Governor Kitzhaber proclaimed March 2012 Earthquake and Tsunami Awareness Month in Oregon and encourages all Oregonians to join in this observance.
The Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries, Oregon Emergency Management, Oregon Chapter of the Red Cross, and Portland Bureau of Emergency Management are holding events across the state to educate the public about earthquakes and tsunamis. Check out one of the events and learn what you can to do to prepare for an earthquake or what to do when an earthquake occurs.
Since the late 1980´s, the citizens of Oregon have become increasingly aware that their home is definitely earthquake country and that damaging earthquakes will strike the state. This growing awareness increased dramatically in 1993 when western Oregon experienced two damaging upper crustal earthquakes, Scotts Mills (magnitude 5.6) and Klamath Falls (magnitudes 5.9 and 6). The last significant earthquake in Oregon prior to 1993 was in 1962. This earthquake shook the Portland area with a magnitude of 5.2. Next door in Washington, the Puget Sound area experienced even larger and more damaging intraplate earthquakes in 1949 and 1965 with magnitudes of 7.1 and 6.5, respectively.
For those of us who live in the Pacific Northwest, we can no longer be complacent about the potential risks that earthquakes pose to life and property. Therefore, it is imperative to prepare for the earthquake, especially before it happens. The Federal Emergency Management Agency Mitigation and the University of Washington Seismology Lab websites offer much information on what to do before, during, and after the earthquake. By preparing for and mitigating hazards now, deaths, injuries and property damage will be greatly reduced and recovery from the earthquake will be faster and easier both financially and socially.
Remember three simple steps during an earthquake: Drop, cover and hold on. It may save your life.