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PORTLAND -- Earthquake experts from around the world were in Portland Wednesday to raise awareness about the big one and to share new information about when it could strike.

Their message was that a major earthquake could hit sooner than previously thought, and we all need to be prepared.

Something many homeowners, like Richard Rosenhaft, were already doing. Rosenhaft was seismically retrofitting his 100-year old Northeast Portland home.

Like most homes built before 1976, the frame was not bolted to the foundation. So he called in Earthquake Tech to secure the home with steel plates to ensure it would stay standing in a large quake.

If the house comes off the foundation, it's going to uninhabitable and they're starting from scratch, said Steve Gemmell with Earthquake Tech.

New research out of Oregon State University showed there's now a 37% chance that a magnitude 8 or higher quake will hit off the Southern Oregon Coast within the next 50 years.

The next event would be a shorter one 8.2 to 8.8 range in the southern margin, said Chris Goldfinger, Professor of Marine Geology at OSU.

Rosenhaft said he wants to be ready for it now. It should be quite severe and we want to be prepared, he said. We've even been building an earthquake kit in terms of water and food.

Experts said that having an emergency kit with extra food, water and supplies was the first step in preparing for an earthquake. They recommended that families also develop a plan in the event of an earthquake so that family members can reconnect. For those interested in seismically retrofitting their home, the cost usually starts around $2000.

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