Shopping Cart

Earthquake Info

Slide Worker with dog after earthquake Preparing for The Big One News, Resources, Courses, FAQs, and more.

Courses, Talks, and Current Events

Top News

Ad for national earthquake preparedness drill

The Great Shake Out - https://www.shakeout.org/oregon/

Thursday October 21st is the Great Oregon Shake Out, a yearly, international earthquake preparedness day where people all over the world conduct readiness drills. You and/or your organization can participate! Follow the link for details. This is a great way to connect with other members of your community and raise awareness.

FEMA website with earthquake preparedness materials

Disaster preparedness publications - FEMA

The Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) has made available a number of disaster preparedness information sheets with information about preparing for different kinds of natural and man-made disasters, including earthquakes, floods, active shooter incidents, tsunamis, pandemics, financial emergencies, and more. It also includes placards, emergency communication plans, property documentation, emergency management courses, and more - in various different languages.

Current Events, News, Lectures, and Courses

Report on Critical Energy Infrastructure Hub

Public report on Critical Energy Infrastructure Hub - PBEM

Check out the latest findings of a study of the Critical Energy Infrastructure Hub in Northwest Portland, commissioned by the Portland Bureau of Emergency Management (PBEM) and the Multnomah County Office of Sustainability. The CEI Hub refers to the tank farm on the Willamette that stores over 90% of all liquid fuel in Oregon. The study is intended to quantify the risk of major damage in the event of a major earthquake in the Cascadia Subduction Zone or in the West Hills. The CEI sits on unstable soil subject to liquefaction and lateral spreading in an earthquake.

PSU courses on earthquake resiliency

Towards Resilient Futures - PSU lecture series

Portland State  is offering this monthly speaker series, with cutting-edge research and approaches to the resilience of urban and rural communities and systems to hazards and disasters. The speakers represent the core faculty of Portland State University’s new transdisciplinary Emergency Management and Community Resilience graduate program. The talks will critically focus on local and global issues and share pragmatic solutions. Upcoming talks include earthquake recovery efforts in Nepal, geodisaster resilience in the face of quakes, floods, and slides, and the Japan earthquake-tsunami. Don't miss it!

Also see PSU's certificate and graduate programs in Emergency Management.

Emergency Preparedness Online Certificate Program website image

Emergency Preparedness Training - NSC Certificate Program

The National Safety Council offers a certificate program in Emergency Preparedness designed for company employees. Their online emergency preparedness program can be taken at a time and pace that is most convenient for employees, who can access the program over the internet from most browsers.  Once employees have completed the 8-hour program, they will receive a certificate of completion in Emergency Preparedness. The course consists of eight modules: Evacuation, Weather & Natural Disasters, Shelter in Place Emergencies
First Aid, CPR & AED, Workplace Violence, Active Shooter, Terrorism Emergencies, and Communication Before and After Emergencies.

PSU website image for new grad program in Emergency Management and Community Resilience

Emergency Management Graduate Program - Portland State University

Portland State University’s new transdisciplinary Emergency Management and Community Resilience (EMCR) program is officially launched.  The MS degree is designed to equip leaders to build more resilient communities and systems while serving the world in this critical time of need, incorporating a multitude of fields, ranging from anthropology to urban planning to communication. Applications are being accepted to the master’s degree and graduate certificate programs for Fall 2021 through May 31, 2022.  If you are looking for career options, emergency management is an exciting, important, and growing field with opportunities to make a real difference.

OSU course on emergency preparedness

Cascadia Earthquake Preparedness - OSU Extension Program Course

The Oregon State University Extension Program is offering an online course on earthquake preparedness, with an emphasis on the Cascadia Subduction Zone (Coastal Northern California, Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia) where an 8.0-9.0 mega-quake will occur at some point. Material also relevant to people living near the San Andreas Fault or other areas with high earthquake risk. Four modules cover general awareness of an anticipated earthquake, what to do during and immediately following the earthquake and tsunami, what preparedness activities that can be done now, and how you can gain valuable skills to help your communities.  This material is open to all, and is a great primer for folks who are new to the area or want to learn more about earthquake risks.

Get involved - Join a Community Emergency Response Team

The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) concept was developed by the Los Angeles Fire Department in 1985, which decided that basic training in disaster survival and rescue skills would improve victims' survival rates until responders or other assistance could arrive. The training program was so successful in L.A. that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) encouraged expansion of the program to communities nationwide. CERT programs exist in many west coast cities and are free to members of the community. It's a great way to connect and learn about disaster preparedness in your area. Some of the larger programs are listed below.

