At 10:17 a.m., we encourage you to practice drop, cover and hold on for 60 seconds as if we were having a real earthquake. (Visit the following website for more information: http://www.shakeout.org/oregon/dropcoverholdon/ )
The Earthquake Country Alliance has put together 7 steps to earthquake safety. The 7 steps are simple things you can do to make yourself safer before, during, and after an earthquake. The information in the steps will help you learn how to better prepare to survive and recover, wherever you live, work, or travel.
Step 1: Secure your space by identifying hazards and securing moveable items.
Step 2: Plan to be safe by creating a disaster plan and deciding how you will communicate in an emergency.
Step 3: Organize disaster supplies in convenient locations.
Step 4: Minimize financial hardship by organizing important documents, strengthening your property, and considering insurance.
Step 5: Drop, Cover, and Hold On when the earth shakes.
Step 6: Improve safety after earthquakes by evacuating if necessary, helping the injured, and preventing further injuries or damage.
Step 7: Restore daily life by reconnecting with others, repairing the damage, and rebuilding the community.
Earthquake Hazards in Oregon
Oregon lies at a convergent continental boundary where two tectonic plates are colliding. The Cascadia Subduction Zone is actually a 600-mile long earthquake fault stretching from offshore northern California to southern British Columbia. This fault builds up stress for hundreds of years as the Juan de Fuca and North America Plates push against each other. Eventually, the two plates rip apart, creating some of the largest earthquakes and tsunamis on earth. Where the Juan de Fuca oceanic plate and the North American continental plate meet is called a subduction zone because the denser Juan de Fuca Plate is being pulled under North America. The Juan de Fuca Plate is moving to the northeast at about an inch a year as the North American Plate moves west. The Oregon coastline is actually bulging upward from the two plates pushing against each other.
There are over 1000 earthquakes over magnitude 1.0 in Washington and Oregon every year, with at least two dozen being large enough to be felt. Approximately 17 people have lost their lives due to earthquakes in the Pacific Northwest. Since 1872, there have been 20 damaging earthquakes in Washington and Oregon. The Pacific coast poses special risk from tsunamis associated with a Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake. In addition to Subduction zone earthquakes, Oregon is also susceptible to crustal earthquakes. The two largest earthquakes in recent years in Oregon, Scotts Mills, (magnitude 5.6) and the Klamath Falls, main shocks (magnitude 5.9 and magnitude 6.0) of 1993 were crustal earthquakes.