
yourself and your family," said Oregon Office of Emergency Management
Geologic Hazard Coordinator Althea Rizzo. "Oregonians should
strive to be self-sufficient for at least two weeks after a major
OEM is also asking for support promoting the Great Oregon ShakeOut
by using #ORShakeOut. There was a twitter
chat on Sept. 30 from 11:00 a.m. to 12 p.m. hosted by OEM
to discuss earthquake preparedness, and to highlight the 2015 ShakeOut.
You can register and get more information about the Great
Oregon ShakeOut at http://shakeout.org/oregon/.
Recently, there has been increased interest about earthquakes
in Oregon. The release of an article in the New Yorker called
"The Really Big One", Governor Kate Brown's proclamation
of September being National Preparedness Month, the release of the
updated "Cascadia Playbook", and other important projects
that are highlighting and mitigating earthquake risk Oregon are examples.
If you are interested in learning more about earthquakes
in Oregon and the state's earthquake preparedness initiatives, here
are some suggested resources:
* "With time ticking, quake warning system begins to
take shape" - By Terrence Petty, The Associated Press,
carried in the Siskiyou Daily News (Yreka, CA) - Posted
Sep. 11, 2015 at 12:10 AM, Updated Sep 11, 2015 at 3:39 AM: http://www.siskiyoudaily.com/article/ZZ/20150911/NEWS/309119976/0/
Ore. (AP) " University of Washington researchers are testing
an earthquake alert system as the Pacific Northwest prepares for the
day when a 600-mile-long fault line looming off the coast unleashes
a catastrophic earthquake and tsunami."
* "The Really Big One" - The New Yorker
* Quake Week on KOIN 6 | KOIN.com - http://koin.com/quakeweek/
* The Cascadia Playbook Overview -http://www.oregon.gov/OMD/OEM/public_information/OEM%20Cascadia%20Playbook%20Overview.pdf
* National Preparedness Month Proclamation by Governor Kate
Brown - http://www.oregon.gov/OMD/OEM/docs/PIO/2015%20National%20Preparedness%20Month.pdf
* UNPREPARED: An Oregon
Field Guide Special - http://www.opb.org/television/programs/ofg/episodes/2701/
"Unprepared: An Oregon Field Guide Special"
aired locally on SOPTV (KSYS CH 8) on Thurs., October 8 at 8:00
pm (to 9:00 pm); it re-aired on Sun., October 11 at 1:00 am and
again at 6:00 pm.
"The Pacific Northwest is due for an earthquake
as large as any the planet has seen. What are the risks? How can
we prepare? This special presentation takes an in-depth look at
Oregon’s lack of preparedness and looks to Japan for specific
lessons learned from the 9.0 Tohoku earthquake that struck there
documentary trailer for more on this program; also
see the references to recent Pacific
Northwest earthquake articles (below).
More recent articles of interest:
tsunami experts advise nervous Northwesterners on preparing for The
Really Big One," a recent assessment of the mega-quake
risk for our region with some preparation tips, published in The Oregonian
on Sat. 7/18/15 and available online at oregonlive.com
From the Council: Medford
has much to do to prepare for The Really Big One, the
Mail Tribune, posted online Sat. 15 August 2015 [print version "Much
to do to prepare for The Really Big One"], the Mail Tribune,
Sun. 16 Aug. 2015, pg. B6]:
"Kathryn Schulz of The New Yorker Magazine has started a national
conversation on the perils of a potential Cascadia Subduction Zone
earthquake in the Pacific Northwest. Schulz’s 6,000-word article
titled “The Really Big One” contains some sobering predictions.
[. . .] Once the gravity of these predictions settles in, one is
left with the obvious question: What can individuals and local governments
do to prepare for a Cascadia earthquake? // Individuals should consider
the following to prepare for an earthquake: ..."
For further information on Pacific Northwest earthquakes
and what you can do to prepare, see below.
**SEPTEMBER IS NATIONAL
Throughout this month, each week highlights a different
hazard-focused theme leading up to National
PrepareAthon! Day on September 30th.
From FEMA's Individual and Community Preparedness
E-Brief, Sept. 29th, 2015:
National PrepareAthon! Day is Here
Are you prepared? National PrepareAthon! Day is finally
here and now is your time to take action! The Federal Emergency Management
Agency (FEMA) is encouraging individuals, families, workplaces, schools,
and organizations across the nation to take part in National PrepareAthon!
Day on September 30, 2015. Extreme weather is occurring more often
across the United States, which is increasing the costs of natural
disasters. According to a recent survey conducted by FEMA, fewer than
half of Americans have discussed and developed an emergency plan with
As part of National Preparedness Month and National
PrepareAthon! Day, FEMA is encouraging everyone to take these simples
steps to prepare for disasters:
• Create a family
emergency communication plan;
up for local text alerts and warnings and download weather
important documents and keep them in a safe place; and
• Create an emergency
To learn more about National PrepareAthon!
