'Big Steps Before the Big One': New report on Portland earthquake response

City Club of Portland earthquake report

PORTLAND, Ore. -- City Club of Portland has released its Earthquake Resilience Research Committee report titled "Big Steps Before the Big One: How the Portland area can bounce back after a major earthquake."

According to a City Club press release, the committee concluded that the Portland area must work on strategies that focus on creating systems to preserve social and physical infrastructure. 

Related: The Portland bridges that will collapse in an earthquake

"Portland-area communities are built atop tectonic forces beyond anyone's control, but the region is not helpless," the report states. "The Portland area is not yet prepared, but leaders and the public are learning what must be done to reduce damage and recover quickly from the earthquake's impacts."

The report recommends that public and private leaders work together to improve standards for buildings and transportation systems with new code requirements and incentive-based policies.

"Many of these things can be fixed but it takes consistent investment starting now to prevent those bad things happening and to preserve the future of Portland and the Portland area," said Tom Dyke with the City Club. "We want buildings to survive, we want the economy to survive. If the economy is destroyed it could take generations to repair." 

View the full report online

The committee also advocates expanding public awareness by creating community networks to increase social resilience.

"When a major earthquake hits the Portland area, survival alone is not enough," committee chair Teri Martin said. "We must invest in the social and physical infrastructure that will allow our unique culture and strong economy to thrive after a major earthquake."

The committee's 14 member-volunteers spent 9 months interviewing more than 80 witnesses and studying options to prepare for a Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake. They identified and focused on five linchpins of resilience: fuel, buildings, lifelines, people and coordinated planning. 

On Thursday, Feb. 16, the committee will discuss the report and answer questions at Migration Brewing. Learn more and RSVP.

City Club will devote its Feb. 24 Friday Forum at the Sentinel Hotel to discussing the report and its recommendations. City Club members will then vote whether to adopt the report. 

"City Club members asked this committee to identify affordable, attainable steps that will improve resilience for all Portlanders," City Club President Kourtney Nelson said. "Creating and supporting community networks throughout the city will ensure a strong response that continues for decades after an earthquake and allows people to remain in Portland rather than relocate, as has happened after major disasters in other American cities."

(© 2017 KGW)


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment