Remember that time you heard about ‘the Big One’ — the mega earthquake that is predicted to ruin the West and send deadly swells stampeding across the Pacific — and did nothing?
Didn’t buy a water jug. Didn’t pick up a hand-crank or battery-powered radio. And you didn’t throw that extra can of beans into the cart last time you went shopping for an emergency kit. Come to think of it, you never even went shopping for an emergency kit.
Well, us too.
But something remarkable happened on Tuesday right off the Oregon Coast — the United States Geological Survey recorded 11 earthquakes about 120 miles west of Gold Beach.
The cluster, located on the Juan de Fuca tectonic plate, which is part of the Cascadia Subduction Zone that runs from Northern California to British Columbia, included earthquakes ranging from 2.8 to 5.6 in magnitude and occurred 6 miles underwater.
The USGS didn’t issue a tsunami warning this time, but it’s a good reminder of the 9.0 megaquake seismologists predict is coming within the next 50 years. And that Oregonians could be without help for at least 72 hours, though many say it could be weeks.
So for both of our sakes, here’s a few tips to help prepare for the tremendous temblor — or any disaster.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency suggests having good shoes, long pants, and work gloves on hand to protect yourself while clearing debris. A first aid kit, fire extinguisher, and a hand-crank radio (we weren’t kidding earlier) are also good things to keep in a safe place.
The Red Cross recommends storing one gallon per person per day, meaning if help doesn’t come for two weeks like experts predict, 56 gallons of water will need to be stored for a family of four. Which is vital. You can last about three weeks without food, but only about a week without water.
Still, experts recommend having about two weeks of food on hand — at least one good well-balanced meal a day. Non-perishable food is best, like pasta, canned goods, dried milk, beans, but the state also encourages people to think about growing fresh food. It’s good to remember that you don’t need large plots of land to produce great food. Lots of vegetables do well in pots on patios.
So let’s make a deal. Next time we’re at the store we’ll pick up a new flashlight if you walk a little slower down the canned food aisle and pick out some shelf-stable corn.