Earthquakes: plan + prepare + educate = survival

    If you've ever wondered what a disaster situation looks like, you may have seen images flashed on your television of last year's Haiti earthquake, which destroyed the entire city of Port-au-Prince after a major earthquake. The quake left the city in ruins and millions homeless, killed or trapped in the rubble. You may have seen images of Hurricane Katrina after it hit New Orleans and the Gulf Coast in 2005?

    Oregon is due for another earthquake. But when? The time and place hasn't been predicted or when it will occur? Scientist's say, the last major earthquake to rock the Oregon took place over 311 years ago off the Oregon Coast.

    In 1964, the state of Alaska got hammered with a mega thrust earthquake reportedly registered in the 9.2 on the richter scale, causing extensive damage to its infrastructure and billions of dollars in damages and killing 131 people in its wake and was the highest recorded earthquake on a recorded instrument - the richter scale.

    One of the most common practices before a disaster strikes is being prepared. Not just for yourself, but for everyone in your family, including your pet. Simple disaster kits could be made with little or nothing depending on what you have around your house. Disaster kits could also be bought online for a decent price to court you and your family through the first 72 hours of a disaster in the first three days or possibly longer in the first 168 hours - a week, before professional emergency responders could reach you and your family in the effected area.

    "Preparedness is the key to survival and survival is also your key to communication with your family, friends and neighbors, during the time of crisis and need." You can prepare, train and educate in the proper procedures of staying alive and helping your family, friends and neighbors with training sponsored by the American Red Cross or become more involved in with your local Community Emergency Response Team or local neighborhood CERT Group in your neighborhood, such as the Churchill Area Neighbors Disaster Organization (CAN DO).

    On. Jan. 26, Oregon held its first annual "Great Oregon ShakeOut," with over 30,000 Oregonian's registered to take part in today's preparedness drill across the state.

    Those Oregonian's who take part in today's drill will be better prepared in their disaster preparedness skills in "Drop, Cover and Hold On!" - than, those that have not participated in the drill.

    Here are a few simple tips to remember:

    • Are your disaster kits stocked and stored in an accessible place where they can be reachable without endangering you and your family?

    • Have you planned, trained and designated a meeting place outside your home or business after the disaster hits? Do you have way to communicate with family members and friends?

    • Have you designed disaster kits for your home?

    • Car and a personal grab and go-kit for you to take with you in case you have to leave your car behind?

    You can learn about these and more while calling your local chapter of the American Red Cross or getting trained as a Community Emergency Response Team member with your local Emergency Management Agency.

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