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While Clackamas County is home to beautiful waterways, untouched forests, majestic mountains and area after area of rugged natural beauty, science tells us that our lands are in danger from a potential major earthquake. With the July 2015 publishing of a New Yorker article about the threat we collectively face – particularly from the Cascadia subduction zone – earthquake awareness and the demand for related useful information has never been greater.

The Clackamas County Department of Emergency Management has long known and offered information about this serious threat. We’re preparing for this event. We want you to be prepared too. To that end, please find a list of resources and steps you can take to better safeguard your family and friends, property, livelihood and yourself.

In Preparation of an Earthquake

Obviously, it’s difficult for anyone to be fully prepared for a major natural disaster. But there are lots of steps you can take to be as prepared as possible! Here are just some of the ways you can take care of yourself and loved ones ahead of time:

What to Do (and What NOT to Do) During the Event Itself

Your past experience in earthquakes may give you a false sense of safety. You may not have even taken any actions. However, you likely have never experienced the kind of strong earthquake shaking that is possible in much larger quakes … sudden and intense back-and-forth motions that can cause the floor/ground to jerk sideways out from under you with every unsecured object around you toppling over.

So what do you do? The proper action to take during the actual shaking of the ground depends upon where you happen to be at the time of the incident. Here are some tips depending on location:

What NOT to do: An earthquake is a disconcerting thing. Many individuals understandably react without thinking and take the wrong actions. Here’s a quick list of actions to avoid:

For more information on the do’s and don’ts of an earthquake, find out more about the 2015 ShakeOut.

Steps to Take After an Earthquake

Once an earthquake has hit and you have checked the status of your loved ones, check your surroundings and take any necessary precautions (like shutting off the gas if you smell it).

The County will assess the situation and work with other regional entities to send out alerts through CCENS (see above), the County website, Emergency Management Facebook page and Twitter feed, and other means.

Again, it is essential to have pre-organized kits in place that you have ready on hand.

There are many various tasks you’ll need to perform to keep safe, provide basic first aid, evaluate food and stay sanitary, just to name a few. A solid, step-by-step guide on how to recover after a disaster (courtesy of Texas A&M) is available here.

Depending on the severity of the disaster and its damage, you may be advised to shelter-in-place. This precaution aims to keep you safe while staying indoors. Sheltering-in-place means selecting a small, interior room, with no or few windows, and taking refuge there. For a full fact sheet and instructions, see tips from the American Red Cross.

Other steps to take after an earthquake include:

Earthquake Monitoring & Other Resources

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Disaster Management

Phone number 503-655-8378
Address 2200 Kaen Road
Oregon City, OR 97045

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