SALEM, Ore. — Many people In the Pacific Northwest are aware of the Cascadia Subduction Zone. This is a 600-mile fault that runs from northern California to British Columbia about 70-80 miles off the Pacific Coast.
The last Cascadia earthquake and tsunami occurred in this fault on January 26, 1700, with an estimated 9.0 magnitude.
Although it’s been 320 years since the last Cascadia event, experts say another one will happen. It’s not a matter of if, but rather when, the next Cascadia earthquake and tsunami will strike.
Althea Rizzo, geologic hazards program coordinator for Oregon’s Office of Emergency Management, says knowing what to do, and how to be prepared for a large-scale earthquake, or any disaster, can help to calm fear and empower people to take action.
That action, says Rizzo, includes putting together a family plan and emergency kits to be "2 Weeks Ready."
“Being prepared to be self-sufficient for two weeks is an achievable goal and you may be more prepared than you think,” said Rizzo. “See what you already have and you can get there over time.”
“When the next large-scale Cascadia earthquake and tsunami strike the Pacific Northwest, Oregon will face the greatest challenge of our lifetimes,” said Gov. Kate Brown.
"I urge everyone to start conversations this week with their families, friends, and loved ones about how to be safe and as ready as possible, especially by having two weeks of ready supplies," Brown said.
The governor will commemorate the anniversary of Cascadia on Monday, Jan. 27, and will officially proclaim Jan. 26-Feb. 1 as Cascadia Earthquake Preparedness Week.
The Oregon Office of Emergency Management has many tools and resources to be prepared for a Cascadia quake and other disasters. Check out their website here.