I’ve been reading a lot about the “big one” that is due in the Pacific North west.  I thought when we moved from California we were leaving the earthquake territory – but I was wrong!   Scientists have been warning for more than a year that the Cascadia subduction zone is an active fault and it is moving!  It is not a matter of if, but when, and when it goes it will bring a strong quake that triggers a tsunami.   Off the Grid news wrote an article in September of 2013 that suggests the Willamette Valley could be without electricity for three months!

OK – Now I’m scared.  What should we do?  Where do we go?  Portland Monthly Magazine offered a great article about what to expect and what to do when it hits.  And the Portland Oregon website has a great resource about what to do and planning.


You can find this great checklist on Jeanne Macvicar’s Website – Just click on the picture


This all has got me to thinking?  Are we ready?  Not even close!  So I’ve done some homework on earthquake preparedness.  The standard is to have supplies for three days – but not for this one!  They are recommending at least for a week – I think I’ll go for two weeks.  But what should we have?  Here is the list I’ve compiled so far –

  • First – supplies for making things safe.  You need to be able to turn off the water and the gas from the main.  Do you know where that is?  I didn’t – but I do now.  To do this you will need:
    • Eye goggles and protective gear, including gloves
    • a 12-15 inch adjustable pipe wrench
    • Flash lights – and fresh batteries
  • Next – you’ll need items for survival – keeping warm, first aid, etc.
    • A first aid kit that includes bandages, tape,
    • Prescription and over the counter drugs
    • Copies of vital documents – like birth certificates, banking and insurance information
    • Blankets or sleeping bags
    • Socks and jackets
    • Battery or handcranked radio with antenea
    • Heavy duty plastic bags for waste and debris with tape to close
    • A broom to clean up glass and debris
    • Charcoal or propane for cooking outdoors  (any camping gear will be helpful)
  • Finally – sustenance
    • You will need a MINIMUM of one gallon of water, per person, per day.  For us, that will be 28 gallons for two weeks – and add about five more for the cats!  Stored in 5 gallon jugs is best.
    • Non perishable foods that can feed everyone for at least two weeks – and don’t forget your pets!  It should be food that doesn’t require water for prep -food like canned meats, beans, vegetables, ready to eat soups, and the like.

Here are a list of links for resources.  I’ll be getting my kit together in the next 30 days – and I’ll come back and let you know what I have!




About Helen Fern

I live in the upper Willamette Valley with my amazing husband and four very spoiled cats - three adopted feral cats and one shelter baby. We have lived here since the dawn of 1991 and love every inch of the region.
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3 Responses to Earthquake!

  1. Priyam says:

    Very helpful post indeed!

    Also wanted to say thank you for joining the Jan Hobnob..:)

    -Priyam @

  2. Angie says:

    This is such a helpful post!! Even though I don’t live in an Earthquake area this list sure has me thinking that I need to add a few things to my reserve in case the electricity goes off because of a blizzard or ice storm. Thank you so much for sharing on the CLIMB!

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