Portland Neighborhood Emergency Team website image

Portland NET Program - Portland Bureau of Emergency Management

Neighborhood Emergency Teams (NETs) are Portland residents trained by PBEM and Portland Fire & Rescue to provide emergency disaster assistance within their own neighborhoods. NET members are trained to save lives and property until professional responders can arrive and to help others without putting themselves in harm’s way. Anyone can join, and the training is free. Portland has one of the largest and oldest CERT programs in the country.

Puget Sound community emergency response team website image

Puget Sound CERT Program - Puget Sound Regional Fire Authority

The Puget Sound Fire CERT program serves the areas of Covington, Kent, SeaTac/Burien, Maple Valley, Fire District 37, and Fire District 43. Puget Sound residents can make a difference by using the CERT training we offer to save lives and protect property. On a normal day, emergency services personnel are the best trained and equipped to handle emergencies and we all count on them for their expertise. CERT training gives you the skills to help save and sustain lives following a disaster until help arrives. The class meets once a week for eight weeks.

UW Emergency Management webpage

U.W. CERT Program - University of Washington Emergency Management

The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program educates people about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. Using the training learned in the classroom and during exercises, CERT members can assist others in their neighborhood or workplace following an event when professional responders are not immediately available to help. CERT members also are encouraged to support emergency response agencies by taking a more active role in emergency preparedness projects in their community.

LA Community Emergency Response Team website image

L.A. CERT Program - L.A. Fire Department

The LAFD Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Unit provides disaster preparedness training courses throughout the City free of charge, year-round. Training course options range from in-depth multi-week CERT Training to single-day courses on various emergency preparedness topics. Read more about Los Angeles Community Emergency Response Teams on the L.A.F.D. website. CERT members receive 17 1/2 hours (one day a week for seven weeks) of initial training, free of charge within the city of Los Angeles to anyone 18 or over. Classes are taught year-round, Monday-Friday, morning, afternoon, or evening, by an experienced LAFD Firefighter.

San Francisco Community Emergency Response Team website image

San Francisco NERT Program - San Francisco Fire Department

S.F.'s Neighborhood Emergency Response Team (NERT) program is a free training program for individuals, neighborhood groups and community-based organizations in San Francisco.  Through this program, individuals will learn the basics of personal preparedness and prevention.  The training also includes hands-on disaster skills that will help individuals respond to a personal emergency as well as act as members of a neighborhood response team.

South SF Community Emergency Response Team website image

South San Francisco CERT Program - City of South San Francisco

The South San Francisco Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program will train individuals in neighborhoods, businesses and industries in emergency preparedness and basic disaster response techniques. The training will enable them, as volunteers, to assist emergency service personnel during a disaster.

Articles on The Big One
A selection of recent news articles on The Big One.

OPB series on Emergency Preparedness

OPB Unprepared - Oregon Public Broadcasting

Articles about preparing for a major earthquake in the Cascadia Subduction Zone, where 8.0-9.0 earthquakes occur approximately 5 times every 1000 years. The last one was a 9.0 in 1700, 320 years ago.

These articles are a good starting point for learning about earthquake risk in the Pacific Northwest and how to prepare for The Big One.

A documentary film, also titled Unprepared, is available as well.

The Big One - podcast about preparing for a big earthquake

The Big One: Your Survival Guide - Southern California Public Radio 2018

When The Big One hits it’ll take under two minutes for more than 10 million Southern Californians to lose internet, power, and a sense of security. Host Jacob Margolis and producer Misha Euceph take you on a journey to understand what the catastrophic earthquake will mean for Los Angeles, the U.S. and the world. This is what you need to know to survive.

Both the San Andreas Fault in California and the Cascadia Subduction Zone in the Pacific Northwest will experience a major (8.0-9.0) earthquake in the future.

News article about The Big One

The Big One is Coming. What will Happen to Portland? - Portland Monthly 2/2/2018

Think of Oregon geology as a clock, measuring time in earthquakes—46 major coastal quakes over the last 10,200 years. Tick: a magnitude 8 on the Richter scale. Tock: a magnitude 9. On average, a major quake uncorks in this area every 243 years, the last one on January 26, 1700—318 years ago. Right. We’re overdue.

This article is a good starting point for people who want to understand earthquake risks specific to Portland and coastal Oregon.

News article about The Big One - a major earthquake

The Big One Just Got a Little Closer - Portland Monthly 8/5/2016

Researchers at Oregon State, working with Camosun College in British Columbia and Instituto Andaluz de Ciencias de la Tierra in Spain, have found that the average time between massive Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquakes is 50 to 100 years less than previous estimates. The Cascadia Subduction Zone is divided into several sections.  The frequency of quakes for the northern section stretching from Astoria to Vancouver was reduced from 500-540 years to 430 years.