Day and how you can participate, please read the full
The Oregon Office of Emergency Management's EARTHQUAKE
PREPARATION "road show" was in southern
Oregon the week of Sept. 14th - 20th, 2015, holding a series of free
presentations by geologist and OEM Geologic Hazards Coordinator Dr.
Althea Rizzo, including:
- two on Wed. Sept. 16th in Medford;
- one on Thurs. Sept. 17th in Phoenix;
- one on Sun. Sept. 20th near Ashland.
For details, see Channel 12-KDRV's online
news post (by Julia Moore, 9/14/15): www.kdrv.com/news/Oregon_Office_of_Emergency_Management_Presents_Earthquake_.html.
Information is also on the Rogue
Valley Emergency Management website (rvem.org)
which has a Facebook section (Jackson County is on the left) with
links to event posts.
Community Emergency Preparedness Event - After-Notes
A big thank you to all who attended our Community Emergency
Preparedness Presentation earlier this year (on Sat. May
2nd, 2015, 10 am - 12 pm at the Hilt Community Church).
We also extend a huge thanks to Sara Rubrecht, Senior Manager
of the Jackson County Office of Emergency Management, and her husband,
also an OEM member, for coming out to our community and presenting
this timely event.
Sara did a great job covering the universe of emergency management
in less than 2 hours, ending with a brief Q & A opportunity.
We learned about the OEM's role in dealing with
emergencies, its purpose ("to lessen the effects of disasters
on life, property, and infrastructure through emergency plans, then
getting funding and equipment for these, and training and exercises
for these"), and the 4 phases of emergency management (Preparation,
Response, Recovery, and Mitigation), and how the OEM addresses each
of these phases in detail. (OEM funding comes from the Dept. of Homeland
Security's Title 3 grant and two others.)
"Emergency management," we were told,
more often than not means "preparing for things that never happen."
And much of that preparation, whether related to funding, equipment,
organization, or emergency management training and exercises, must
occur well in advance, in spite of how simple things may seem later,
when everything is in place and put to the test by an actual event
or is at least ready for one. (For example, FEMA Region 10's Exercise
in preparation for a major Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake is
already scheduled for June 7-10, 2016.)
In short, preparedness is a complex process that requires a lot of
formal planning and implementation at many levels, from strategy,
to tactical, to operational, in order for help to be available and
to function effectively when the time comes. "Emergency management"
is all about "bringing back order from the chaos as soon as possible."
Jackson County updates its hazard assessment "every 5 years";
"the highest hazard in Jackson County is wildfire." Other
significant hazards include chemical spills on I-5, train derailment
with haz-mat spills, earthquake (Sara remarked that this is her "#1
highest hazard"), severe weather, and biological or disease outbreaks.
Preparation has many aspects, beginning with getting
together as neighbors to learn what resources or skills we may be
able to contribute or share during an emergency, and what vulnerable
populations there are within our community or neighborhood, and what
they may need. Forming (or strengthening) CERT (Community
Emergency Response Team) groups [such as our more recently formed
neighborhood emergency preparedness groups], and learning from existing
CERTs is one approach; related to this is having a current phone tree
(in case phone services are working in an emergency) that we test
periodically for effectiveness and practice. Firewise
Communities, which emphasizes working on fuels reduction,
is also a useful resource.
Sara noted that, in an emergency, "going elsewhere isn't always
best," and that we should also be prepared to shelter-in-place.
To this end, another aspect of preparedness is sustainability; basic
emergency supplies needed "used to be 72-hour
kits" but this has been expanded to "2 weeks minimum,"
and in Sara's opinion, "this is probably still not enough; FEMA
[the Federal Emergency Management Agency] will come, but not for several
weeks," since, in a major regional event, Jackson County's four
Emergency Response Teams will be responding to the larger, closer
population centers before getting to outer-county areas, which could
take "weeks." A 72-hour kit and a 2-week kit are the same;
the only difference is that of quantity. "Everyone's emergency
list will be different," she said, but what is important is to
"include not just 'stuff,' but practice
using emergency equipment."
Sara also commented that she is often asked which kind of kit, between
a home or a car kit, people should start with first, when beginning
to prepare emergency supplies; her response is to "start with
a car kit, because where your car is, usually you
are, too," whereas a home kit will have to be moved into a vehicle
first if you need to leave, assuming it is possible to get to it (such
as in an earthquake or fire). An even stronger reason to "carry
essentials in your vehicle" is that "we are not always at
home." But most importantly, "have a plan and do exercises.
