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Last evening I had the privileged to attend a talk at the Wilsonville Library in Wilsonville, Oregon. The speaker was James Roddey, an employee of the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries. He is tasked with educating people about what is to come here in the Pacific Northwest.

 

Through historic information (both written, and verbal tradition), and physical evidence, the pieces of the geological puzzle are assembled. Mr Roddey, begins by giving a history of the seismology, and other activity in the region. He brings to light that the last major earthquake to hit the Northwest was on Jan 26th, 1700. This quake lasted for 6-7 minutes building in strength and intensity. Then it finally stopped. Just when they might have thought the worst was over next came the huge tsunami. The wall of water 30-50 feet high came blasting across the coast, leaving a path of destruction.

 

Earthquakes in the range of a 9.0 have occurred 20 times in the last 10,000 years effecting the entire Cascadia Subduction Zone. In addition another 21 have occurred , just along the southern portion of this same subduction zone. That equates to 41 huge earthquakes that have occurred in the Northwest region in the past 10,000 years. Doing the math that is one every 243 years on average. Recounting that our last quake of that magnitude was 310 years ago, puts us well overdue for one. In addition the Pacific Northwest is the only part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, to have not had a major earthquake in the past 50 years. Do you think maybe we're overdue?

 

When this Earthquake, and yes it's when not if, shakes the Pacific Northwest, everyone west of the Cascade Mt. Range will be affected. So the next question is, are you prepared? Do you think the Federal, State, or Local government will be there immediately to assist you? Do you think a single bridge will still be standing? When this quake comes, it will likely isolate many pockets of people. So you and your very immediate neighborhood, and community are on your own. You will need to survive without electricity, running water and sewer, communication, and no supplies coming from outside your immediate area. Now you may be wondering how long will I need to survive before help arrives. Power alone could be a month or more, running water and sewer could be longer, and bridges take considerable time to rebuild for supply lines.

 

Get prepared. Have an emergency plan for your family. Have emergency kits easily accessible near an exit. Have emergency kits in your vehicles, at your workplace, or school. Don't count on government, or someone else, be ready!

 

Mr Roddey, gives us one very important comment before leaving, "Disasters are inevitable, survival is optional!"

 

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