New article on how to prepare for a cascadia earthquake

How to Prepare Water for the Cascadia Quake - Portland Monthly 9/1/2016

When the Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake strikes, everyday life in the Pacific Northwest will change dramatically. Oregon's infrastructure is woefully out of date for the event. It will take a while for supplies to trickle in to those affected. Experts say it could take two weeks. That means you should have your own supply of water ready. The Red Cross recommends 1 gallon of water per person per day. That means you need 14 gallons of water per person.

New York Times article on The Big One - a major earthquake in the Cascadia Subduction Zone

The Really Big One - New York Times 7/13/2015

An earthquake will destroy a sizable portion of the coastal Northwest. The question is when. The next full-margin rupture of the Cascadia subduction zone will spell the worst natural disaster in the history of the continent, outside of the 2010 Haiti earthquake.

Cascadia Subduction Zone FAQs

What is the earthquake risk in my Portland neighborhood?

Portland Maps - earthquake heat map

Portland Maps - City of Portland

This is an interactive site that displays information about Portland neighborhoods. You can pan and scroll to see any neighborhood in the Portland area, or you can enter in an address to see information about that address. The risk of earthquake damage is displayed on a color-coded map, where red indicates high earthquake hazard, orange indicates moderate earthquake hazard, and yellow indicates low earthquake hazard.

For earthquake risk information, enter in an address, scroll down, and click on "Public Safety" to see the earthquake links (Portland Hills and Cascadia faults).

Where can I go in Portland for help after an earthquake?

BEECN site map

BEECN - Portland Bureau of Emergency Management

Portland maintains Basic Earthquake Emergency Communication Nodes (BEECN) all over the city where people can go for information after a a major earthquake. The BEECN nodes are manned by PBEM volunteers. For more information, go to the PBEM BEECN page.

Note that only information will be available at the nodes. There will not be medical supplies, water, or other necessities, although the nodes may be used later for distribution hubs for disaster relief.

Our Earthquake Essentials Kit comes with a paper copy. If you don't have one, click the image to download or use the link at the top for more information.

Where can I find interactive earthquake maps for all of Oregon?

Cascadia lifeline program 3D map

Oregon Hazard Explorer - Cascadia Lifelines Program

This excellent OSU interactive map shows different earthquake research data for the state of Oregon, including ground motion, landslide hazard, bridge assessments, liquefaction, and tsunami information.

The different earthquake-related features are displayed on the map in colors via overlay maps, which can be combined. The map shown on the left here shows bridge damage assessments after an earthquake across Oregon.

Click on the orange icons in the top right corner to view options.

GeoHazards viewer -Interactive Oregon earthquake map

Geohazards Viewer - Oregon Dept. of Geology

This interactive map shows different geological hazards across the Pacific Northwest, including earthquake fault lines.

The icons on the top left can be used to select a base map and one or more overlays with information. Try selecting them all (top right of layer widgit) and de-selecting the ones you don't want.

What studies have been done on earthquake risk in the Pacific Northwest?

Oregon Resiliency Plan

Oregon Resilience Plan - State of Oregon.

The State of Oregon's Oregon Seismic Safety Policy Advisory Commission (OSSPAC) prepared this report in 2013. It's the most comprehensive report on the risk of a major earthquake in Oregon.

Where do gas lines run in my city?

National Pipeline Mapping System

NPMS Public Viewer - National Pipeline Mapping System

This great interactive site will show you where major natural gas and hazardous liquid pipelines, LNG plants, and Breakout Tanks throughout any city in the country.

Knowing where these hazards are may help you stay safe after an earthquake, particularly if you have to walk home from somewhere.

Who are the relevant authorities in the Portland area?

Portland Bureau of Emergency Management

PBEM - Portland Bureau of Emergency Management

PBEM is in charge of managing Portland's response to a major disaster. PBEM runs an Emergency Communications Center that will be the shared headquarters and central point of contact for all relevant authorities. PBEM also runs the Neighborhood Emergency Teams (NET), a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program that trains community volunteers as  to help after disasters. Anyone can join, and the training is free.

NETs will play an important role after a major earthquake. Police will be responding to incidents and firefighters will be performing assessment runs to determine damage. NETs will be deployed to help in communities, and will also use radios to communicate assessment information back to PBEM.

Multnomah County Emergency Dept.