Particularly in the event of a quake, resources that support self-sufficiency
will be important, such as ATVs, fuel, food, generators, etc. "Fuel
comes through Portland - the most seismically unsecured area in the
state," Sara noted. Since "repair will happen from the middle
out," whatever resources we already have here will help to lessen
the need for those things in a major event. She also observed that,
in a major emergency event, town people will see us "as a commodity
- so having a security plan for the community is important."
Response to an emergency involves the EOC
(Emergency Operations Center), which handles resource acquisition
and response, "coordinating who needs what and sending it."
Response also involves emergency notification, such as Citizen
Alerts through EAS (Jackson County's Emergency Alert
System); this now includes all cell phone numbers through all cellular
towers, whether people with cell numbers have opted in or not; land-line
numbers are also automatically notified, but as Sara pointed out,
few people have these anymore. "Conveying the facts to the public
- constant info" is essential, so that the people affected by
an emergency are kept informed.
Sara explained that the Emergency Command & Operations Centers
of Oregon and California "speak two different languages - Those
on the ground are willing, but the top management and the systems
are totally different" but that "usually, the local folks
will cross the line and help." Additionally, "Jackson County
and Siskiyou County get together several times a year to try to coordinate."
The emergency alert system is tested semi-annually (most recently
this past February, the next in September). Also, people can ask for
a personal test to their device, and we can do a County-coordinated
In response to a question about whether California residents can
sign up on Oregon's Citizen Alert, Sara responded that she will try
to have the Jackson County (Century Link) system accept them, but
she wasn't sure if it would allow it; she will look into this. She
said that Siskiyou County doesn't have an Emergency notification system,
and that Jackson County has to pay $32,000 a year for this service,
through Everbridge, the parent company of Citizen Alert; there are
many emergency notification vendors, she noted, and they operate differently.
However, it "doesn't matter who your cell phone provider is for
Locally, our community phone tree is a very important
response resource. However, response to an event of greater impact
may also require the knowledge and use of ham radios,
since many types of electronic devices that we now rely on for communication
may be unable to function. Jackson County's EOC will be able to communicate
with otherwise isolated areas through ham radios. Within the next
few months, Jackson County will start a recruitment drive, looking
for volunteers to learn to operate ham radios and become licensed,
in order to increase the probability of having enough operators during
emergencies when communications must fall back on this older, but
still useful, technology. For more info on becoming a licensed ham
radio emergency response operator, see Jackson
County's ARES (Amateur Radio Emergency Service) web page.
We are lucky, Sara also noted, to have a ham radio at our fire district's
base station; this is important not only for communications with the
County, but since the fire district is the emergency response agency
of our community that people will expect help from and that will be
the primary responding organization to those needing help, having
a ham radio centered in the community as a backup for communicating
with our residents will also assist response efforts enormously.
If evacuation becomes necessary:
Evacuation levels have been standardized following
the Douglas County fires in 2013; the new levels are: Level 1 (one)
- Green - "Ready" (to leave); Level 2 (two) - Yellow - "Set"
(all set to go); and Level 3 (three) - Red - "Go." These
Levels will be used in any evacuation messages issued by the Citizen
Alert system. Sara pointed out that, "come fire season, everyone
should be at Level 1 (one)." Level
1 preparedness means being able to leave within no more than a couple
of hours or less. Level 2 means that "your stuff is by the door,
ready to leave now," at a moment's notice. Level 3 means "imminent
danger," when you "just go."
Sara noted that "no one may come to your door"
telling you to leave immediately; "if this is the level, [Level
3], leave on your own - don't wait."
Also, "if you're at [Level] 3, and not at home, you can't
get back in." [Authorities will prevent you.] At "Level
2, you need an ID to get back in." And if you are at home and
refuse to leave, "you can't be
physically forced to leave."
In response to the question of "how do we know who has left,
or not?" (I.e., if there are people needing help to evacuate,
or who may still be at home and in danger?), Sara said that ribbons
are used in some states (red and green, to indicate "help"
or "all okay," respectively, but she says it is "not
recommended" to do this [or to use signs, etc.], since "it
signals [that] homes are empty and unprotected," and creates
an easy target for criminals.
It was acknowledged that our knowledge of our immediate neighbors
through our local neighborhood emergency response groups and our planning
and information-sharing with these neighbors will provide very useful,
perhaps life-saving, information in the event that evacuation alerts
have been issued. Having designated gathering places in order to account
for everyone in each part of the community was also mentioned.
