The recent Napa wine country quake (and its impact to roads, highways and infrastructure) is a good reminder for motorists, travelers, and residents to be aware of their surroundings and potential hazards during a regional or statewide emergency. September is National Preparedness Month and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is urging the US to “be disaster aware, take action to prepare.”
In Oregon, events will take place highlighting the importance of emergency preparedness and what individuals and families can do to prepare for emergencies. Oregon Travel Experience encourages the public to participate in several community events slated for September 2014.
One such event called “Race the Wave” will take runners and walkers along a tsunami evacuation route in Cannon Beach, Ore., Sept. 28, and be followed by an emergency preparedness fair near the city’s supply cache containers established above the tsunami inundation zone.
The event is a collaborative effort among FEMA, the Oregon Office of Emergency Management (OEM), Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries (DOGAMI), Clatsop County, the City of Cannon Beach and its citizens, focusing on the importance of emergency preparedness for a Cascadia earthquake and tsunami, and highlighting the work Cannon Beach has done as a community to prepare.
“It is amazing to be a part of an event where the whole community is coming together to raise awareness about the importance of preparation,” Clatsop County Emergency Manager Tiffany Brown said. “Being prepared will save lives and property during a disaster.”
Oregon is located near the Cascadia Subduction Zone, a 600 hundred mile earthquake fault stretching from offshore Northern California to Southern British Columbia. Experts predict a large earthquake and tsunami similar to the one that struck Japan in 2011 could strike Oregon in the near future.
“The Cascadia Subduction Zone has let rip with more than 40 great earthquakes,” State Geologist Vicki McConnell explained. “It’s geologically active, and Oregon could experience a huge earthquake and tsunami anytime.”
The theme for the race is: “Know the Plan, Take the Route, Race the Wave.”
“One of the best ways to get prepared for a tsunami is to practice walking or even running the escape routes,” said OEM Geologic Hazards Coordinator Althea Rizzo. “Race the Wave is a great way to practice that route and have a lot of fun doing it.”
Registration is limited to the first 200 participants and the emergency preparedness fair is free and open to the public.
Barrels (pictured to the left) are housed inside tsunami preparedness containers in Cannon Beach, Ore., and contain emergency items for local residents. The containers include family cache items, medical, administrative, and tool chest support containers as well as tourist, employee and visitor kits. The containers were created as part of an innovative pilot program that includes a site for a local Emergency Operation Center, 10 tsunami evacuation routes, designated shelter area, and three, 20-foot shipping containers loaded with community support items. The containers sit at approximately 100 feet, 20 feet above what earthquake experts believe to be the maximum tsunami inundation zone. (Photo by Cory Grogan, Oregon Emergency Management)