Cascadia Earthquake: What You Need to Know Today
While most of us have certainly heard of the Cascadia earthquake, sometimes known as the Cascadia megaquake, and the Cascadia Subduction Zone, few of us have even thought about having to prepare for such an eventuality. After all, the last Cascadia earthquake was on January 26, 1700, and another earthquake such as that one has never happened again. Of course, scientists say it could happen anytime because their research shows that one could happen again today or not for another 100 years are more. Their predictions are that we are in the middle of the timeline where these major earthquakes have happened and the devastation and loss of life are going to be tremendous.
Every region has its natural disasters to deal with, from hurricanes in much of the south to tornadoes in Kansas and other parts of tornado alley, and all of these are to be taken seriously. If you live in California, Oregon, or any other spots that make up the Cascadia earthquake zone, then it’s time to start preparing, just in case. Isn’t it better to be prepared and safe, than unprepared and sorry? The chaos and devastation left behind by a magnitude 9.0 earthquake, such as a Cascadia earthquake would last for several months even years. Buildings would collapse, cars would disappear as the earth cracked wide open, and the electricity would be out for an unknown amount of time. Once the dust settled and the earthquake that lasted all of maybe nine minutes was gone, the aftermath would be as bad, maybe worse, than the quake itself. Being prepared for such an occurrence is the only way to keep you and your family safe until the lights are back on and the destruction is righted.
We have all seen the disaster movies of what could happen when an earthquake of this magnitude hits places like California and other big cities that are along the fault line and in the subduction zone, however, few of us think about them, beyond them being good for chills and thrills. In reality, those disaster movies aren’t far off from the truth and you need to prepare yourself for what scientists are saying is inevitable. Are you prepared?
In this blog, we will talk about the ways that you can prepare for the Cascadia earthquake ahead of time, what you’re going to need in your emergency kit, and even how to prepare your kids for the occurrence that scientists are saying is on the way. We will even talk about how to camp out in your own home during and after the quake so that you hopefully don’t have to go to a shelter. If you aren’t taking the Cascadia earthquake predictions seriously, you should be. It’s not a matter of if it happens, it’s a matter of when it happens. So, follow us on this journey to help you prepare for the biggest earthquake there is to hit the area you live in, so that you, your friends, family, and even your neighbors are prepared and have a higher chance of survival as well.
Tips for Preparing for the Cascadia Quake
Now, that we know the big one, in the terms of an earthquake, isn’t just something that came out of a writer’s mind, we need to get down to preparing ourselves for the inevitable. That starts with being prepared way ahead of time, by doing the things below first.
Get to Know Your Neighbors
One of the first things you should know about surviving any type of disaster of this scale is that you are going to have to depend on your neighbors. In today’s world, it’s less and less likely that out of 20 house on your street, that you know over three of the families that live in them. That needs to change. Try throwing a neighborhood block party, so that you can get to know your neighbors and talk about your concerns and how you all need to prepare. You will be surprised at how many of your neighbors feel the same way that you do, and are eager to help and then help one another get through the aftermath should the worst happen.
Plan Out Where to Meet Family
Remember, once the big one hits, there is going to be no phone service. Landlines and cell towers alike will probably be down. Sit down with your family, immediate and distant alike, and create a plan on where you are going to meet after the earthquake and how you are going to communicate. It’s a good idea to get some long-range two-way radios and give one to each family or each family member so that when something happens you will still have the means of communicating with one another. Having a central destination where you will all head to get back together eliminates you and your family members searching the city for one another and putting yourselves in even more danger.
Invest in Some Bikes
Gas may be scarce for quite a few days or even months, so having a way to get around is extremely important. Invest in some bikes so that you and your family have a way to get around the city.
Prepare Your Emergency Kit
There are many places online, and in stores, where you can buy Cascadia earthquake emergency kits or you can get together the stuff you will need yourself. A list of what you should be working on for your kit is below.
- Gallons of water
- Ready to eat food, such as can goods and high energy foods
- Any medicines you might need or can think of
- Infant formula and diapers
- Vitamins for everyone
- Pet food
- A well-stocked first aid kit
- Tools and supplies such as batteries, paper plates, plastic eating utensils, flashlights, screwdrivers and more
- Sanitation products such as toilet paper, feminine items, soap, and liquid detergent
- Clothing and bedding
- Any legal documents or paperwork you might need
- Toys and activities to keep the kids occupied
- Books to pass the time
This is a start for a good Cascadia emergency kit, and you can add to it as you go. The more you have in your kit, the better off you will be when the time comes to dig it out of the closet and start using it.