Animal evacuation: Many of us have animals, including
large/livestock farm animals, yet there is "no formal agency
for this yet," and no plan currently in place at the County level
for large animal evacuation. "Have your neighbors know who your
animals are, where their food is, etc.," Sara advised. Also,
"prepare - have a plan,"
such as a "mutual evacuation exchange agreement with friends
on the other side of the county." Prepare for animal transportation
on your own, since "the County resources don't include trailers,"
etc.; we need to have our own.
Also essential, although it seems obvious, is having enough Emergency
Responders to an emergency. It isn't necessary to have a title, however:
"Everyone has a role; what is it?" Each of us needs to determine
our possible role in an emergency response, and do our best to do
While "there is no single rule" as to how to prepare or
respond to an emergency, and while we may have to figure out what
is best on a case-by-case basis, Sara suggested that, in order to
avoid confusion and worse chaos, "people should listen to your
Sara noted that, in emergency management, "preparation, recovery,
and mitigation is harder to achieve" because "it's not that
exciting." Therefore, "taking advantage of emergencies as
teachable moments is huge." Following major events, it is easier
to get people to sign up with Citizen Alert, and the like. "People
don't think about disaster prep and response until it happens."
[This is true: The Colestin Rural Fire District was itself born from
the ashes of the 1981 Colestin Fire, which burned nearly 700 acres
of timbered land in the heart of our valley, spurring residents to
organize a local fire response agency. For more on the Colestin
Fire, see this post
on our Bulletin page under Fire Season Outlook.] However,
we would prefer it if, as a community, we could be prepared ahead
of a crisis or emergency, rather than having to learn the hard (hardest)
County Emergency Management now has a facebook page with
announcements; it also has just updated its County website,
which also has a Citizen
Alert sign-up. (They encourage copying others' info related
to emergency management.) They will also post our information (IF
they get it; we need to send it to them for that). Their site also
has links to Inciweb, the Oregon DEQ and a smoke blog [we are also
linked directly to these from this site from our page Fire
News & Prevention Info with Links & Resources.]
Other features include earthquake information, preparedness info by
category, and downloadable brochures; Sara has also offered to get
us hard copies of anything they have, if needed.
In addition to the printed brochures and other material that Sara
brought with her, Sara also stated that she and Jenny Hall, until
recently also with the JC OEM and now with Josephine County, are working
together on Emergency Evacuation and a new brochure; look for that
information in the coming months, as well.
The presentation on May 2nd was enormously informative and gave us
a lot to think about and go on. The Jackson
County Emergency Management website has a wealth of information;
we urge you all to browse and utilize it as much as possible. Many
other highly informational resource sites that provide lots of specifics
on all kinds of emergency preparedness are linked below.
National Wildfire Community Preparedness Day 2015
This was the Second Annual National Wildfire Community Preparedness
Day event, promoted by the National Fire Protection Association. While
focused on one day only, the preparedness information continues to
be enormously relevant. Learn more:
Also, April 30th was National PrepareAthon Day. Learn
General Emergency Preparedness Resources:
- The Jackson County Emergency Management homepage. Quick
links (right-side navigation) include Disaster Registry, Emergency
Operations Plan, Emergency Preparedness Info, Emergency Preparedness
Plan for Families, Integrated Fire Plan, 2012 Natural Hazards
Mitigation Plan, Earthquake Preparedness in Oregon, and Animal
Disaster Response Manual (Guidelines for the Evacuation and Sheltering
of Pets and Livestock). A wealth of information on all of the
above topics. For more on some topics, see below.
- Rogue Valley Emergency Management: "A
collaborative endeavor between Jackson & Josephine County
Emergency Management to help the citizens of the Rogue Valley
prepare for and respond to disasters." The shared web page
of Jackson County Emergency Management and Josephine County Emergency
Preparedness, which also has links to each County's Facebook page
and to relevant partner agencies.
- The State of Oregon's Office of Emergency Management site.
A great resource with info on all kinds of emergency events, prevention
& preparedness measures, planning & training, technology
& response systems, mitigation & recovery; Current Topics;
Alerts, Disasters & Preparedness by topic, links to related
websites (see below), and much more.
- The State of Oregon's Office of Emergency Management site "links
to related websites" page, including FEMA (Federal Emergency
Management Agency); Emergency Management & other contact
info; earthquake & tsunami info; warning systems or alerts;
natural hazard insurance info; hazard mitigation; Oregon websites;
Preparedness Resources for Pet Owners, Animal Caretakers, and Stock
Owners (a long list of links here); and two categories of Other
- Information on a wide variety of disaster and emergency preparedness
topics (a page of pdf file format links).
- Jackson County Citizen Alert! system. Anyone can sign
up for Emergency Alerts via the media of one's own choosing: "Landline
telephones included in the 911 database are already registered,
but by signing up online you can also be notified by: Mobile Phone,
Work Phone, Email, Text Message."
