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Our View: Are you ready?

Living in a beautiful spot with all the modern conveniences, as Ashlanders do, it's easy to become complacent about the possibility that disaster could strike at any moment. But this area is just as susceptible as any, and moreso than some. Fortunately, Ashland Fire & Rescue has their town's best interests at heart, and is ready to help residents prepare for the worst.

The third annual Ashland Is Ready! emergency preparedness event takes place Saturday, Sept. 12, in the Rogue River Room of Stevenson Union at Southern Oregon University. Admission is $10, but everyone who attends will take away an emergency preparedness backpack with first-aid supplies and survival equipment designed to keep a person alive for 72 hours. Speakers will discuss catastrophic events and how to prepare for them.

It's great to have a kit good for 72 hours, but anyone who lives in Oregon needs to understand that if the Cascadia Subduction Zone ruptures in a mega-quake, emergency supplies will need to last weeks or months, not hours.

Besides a major earthquake, Ashland is at risk for catastrophic fire because the town extends into the Ashland Watershed. Given the right conditions, a wildfire could devastate much of the city in a short time.

Flooding is a concern, too, as anyone who was here for the New Year's Flood of 1997 knows very well.

If you want to attend the preparedness event, register now — only 400 spaces are available and the event is expected to sell out.