Category Archives: Earthquake Preparedness Drills

Pacific Northwest Prepares for Earthquake

The Pacific Northwest with its mountains full of picturesque trails and waterways filled with wildlife presents a false sense of security. As most residents of this beautiful area know, they are sitting on a ticking time bomb.

The area has a record of a magnitude 8 or 9 earthquake every 250 years. It’s now been 313 years since an earthquake of that size. Residents are being encouraged to prepare in case of a disaster as relief may not come for weeks or months for some residents.

Government agencies have been running drills along with the military to coordinate their response to a possible earthquake, while residents are being educated on what steps to take during an emergency.

The first step for each resident is to start with a family emergency plan. Parents are encouraged to know their children’s school policies and procedures in case of an earthquake like where they can pick up their children, how they might be contacted, and how to prepare their children for the disaster.

Building emergency supplies like water purification tablets, flashlights, batteries, and nonperishable food are highly encouraged. Some have begun to put together 72-hour emergency kits for each member of their family with all the food, clothing, and other supplies needed to survive for three days.

The last step residents are encouraged to take is to evaluate their home for places that can be better secured before an earthquake occurs. Cupboard doors that can be secured, water heaters attached to walls, and mirrors safely attached for example. As residents are educated and heed advice, they’ll better be able to make it through the disaster without panic.

FEMA Conducts Earthquake Preparedness Drills in the Pacific Northwest

As much of the national media focused attention on the presidential primary races underway on Tuesday in the State of California, the Federal Emergency Management Administration (“FEMA“) conducted a large-scale earthquake drill impacting Northern California on the 7th. The decision to stage the preparedness exercises on the same day as the election brought protests from some residents of the far western state.

Just a day earlier, on Monday, residents of California experienced a very shallow 3.1 magnitude earthquake in the southern part of the state. With its epicenter located some 16 miles from Palm Desert and 18 miles outside Coachella, the quake struck just 5.6 miles beneath the Earth’s surface. The U.S. Geological Survey indicated that people in La Quinta reported feeling tremors at 5:13 p.m. No one sustained injuries in the event.

The drill scheduled on Tuesday in the Pacific Northwest had been planned for months. It postulated a 9.0 magnitude earthquake in the Pacific off the coast of Oregon, followed by a tsunami. Many state and local disaster response agencies cooperated with the federal government in conducting the drill, including agencies in several states. However, the conduct of the exercise on the same day as California’s primary resulted in some social media comments complaining about the selection of dates. Critics complained federal officials should have conducted the drill on another day.

The massive drill, called “Cascadia Rising“, reportedly involved as many as 20,000 people, including national guard units and the Navy. It will continue four days.