- Homepage of Ready.gov & FEMA (The Federal Emergency Management
- Information for all kinds of emergencies & disasters.
More Specific Resources:
FEMA'S brochure, "Prepare
for Emergencies Now: Information to Get Ready." (Printed
copies can also be ordered.) A comprehensive general brochure.
County Emergency Preparedness Plan for Families," put out
by the Jackson County Emergency Management Advisory Council, is
available in individual Chapters (as pdfs) on the County's site.
We have recently mailed printed copies of this full-size booklet
to our residents, provided to us by Jackson County Emergency Management,
in order to ensure that everyone in our community has the very important
and useful information and resources included in this publication.
[If you are a local resident who does not receive your copy soon,
please email the CRFD webmaster
to let us know, so we can be sure you receive yours.]
FEMA'S brochure, "Family
Emergency Plan." (Printed
copies can also be ordered.)
Communication Plan for Parents and Kids" brochures: "Family
Communication Plan for Kids" and "Family
Communication Plan for Parents."
County Animal Disaster Response Manual [introductory page] -
with a link (below) to the document, "Animal
Disaster Response Manual: Guidelines for the Evacuation and Sheltering
of Pets and Livestock") (63 pages, pdf).
NOTE: Jackson County Emergency Management was able to supply us
with a limited number of copies of the booklet, "Keeping
Your Animals Safe during Emergencies & Disasters in Jackson
County: Owner's Handbook," which we have distributed
to our Emergency Preparedness Plan neighborhood leaders for working
with local neighbors. This publication by the County is unavailable
online. However, we have a handful of remaining copies still available
for residents who have or manage animals (pets and/or livestock)
and would like a copy. If this applies to you, please email
the CRFD webmaster to have a copy sent to you. First come, first
Also linked from Jackson County's Animal Disaster Response Manual
page is the American Veterinary Medical Association's "Disaster
Preparedness for Veterinarians," the AVMA's resource site
for veterinarians and other first responders for animals in the
event of emergency; also available here (linked near the bottom
of the page) is the publication, "Saving
the Whole Family," which can be viewed/downloaded (at no
cost) using the pdf icon under the purchase info. (The AVMA's site
also has downloadable cards for pets and livestock under its right-hand
navigation Quick links.)
Society of the United States also has animal emergency preparedness
FEMA'S brochure, "Prepare
for Emergencies Now: Information for People with Disabilities."
copies can also be ordered.)
- Includes info on people with disabilities & pet care.
FEMA's brochure, "Preparing
Your Pets for Emergencies Makes Sense. Get Ready Now."
copies can also be ordered.)
FEMA'S brochure, "Prepare
for Emergencies Now: Information for Older Americans."
copies can also be ordered.)
Channing-Bete Company: A source for a wide variety of emergency
preparedness products for purchase, including "Your
Guide to Emergency Preparedness," a small booklet that
conveniently provides basic before-during-and-after information
on nearly every conceivable emergency/disaster situation. (Jackson
County's Office of Emergency Management was able to supply us with
a limited number of these, which are being used by our neighborhood
leaders and co-leaders; this company is the original source.) Other
titles that may be of particular interest are "How
People With Disabilities Or Special Health Needs Can Prepare For
An Emergency; A Self-Care Handbook" and "Emergency
Planning For Pet Owners -- Help Your Animal Stay Safe!"
- Evacuation, Sheltering, & Post-Disaster Safety.
Disaster Supplies Kits:
FEMA's brochure, "Emergency
Supply List," a comprehensive checklist for emergency preparedness.
copies can also be ordered.)
- on the FEMA website.
Wildland Fire Emergencies:
Are You Prepared?" A pamphlet put out by the U.S. Fire
Administration, Dept. of Homeland Security/FEMA, FA-287, Aug. 2004.
Extensive wildland fire prevention measures and what to do during
a wildfire. (8 pages)
with Wildfire: A Homeowner's Guide," by the Rogue Valley
Fire Prevention Co-op, revised Nov. 2008 (16 pages).
Ember Aware! Will YOUR home survive when the embers arrive?"
Published by the Univ. of Nevada Cooperative Extension (6 pages).
A brief overview with full visuals and an "ember awareness
- Prevention, what to do when wildfire threatens, evacuation info,
what to do upon returning.
"Help Your Home Survive a Fire: Clean up & Maintain
Your Defensible Space! Spring-Summer Guide" published
by ODF, Jackson County, and the Rogue Valley Fire Prevention Cooperative.
