Oregon still has work to do before the Big One hits

These details come following a region-wide drill called "Cascadia Rising"

Oregon still has some work to do when it comes to preparation for the Big One. November 1, 2016, (KOIN)
Oregon still has some work to do when it comes to preparation for the Big One. November 1, 2016, (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Is the Pacific Northwest ready for a major earthquake? A new report on Tuesday showed just how prepared the area is.

These details come following a region-wide drill called “Cascadia Rising.”

Andrew Phelps, director of the Oregon Office of Emergency Management, said Oregon’s grade for preparedness was a “C.” The Beaver State is preparing for the Big One, but there is still plenty of work to be done.

Great Subduction Zone earthquakes are the largest earthquakes in the world. (PNSN)
Great Subduction Zone earthquakes are the largest earthquakes in the world. (PNSN)

One of the biggest takeaways from that 4-day drill was just how long it’s going to take for emergency supplies, first responders and aid to get to folks who need it.

The national standard recommendation is to have 3 days of emergency supplies. But Phelps said officials learned in this disaster it will likely take about 14 days to get to everyone.

“There’s nothing we’re going to do that’s going to prevent fatalities from occurring in an event like this. People are going to lose their lives. Our job is after the earthquake hits, and after the tsunami hits, every life that can be saved is saved,” said Phelps.

A graphic of the Cascadia Subduction Zone, from KidsFunScience.com
A graphic of the Cascadia Subduction Zone, from KidsFunScience.com

Another area that needs a lot of improvement is communication, how to get in contact with other first responders, victims, etc. without cell service, without internet and likely relying on satellite phones.

Phelps said Oregon mirrored many of the same problems seen in Washington.