EUGENE, Ore. — Oregonians will join millions of people worldwide in the Great Oregon Shakeout at 10:17 a.m. on Thursday. The earthquake preparedness drill is especially important in Oregon because geologists warn we are in for a major quake at the Cascadia Subduction Zone, within the next 50 years.
More than 260,000 participants statewide practiced the drop, cover, and hold method. It’s considered the best way to protect yourself from flying or falling debris. If you’re not near a desk or table, experts say move against an interior wall and protect your head with your arms. Also, many folks may have learned to head for the doorway during a quake. That’s not considered the safest method anymore. Experts found doorways are no stronger than any other part of the house and usually have doors that can swing and hurt you.
Now all of those tips may seem like common sense, but the Eugene Emergency Management Office says practicing these methods could mean the difference between life and death.
“In the next 50 years there’s a chance that we’re going to have a significant quake and to be able to practice for that helps you be ready because the more you practice the more you’re ready and you wont freeze up” said Eugene emergency manager Jason York.
Geologists at the University of Oregon predict the chances of a quake at the Cascadia Subduction Zone within the next 50 years to be as high as 37 percent, and it’s expected to have a magnitude similar to the 2011 Tohoku Japan earthquake.
You can prepare now by having at least 3 days worth of food and water, medication, and a communication plan with your family and loved ones. You can also sign up for “Alert Me”. It’s a notification system sends alerts about emergencies happening near you, right to your cell phone.