A three-sided foldout with "Maintaining Defensible Space: Spring/Early
Summer Activities" on the reverse side with a list of suggestions
and example photos. Not available online but we have a very limited
handful of these printed pamphlets still, provided by Jackson County
Emergency Management. (Most are being used by our Emergency Plan
neighborhood leaders with local neighbors.) If you are a local resident
and would like a copy, email
the CRFD webmaster to request one.
- Prevention, protection, what to do during a heatwave, how to make
your home safer during a heatwave, how to recognize and treat heat
exhaustion and heatstroke, heat cramps, heatstroke in animals.
- Snow & ice damage, severe cold, hypothermia, winter flooding,
protection during winter storms, wind chill, National Weather Service
warning codes, & more. http://www.stormready.noaa.gov/.
- Before, during & after.
Earthquake Emergency Preparedness:
Earthquake emergency preparedness is a part of the new Emergency
Preparedness Plan Project outlined above. During the fall of 2013,
a series of Earthquake Emergency Preparedness seminars was presented
in Medford by Dr. Althea Rizzo, geologist and Geologic Hazards Program
coordinator of the Oregon Office of Emergency Management. The first
seminar on September 20th drew so much interest that three more
were held on the 13th and 14th of November. These seminars were
sponsored by the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, which also
houses Jackson County’s Office of Emergency Management. The
Oregon OEM holds emergency preparedness seminars throughout the
state each year, including the southern Oregon area every fall.
To assist our community's preparation for the
particular survival issues we are most likely to face, we contacted
Dr. Rizzo of the State OEM about acquiring any of the earthquake
and other emergency preparedness materials such as were given out
at the above seminars. Since the Oregon OEM distributes printed
materials through county OEM offices (to save on postage), our request
was routed to Bev Hall, Plans and Training, Oregon OEM, who put
us in touch with Sara Rubrecht, Emergency Manager of Jackson County’s
OEM, who arranged for and provided our District with the materials
that we have recently distributed to our district constituents.
Some of this material is also available online:
- "Impacts on Jackson & Josephine Counties,"
an Earthquake Preparedness Presentation given in 2014 by Dr. Althea
Rizzo, geologist and Geologic Hazards Program Coordinator of the
Oregon Office of Emergency Management. (This document contains the
Powerpoint slides used in the original presentation.)
- "Impacts on Oregon" ("The Impacts
of the Cascadia Subduction Zone on Oregon"), a 2014 Presentation
by the Oregon Military Department - Oregon Office of Emergency Management.
- "Cascadia, Ready or Not," a Presentation
(with Powerpoint slides) by Dr. Althea Rizzo, geologist and Geologic
Hazards Program Coordinator of the Oregon Office of Emergency Management.
- Oregon State's Office of Emergency Management Earthquake page:
the Oregon Shake-Out; Earthquakes in the Pacific Northwest; DROP,
COVER AND HOLD EARTHQUAKE SAFETY MEASURE vs. the Triangle of Life;
Presentations, and Other Information; Seismic Training Videos;
and Additional Links.
Presentations, and Other Information will take you to the payload
section, from where you can go to all kinds of extensive seminar
and other information. In particular, some of the brochures, pamphlets
and booklets we are sending out to our community members can also
be found (in pdf format) linked on this page:
- Living on Shaky Ground: How to Survive Earthquakes and Tsunamis
- Earthquake Safety Guide for Homeowners - from FEMA - excellent
detailed, practical how-to information for before, during, and after
- Emergency Go-Kit Passport to keep a record of your important information
in one easy-to-find location.
- "Earthquakes and Tsunamis in Oregon!" - "Published
on Apr 23, 2013 - This 36 minute video will not
dissapoint! Very educational and interesting. OEM's Geologic
Hazards Coordinator Althea Rizzo and Red Cross Readiness Specialist
CeCi Pratt teach Seaside, Ore., residents about the earthquake and
tsunami threat in Oregon and how to prepare their community and
families. [ . . . ]"
- "Cascadia Anniversary" - "Published on Jan 26,
2013 - On the 313th anniversary of the last great Cascadia subduction
zone earthquake, Evelyn Roeloffs of USGS explains the science behind
subduction quakes and the likelihood of the next 9.0 magnitude event."
- Preparing for the "Big One" : Cascadia Subduction Zone,
Oregon Emergency Management Geologic Hazards Program.
- U.S. Geological Survey Earthquake Preparedness.
- the American Red Cross
Oregon Resilience Plan: Reducing Risk and Improving Recoveryfor
the Next Cascadia Earthquake and Tsunami. Report to the77th Legislative
Assembly from Oregon Seismic Safety Policy Advisory Commission (OSSPAC),
Salem, Oregon, February 2013.
