News for those who live, work and play in the Santiam Canyon

Time to get ready for the Big One

The last Cascadia Subduction Zone event – Magnitude 8.0 to 9.1 – was Jan. 26, 1700, 322 years ago, and they happen about every 280 to 350 years. It’s time to get ready.

OSU Extention’s free, self-guided online training program features four modules: Be Aware, Know What to Do, Take Steps to Prepare and Community Leaders and Volunteers.

When the Cascadia Earthquake occurs, services will be likely be interrupted for at least two weeks in Oregon, if not longer. Oregonians can take steps to get ready by planning and preparing yourself and your community.

Be ready to grab your go bag

Go bags are survival supplies designed for quick evacuations. Plan and pack your go bags in advance so you can move quickly in an emergency. They should include enough supplies to help you survive for a minimum of 24 hours; 72 hours is preferred. Pack lightweight foods and medications for three days. Carry 1 to 3 quarts of water. 

Which foods to eat when

As much as is possible in the aftermath of a natural disaster, order your consumption of perishable foods.

FIRST: Eat as many foods from your refrigerator as you can, continuing to monitor the internal temperature and discarding foods once the temperature exceeds 40°F for more than two hours. Follow cooking guidelines to ensure food safety.

NEXT: Eat foods from the freezer, again paying careful attention to temperatures and discarding foods as necessary. If your situation allows, consider canning or dehydrating frozen goods that would otherwise spoil. This might be an impossible task following an earthquake. But in some regions, damage may be limited and loss of power is the only issue. Some families may find it conceivable to can meats, veggies and fruits rather than let them go to waste.

LAST: Use your fresh garden produce and nonperishable foods and staples.

Amount of water to store

Each person uses roughly a gallon of water per day for drinking, meal preparation, cleanup and personal hygiene. Individual needs vary by age, activity level, health, diet and climate. 

The Centers for Disease Control also recommend 1 gallon of water for most common household pets. Therefore, plan to store 1 gallon of water per day for each person and pet in the household for a minimum of three days and preferably two to four weeks.

For example, four human members and two animal members of a household will need 6 gallons of water per day stored. This is a conservative amount, and you will need to use it wisely. Consider practicing and only using stored jugs of water for a few days to see how much water your household uses.

For the recommended two weeks, plan to store 14 gallons per person and pet. For each individual, you will need two 7-gallon, camping-style water containers, 14 1-gallon jugs, 27 2-liter bottles or 53 1-liter bottles.

For more information on Cascadia earthquake preparedness, visit OSU Exention’s website

For information on how to prepare for an earthquake, visit

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