What About During the Earthquake?
During the earthquake is something that many people forget about in the act of preparing. Below there are a few tips on what you need to do.
- Drop and take cover under a desk or sturdy object
- Hold on tightly to avoid the shaking
- Stay inside until the shaking has stopped
- If you are in bed, stay in bed and cover your head with a pillow
- Do not use elevators, even after the shaking has stopped, as they could be unstable
- Drop to the ground in a spot that has no trees or power lines
- If you are driving, stop and pull up your emergency brake. Don’t park under an overpass and try to keep away from bridges
- Stay put, until the shaking stops
How to Talk to Your Kids About The Cascadia Earthquake
There is really no way that your kids have avoided hearing about the Cascadia earthquake since the talk seems to be everywhere. You can pretty much bet that they are worried, scared, and unsure of what to do. It’s important that you sit down and talk to them about it, so they are prepared and ready to jump into action should the mega earthquake hit.
Talk to them About It
The first thing you need to do is not try to pull the wool over their eyes. Your child listens more and is more intelligent than you probably know. Sit down and explain exactly what the earthquake is and tell them everything honestly in an age-appropriate way. Listen to their concerns and answer as many of their questions as you can, while still assuring them that you will keep them safe.
Prepare as a Family
Don’t leave your child out of the planning. Helping will calm them down as nothing else can. Instead of concentrating on how scary the earthquake is going to be, concentrate on how you are going to prepare. Let your child help with the emergency kit or anything else that makes them feel useful and keeps them distracted from their worries.
Make a Plan and Practice, Practice, Practice
One of the most important things you can do to prepare your children for a Cascadia earthquake to hit is to share your plan with them and then practice it together. Once a month, have an earthquake drill and allow them to start the shaking and stop it, then make sure that you all meet at your contact spot outside of the house. You can also camp out at your home once a year to get prepared for surviving without electricity after the earthquake as well. This will help you and your child with muscle memory and make them feel empowered and helpful.
Make Sure to Reassure Them
One of the main things to focus on when preparing your kids for a possible earthquake is reassuring them. Reassure them, that though the earthquake will be scary, there will be lots of people around to help and that they will not be alone during or after the shaking has stopped. Let them know that they are your first priority and that if they are at school when the quake happened, you will come to get them and that their teachers will take care of them until you get there. Knowing that they will be protected does a lot to help them deal with the situation.
Teach them the Science of Earthquakes
Together, you and your child can research earthquakes, why they happen, and the fact that people have survived them for decades. Though there is nothing you can do to prevent the earthquake from happening, knowing about them, and that together you can prepare and survive will go a long way with your child. Following these tips will go a long way towards helping your kids cope with a very scary situation and give you the peace of mind of knowing that you have done everything in your power to prepare and protect them as well.
After the Earthquake
Many people will be camping out in their homes after the earthquake is over. So, it’s important to know how to survive that as well. Below find some tips to help with that.
Proper Sanitation Methods
The first thing you need to do is find a place to dispose of feces and urine that is preferably away from your home, as not doing so can be dangerous, even deadly to you and your family. You also need a way to wash your dishes and other items after use. This should be your first step after the shaking stops.
Turn Off the Gas and Electricity
While the electricity will probably already be down, you should turn it off anyway and make sure that you turn off your gas as well. These can be deadly things after an earthquake and you want to be sure that your family is protected.
Pitch a Tent
Pitching a tent, or a couple of tents, in the living room or another area of your home will help to keep you warm if the winter has come. Make sure that you fill the tents with blankets and other necessities so that you and your family aren’t wandering around in the dark trying to find them, once the sun sets.
These are just a few of the things that you need to know about the predicted Cascadia earthquake. Please, take it seriously and prepare your family and your home, just in case.
- Right as Rain: How to Survive the Really Big One
- PDXParent: How to Prepare Your Kids for the Cascadia Earthquake
- NW News Network: It Beats a Shelter, but are you Prepared to Camp in Your Home after the Big One?