Bracing for The Big One

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 and other vital services.

"People need to have an emergency plan for their families," said Kim Lippert, spokesman for the Oregon Office of Emergency Management, which will head out on a road show to discuss the potential disaster and ways to prepare for it.

If you go

State emergency officials will hold presentations next week on ways to prepare for an earthquake:

  • 3 p.m., Sept. 20, Medford City Hall, City Council Chambers, 411 W. Eighth St.
  • 6 p.m., Sept. 16, Lakeview High School cafeteria, 906 S. Third St., Lakeview
  • 6 p.m. Sept. 17, Klamath Falls library, 126 S. Third St., Klamath Falls
  • 9:30 a.m., Sept. 23, Anne Basker Auditorium, 604 NW Sixth St., Grants Pass

A workshop will present information about surviving and recovering from an earthquake at 3 p.m. Friday, Sept. 20, in Medford City Hall, 411 W. Eighth St.

State officials say Oregon is due for a magnitude 9.0 Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake.

Emergency officials have previously encouraged people to have 72 hours of supplies such as food and water on hand. Now they say people should plan for at least two weeks. Essential supplies in Oregon could be cut off for weeks or months, according to The Oregon Resilience Plan, prepared for the Oregon Legislature.

Electricity could be knocked out for up to three months, drinking water and sewers might not be available for up to one year, priority highways could be out of commission for up to a year, and health care facilities could take up to 18 months to be operational.

On the coast, essential services could be knocked out even longer.

A family emergency plan should include establishing a meeting place in advance, Lippert said. Cellphones might be knocked out when an earthquake occurs. The kids could be at school, the grandmother at home and the parents at work.

If you're inside a building, drop, take cover and try to hold onto something until the shaking stops, she said.

Some residents might want to seek higher ground if their homes could be flooded if a dam breaks.

Neighborhoods should devise individual plans so people can work together to help each other.

Lippert said that Oregonians don't experience earthquakes as frequently as some areas of California, which could create a sense of complacency.

After Hurricane Sandy struck the East Coast and a tsunami from Japan affected the Oregon Coast, emergency officials noticed an increase in interest from the public about preparing for disasters, Lippert said.

"People want to learn more about what they can do personally," she said.

Reach reporter Damian Mann at 541-776-4476 or

Oregon Resilience Plan Final by Mail Tribune

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