For more on the State's previous Earthquake Emergency Preparedness
seminars and other news relating to the earthquake hazard in Oregon,
see the following articles:
[Mail Tribune online subscribers have full access to archived
articles; non-subscribers are allowed 3 free "clicks"
anniversary of 1700 quake in Oregon signals time to prepare
The Oregonian online (oregonlive.com), Fri. January 24, 2014,
1:39 PM, News/Education section. Some excerpts:
[January 26th] marks an earth-shaking anniversary in Oregon, literally.
// "On Jan. 26, 1700, a magnitude 9.0 quake hit the Cascadia
Subduction Zone from northern California to British Columbia.
The fault, which runs off the coastline, is considered one of
the most dangerous in the world." ..." 'We know a major
earthquake and tsunami similar to the one that struck of the coast
of Japan could hit Oregon at any time,' said Althea Rizzo, in
charge of geological hazards at the state Office of Emergency
Management. // "The Cascadia Subduction Zone poses a significant
earthquake threat to Oregon and other western states." ...
"Experts ... urge the public to prepare. That includes coming
up with an emergency plan, creating a supply cache and learning
basic first aid skills."
most-clicked stories on www.mailtribune.com in 2013 - Mail
"Here's what Mail Tribune website users were interested
in this past year: 1. Bracing for The Big One (Sept. 12): State
emergency officials promote a workshop to help Southern Oregon
residents prepare for a magnitude 9.0 earthquake that could
seriously disrupt food, water, transportation and other..."
zombies, but not much fun either - Mail Tribune, 11-05-2013.
"Presentations will help participants prepare for a major
earthquake here Althea Rizzo wants you to know the dead will
not rise up to begin feasting on the living after a large earthquake
strikes the Pacific Northwest. "We won't have zombies walking
the streets," she promised, her tongue held..."
will prepare county to roll with The Big One - Mail Tribune,
"Earthquake preparedness exercise meant to re-enforce the
threat Amassive earthquake that could one day devastate Jackson
County will take center stage on Thursday, Oct. 17, when local
students and other residents participate in the "Great
Shakeout." At 10:17 a.m. on that day, Oregonians will..."
One' is due, quake experts say - Mail Tribune, 09-21-2013.
"State advises crowd in Medford to ready for possible disaster
Sitting on a major fault line, Oregon is "like an eight-and-a-half-month
pregnancy, due any time now" for a major earthquake, a
geologist with the Oregon Office of Emergency Management told
an overflow crowd Friday in Medford. "We're..."
the state's earthquake preparedness plan - Mail Tribune,
"An extensive report about the damage a major earthquake
could cause in Oregon is available online. State officials are
promoting The Oregon Resilience Plan in advance of a series
of preparedness workshops scheduled across Southern Oregon next
week. State emergency officials will discuss ways for..."
for The Big One - Mail Tribune, 09-12-2013.
"Oregon emergency managers to persuade Southern Oregon
residents to prepare for a 9.0 earthquake and all it may entail
State emergency officials will spend next week urging Southern
Oregon residents to prepare for a magnitude 9.0 earthquake that
could seriously disrupt food, water, transportation..."
you ready for the 'Big One'? - Mail Tribune, 03-24-2013.
"When Harry Smedes talks about the Big One, there's no
subjunctive mood. He doesn't say, "If it were to happen."
He says, "When it happens." The Big One is the magnitude-9.0
quake that will rock the Northwest and wreak havoc the likes
of which the region has not seen since settlement by people
Yourselves! - Mail Tribune, 04-14-2011.
"Experts say Southern Oregon is due for a big earthquake
and suggest ways to ride it out ASHLAND — With images
of mayhem fresh in our minds from the Japanese earthquake, local
experts emphasize that we can be sure of three things: A very
big quake is coming to Southern Oregon, you can prepare for..."
Major quake in our future
- Mail Tribune, 10-31-2010.
"The experts agree: All the signs say we're due for a major
eathquake Chances are few residents in Shady Cove or Butte Falls
felt the earth move early on the morning of Oct. 22. But it did,
according to seismic monitors at the Department of Earth and Space
Sciences at the University of Washington...."
Do we really need to know about all of this, and is it relevant
here in our remote area? Those of us who experienced the 1993 Klamath
Falls earthquake and its largest aftershock will recognize that,
yes, it CAN happen here, and since it can happen again, we do need
to prepare. But that's not all. In recent years, geologists and
other professionals have concluded that the 600-mile Cascadia Subduction
Zone, or Cascadia fault, from around Eureka in northern California
all the way to Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada, is
well overdue for a major quake, including a "megathrust"
major quake ("the big one") that could be a magnitude
9.0 or larger.