MULTCO - Multnomah County Emergency Management Dept.

MULTCO will be responsible for coordinating activities between the other counties in the area, and in particular is responsible for managing shelters after major disasters.

The Emergency Preparedness page of their site has links to other authorities, departments, and websites related to disaster preparedness. It also has information about how to make a play, how to stay informed and/or get involved, tsunamis, landslides, flooding, and caring for animals and livestock.

If you are looking for information about earthquake risk in Portland, this is an excellent place to start.

Cascadia Playbook - Oregon State Earthquake Preparedness study

Cascadia Playbook - State of Oregon

The Oregon Office of Emergency Management will be coordinating aid with local authorities, and have published an official planned response to a Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake that discusses risks and priorities regarding roads, infrastructure, energy, etc.

Oregon Emergency Management response planThe OEM includes detailed information broken down into 9 time periods: 1 hour, 6 hours, 12 hours, 24 hours, 48 hours, 4 days, 7 days, 10 days, and 2 weeks.

It also covers a response phase and a recovery phase, and identifies numerous emergency support functions. It's long, but it's mostly bullet points.

Regional Disaster Preparedness Organization

RDPO - Regional Disaster Preparedness Organization

RDPO is a partnership of government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and private-sector stakeholders in the Portland Metropolitan Region collaborating to increase the region’s resilience to disasters.

The mission of the Regional Disaster Preparedness Organization (RDPO) is to build and maintain regional disaster preparedness capabilities in the Portland Metropolitan Region through strategic and coordinated planning, training and exercising, and investment in technology and specialized equipment.

Where can Portlanders get information about a current earthquake or disaster?

Public Alerts for Portland Community

Public Alerts - publicalerts.org

Public Alerts is an emergency information hub designed to be a single, unified source of information and public guidelines about emergencies occurring locally, with various city and county authorities collaborating to ensure accuracy and coordination.

Members of the Portland Community can also sign up to receive public alerts on their cell phones in regard to local health and safety issues, including disasters and earthquakes.

Sign up for this!!

Image of website of Shake Alert, an earthquake alert system now available in Oregon

ShakeAlert - Oregon.gov

ShakeAlert® is an earthquake early warning (EEW) system for the west coast that detects significant earthquakes so quickly that alerts can reach many people before shaking arrives. ShakeAlert is not earthquake prediction, rather a ShakeAlert message indicates that an earthquake has begun and shaking is imminent.

ShakeAlert® is available now! Sign up for it now, and be alerted in the event of an earthquake. For more information, watch this short video at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x5hKXNVd1QU.

After The Big One, how long will services be down?

Estimate of service downtime

Service Downtime- Oregon Resilience Plan

The Oregon Resilience Plan provides the most accurate information about how our infrastructure will be affected, including an estimate of service outages after a major earthquake. Some services will return within a couple months, but running water and sewer systems will take longer.

Are there earthquake drills I can participate in?

The Great Shake Out earthquake drill

The Great Shake Out

This is a national program, coordinated by state, for anyone to register to participate in a yearly earthquake drill on International Shake-Out Day, always the third Thursday of October. All major authorities and aid organizations participate, and you can too.

Where will I poop if we can't use our toilets?

Emergency Toilet Guidebook

Emergency Toilet Project - Regional Disaster Preparedness Organization

The RDPO has a site with information about how to set up an emergency toilet after a disaster. After an earthquake, sewer lines may be down for many months or even years! It is important that everyone on the city sewer system have a bucket toilet and plenty of liner bags. Human waste will have to be bagged and saved separately from garbage until it can be picked up by local authorities.

Bucket toilets and extra strength liner bags are available from our store.

Where can I learn about infrastructure projects and plans in Oregon?

Cascadia Region Earthquake Workgroup

CREW - Cascadia Region Earthquake Workgroup

The Cascadia Region Earthquake Workgroup has information about regional efforts including early warning systems, planned infrastructural improvements, etc.

How can I get financial assistance after a disaster?

FEMA Disaster Assistance

DisasterAssistance - FEMA

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is the federal agency responsible for administering aid to states and cities after a major disaster such as an earthquake. FEMA runs the DisasterAssistance website, where you can enter in your city, state and/or zip code to determine whether Individual Assistance is available to you.

Free shipping

On all orders

(Local delivery only for water containers)

100% Secure Checkout

PayPal / MasterCard / Visa

30-day money back guarantee

On unused products

© Copyright 2020 Portland Earthquake Kits, LLC. All rights reserved.

Checklist icon made by monkik from www.flaticon.com is licensed by CC 3.0