ARE YOU READY?
Does time seem to be racing by to you? Here we are, already a quarter of the way through 2014. So we’re asking you again: How are you coming with your planning and preparation for your family’s safety—and survival—if the predicted Cascadia mega-quake should strike? If the threat still seems too unreal to give it any thought, even after we witnessed the horrific devastation done by the March 2011 mega quake and tsunami in Japan, then think about this. Every day we live with an almost identical threat off our own Western coast, the Cascadia Pacific Ring of Fire, running 800 miles from Vancouver, B.C. to Northern California.
As Faultline employees began to make their own personal preparations, all of us initially had some resistance, too. The hardest part was making the commitment to begin. Once we took that first step, the planning really took off and we were able to get into the spirit of the thing. We began thinking ahead to what we would want to include in our emergency kits. There was definitely some upfront expense, so spreading our purchases out over a period of several weeks lightened the financial load. Once we had the main items in place, we began to supplement our kits with our own personal, desired items. We marked perishable food items with the current date to make it easier to rotate out items that had reached their expiration date (6 to 12 months for most food items).
Your emergency supply kit should be able to support you (and your family) for at least 5 days. Learning from Japan’s horrific experience in 2011, many of our government agencies are now suggesting that we prepare for 7 to 10 days of being on our own, as the likelihood of local services being available within the first 2 to 3 days is slim to none. And don’t forget, that includes planning for our pets as well.
Do you have a plan of action to follow if the quake hits during the day when family members are often separated? This took some real thought on our parts, playing out different scenarios and coming up with the most practical plan. Phone lines will most likely be out of service. How will you communicate with each other? Those of us at Faultline with family and friends out of state designated one of them to be our check-in person. The generally accepted thought is that in the event of a disaster, out-of-state phone service will be easier to access than local service.
And what about the safety of your home? Have you had a seismic evaluation to ensure your house is anchored to its foundation? In order to obtain earthquake insurance, the following must be in place:
1. The sill plate must be properly bolted to the foundation.
2. Homes with cripple wall construction are required to have the walls properly reinforced with plywood or oriented strand board sheathing.
3. Homes built prior to 1980 will need to have the water heater double strapped at the top, around the belly and at the bottom and bolted to the wall studs.
Faultline Constructors offers a free initial evaluation and preliminary cost estimate for anchoring your home to its foundation. If your house slides off its foundation, you’ll more than likely be left with an uninhabitable home, and you’ll still have a monthly mortgage payment that’s due.
Two excellent resources to help with your planning are:
Portland Bureau of Emergency Management website: www.portlandoregon.gov/pbem
American Red Cross “Safe and Well” website: http://safeandwellcommunityos.org
Also check out SPOT GEN3 satellite GPS messenger for information on the latest technology to enable communication in a disaster situation.
Come on! Just take that first step—start TALKING and PLANNING. Aren’t you and your loved ones worth it? We think you are.