A quake of this size, or anything even near it, will impact coastal
regions very severely, as well as inland areas, to differing degrees,
as far east as Medford, Eugene, and other non-coastal parts of the
state. Infrastructure is expected to be at a loss for a lengthy
period of time, and we will need to be able to be as self-sufficient
as possible until a semblance of normalcy can be restored.
Preparation plans will need to include water and non-perishable
food for several weeks or more, medical supplies, backup power,
and a survivor's list of additional emergency supplies, including
personal medications, children's or elderly persons' special needs,
and pet and livestock needs. We will also need to be prepared to
work together with our neighbors and as a community in order to
meet our own and our neighbors' survival needs.
In addition to preparatory neighborhood meetings, every person
can take steps to help prevent at least some of the worst things
from happening when a major quake strikes. While earthquake emergency
preparation can seem overwhelming, it is useful to remember that
it is still possible to accomplish one step at a time. By identifying
items high on the list of individual home and family needs and starting
with one of those, then the next, or identifying specific areas
in your home where you or a family member spends a lot of time and
starting with that room, then the next, and working down your own
list in this way, the things that most need addressing will not
be problems (or as significant a problem) when a large quake occurs.
This kind of planning takes time, so getting a little bit done,
then a little bit more, is a way to gradually achieve an effective
level of preparation, avoiding the tendency to become overwhelmed
at the overall prospect and respond by doing nothing. The information,
links and other resources provided here and that we will continue
to build upon are intended as a place to start, in order to help
our community become more resilient and better able to survive a
major earthquake event, when it does happen here.
Some of Oregon's recent and near-past earthquake events:
3.8 quake near Agness, reported by The Curry Coastal Pilot,
Fri., January 24, 2014 10:38 pm.: "(AP) — A magnitude-3.8
earthquake was reported early Friday in southwestern Oregon and
was felt by residents in rural Curry County. // "No damage
or injuries were reported. // "A U.S. Geological Survey report
placed the epicenter of the 5:53 a.m. temblor 26 miles northeast
of Gold Beach, near Agness..."
" 'Humdinger' of a quake rattles Agness area,"
Grants Pass Daily Courier carried by the Mail Tribune Sat. January
25, 2014, Local Pg. 3A. A few excerpts: "A 3.8 magnitude
earthquake struck at 5:53 a.m. Friday, about 34 miles northwest
of Grants Pass, near Agness..." "The earth has been
rumbling actively all along the West Coast in recent days. //"Dozens
of small jolts have been recorded, with the largest near Agness,
according to U.S. Geological Survey data. // "A half-dozen
or so quakes have been reported in Oregon in the past few weeks,
including a quake Wednesday northeast of Eugene that measured
2.4 on the Richter scale, a 1.1 quake Thursday afternoon 20 miles
out of Portland, and a 2.5 quake nine days ago in Central Point."
in our area - October 31, 2010
"Western Oregon and far northwestern California may not be
a hotbed of major earthquake activity, but it has been shaken
plenty in recorded history.// "Here are some earth shakers
that have impacted the region, according to the U.S. Geological
Survey and the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries
records:..." [a listing of quakes by date]
- Oregon Dept. of Geology and Mineral Industries
- "Averting Surprises in the Pacific Northwest,"
published in 1995 by the U.S. Geological Survey: "Scientists
recently discovered strong evidence that great earthquakes (magnitude
8 to 9) have repeatedly struck the Pacific Northwest in the past
several thousand years, most recently about 300 years ago. This
discovery has spurred the reinforcement of existing structures
and changes in building codes in the region--measures that will
save lives and reduce damage in future earthquakes."
- To gain a better understanding of what a mega-thrust earthquake
in the Cascadia earthquake zone could be like, see the U.S.G.S.'s
2014 video, "1964 Quake: The Great
Alaska Earthquake" (11:37 min), which explains not
only the 1964 Alaskan earthquake event, but also the basic mechanisms
of plate techtonics, landslides, and tsunamis. This video "
highlight[s] the impacts and effects of America's largest recorded
earthquake. It is an expanded version of the four minute video
"Magnitude 9.2". Both were created as part of USGS activities
acknowledging the fifty year anniversary of the quake on March
- Also see "Preparedness Now," a USGS
ShakeOut Earthquake Scenario video (produced
in 2008; 4:32 min) of a hypothetical large-scale 7.8-magnitude
earthquake, in this case along California's San Andreas fault:
"The film was created... to depict the physical, social,
and economic consequences of the most comprehensive earthquake
scenario ever created..." and to inspire viewers "to
prepare and mitigate for a faster recovery," including basic
- Finally, see "Seven Steps to Earthquake Safety," by
the Earthquake Country Alliance. "...designed as a step-by-step
guide to give you details on what to do before, during, and after
an earthquake. Start with the simple tips within each step so
that you can build on your accomplishments."
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