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What do you do when things start shaking?

The predicted earthquake to hit Oregon would affect most of the west coast and may be felt as far as Salt Lake City, Ut.
Photo provided by MCT Campus The predicted earthquake to hit Oregon would affect most of the west coast and may be felt as far as Salt Lake City, Ut.

Natalie Carter
The Broadside

What if all the chairs and tables around you began to vibrate violently and you had to struggle to keep yourself in your seat? Then someone yells “earthquake” as book shelves begin to fall and your fellow classmates rush like a whirlwind around you?

What do you do now?

“This is a very real scenario that could happen in Central Oregon in an instant, and perhaps in our lifetime,” said James Roddey, an earth sciences information officer from the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries. Roddey’s job is to help identify and characterize natural hazards in Oregon, including spreading awareness about earthquake preparedness.

Central Oregon is surrounded by the Cascade Mountains, but what is often forgotten is that this area is in the middle of an active volcanic mountain range.

The type of earthquake that is predicted to hit will be 70 miles off the Oregon coast and will affect over 13 million people, stretching as far as Salt Lake City. This means that all food, fuel, and communications that Central Oregon receives from the western part of the state will be cut off and we would be isolated according to Roddey.

Executive Director of the Oregon Mountain River chapter of the American Red Cross in Bend, Tom Farley also believes that all Oregonians should take action.

“Preparing for an earthquake is the priority of all five Red Cross regions in Oregon,” said Farley.

On April 12, 2011 the Red Cross released a 10-year goal to prepare for the quake.

“To realize that goal, we’re going to have to build a public and private partnership. A partnership that starts with local businesses accepting that an earthquake disaster will most likely occur.”

Before all of this, Roddey suggested the first thing you should do is “sit down with your family and talk about it.” By discussing different scenarios you are preparing yourself and your family for that instance when everything starts falling apart. Literally.

You can contact Natalie Carter at ncarter@cocc.edu.

Surviving the quake

The COCC staff & department telephone directory and emergency procedures manual lists the following instructions for students and staff for earthquake preparedness.

–>If you are inside a building: stay inside, take cover underneath a desk or table or against an inside wall (protecting your head and neck), stay away from windows and from object that could fall on you. Do not use elevators.

–>If you are caught outside: stay in an open area away from trees, buildings, walls and power
lines (do not enter buildings), drop to your knees and get into the fetal position (closing your eyes and crossing your arms over the back of your neck for protection), stay that way until shaking stops.

–>If you are caught in a moving vehicle stop quickly and stay in your vehicle. Proceed with caution when the shaking has completely stopped. Avoid bridges or ramps that might have been damaged from the earthquake. After the shaking stops be prepared to evacuate if instructed to do so and do not use a telephone or cell phone except to report serious injuries. Then if possible, tune into KBND 1110 AM to listen to the Emergency Alert System (EAS), a media communications-based alerting system that is designed to transmit emergency alerts and warnings to the American public at the national, state and local levels.

After the shaking stops be prepared to evacuate if instructed to do so and do not use a telephone or cell phone except to report serious injuries. Then if possible, tune into KBND 1110 AM to listen to the Emergency Alert System (EAS), a media communications-based alerting system that is designed to transmit emergency alerts and warnings to the
American public at the national, state and local levels.

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