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Geologic Hazards Preparedness Speakers

Want to request a speaker to present to your group on preparing for Oregon’s geologic hazards?

  • ​Oregon Office of Emergency Management can provide briefings on the hazards of the Cascadia Subduction Zone, the Oregon Resilience Plan, and how to prepare your community or business to be resilient to geologic hazards. 
  • Our emphasis is to work to educate decision- and policy- makers who will lead their businesses and communities in preparedness and mitigation efforts. We can work with your agency to schedule a briefing or other outreach.
  • We can provide a speaker for general public audiences of over 100 people. We simply don’t have the resources to fulfill the need for everyone who asks for a presentation. You can ask your local fire department or Red Cross chapter for help on general preparedness. 
  • If the distance to the presentation location requires the overnight stay of the speaker, the requesting agency will reimburse OEM at the standard GSA rate. There will be no charge for the actual presentation.


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Without Warning, a new comic by OEM and Darkhorse Comics


 WithoutWarningTSUNAMI.jpgTo celebrate the Great ShakeOut in 2016, Oregon’s Office of Emergency Management and Dark Horse Comics teamed up to publish Without Warning: Tsunami, a new comic touting tsunami preparedness. The 16-page comic strip sequence chronicles a mother/daughter camping trip on the Oregon coast when an earthquake and resulting tsunami strike. The duo stays safe and helps others in danger. English , Spanish





Published in 2014, Without Wa​rning! Tells the story of Cascadia High School student, Angie as she must go rescue her little sister after a Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake. This publication is a partnership between the Oregon Office of Emergency Management and Dark Horse Comics. English
Without Warning! and Without Warning: Tsunami were funded by the Cascadia Region Earthquake Workgroup (crew.org)


Small quantities of print copies are available for free.  If you want more than a few  copies, please contact Althea.Rizzo@state.or.us to find out how to print the comic book for your group.

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Oregon Shake Out

Join millions of others in the largest Drop, Cover, and Hold On earthquake drill ever! The latest Great Oregon ShakeOut took place on October 17, 2013 at 10:17 a.m.   Visit the ShakeOut website to register and be counted or OEM's ShakeOut page for more information..  Learn how to do the Oregon Duck, cover, and hold.

Video:Preparedness Now, The Great California Shakeout
A film depiction of the USGS ShakeOut Earthquake Scenario by Art Center College of Design alumnus, Theo Alexopoulos. Adapted for The Great California ShakeOut.
Video: ShakeOut Drill Broadcast (English, any region, with sound effects) English version (with sound effects) of the Drill Broadcast to play during any ShakeOut earthquake drill (or any similar "Drop, Cover, and Hold On" drill). Some ShakeOut drills have region-specific recordings, visit www.shakeout.org to connect to your region's website.
Did you know that doing the Great Oregon ShakeOut takes care of your annual requirement for holding an earthquake drill? And it’s fun!
• Administrative Rule for Earthquake Drill

Are you looking for more information on how to prepare your family, business, or community for earthquakes, tsunami or volcano? This is a great place to start.
• Check out this “Prepare, Protect, and Recover” web page, download some of the materials on this site and start taking the steps to be able to recover quickly from all types of hazards.

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Publications, Videos, and Presentations


Living on Shaky Ground
How to Survive Earthquakes and Tsunamis in Oregon.  Contact us for a copy. 
• In English
• In Spanish​

Go-Kit Passport
Use this passport to create a record of your important information. Keep current medical and communication information in one easy-to-find location with your emergency go-kit.  Print it out at home or contact us for a copy. 
• In English
• In Spanish

Seismic Event Guidebook (Mass Media Binder)
To help our partners in the media during a seismic event (earthquake, tsunami or volcano) to better inform their audience on these natural hazards. This can easily be printed out on put into any Filofax to have at your fingertips. It can also be put onto any mobile device for easy access.

Earthquake Preparedness and Mitigation for Oregon State Agency Offices and Warehouses 
This "How-To" brochure provides valuable information, illustrations and checklists about how to make your home and office more resistant to the effects of earthquakes. 

QuakeSmart, Mitigation Works for Businesses
This great program will give you the tools needed to make sure your business will have a better chance of getting back to business quickly after a major natural disaster

QuakeSmart toolkit
Download this easy to use toolkit to help educate small business owners about earthquake mitigation options
In English
In Spanish
Earthquake FLASH Cards
In English
In Spanish
The Oregon Office of Emergency Management (OEM) has developed this educational video to inform visitors to the Oregon coast about tsunami safety. The video is part of a larger educational project to raise the preparedness level of the Oregon coast's hospitality industry.
Earthquake and Tsunami Safety for Grades K-2
This is an earthquake and tsunami safety to be used in K-2 classrooms. Funded by USGS, this video can be freely used as part of school curriculum. The video talks about preparedness in an age appropriate way.
Earthquake and Tsunami Safety for Grades 3-5
This is an earthquake and tsunami safety to be used in grades 3-5 classrooms. Funded by USGS, this video can be freely used as part of school curriculum. The video talks about preparedness in an age appropriate way.
Earthquake and Tsunami Safety for Grades 6-12
This is an earthquake and tsunami safety to be used in grades 6-12 classrooms. Funded by USGS, this video can be freely used as part of school curriculum. The video talks about preparedness in an age appropriate way.
This 36 minute video will not disappoint! Very educational and interesting. OEM's Geologic Hazards Coordinator Althea Rizzo and Red Cross Readiness Specialist CeCi Pratt teach about preparing for an earthquake in Oregon.
Cascadia Anniversary
On the 313th anniversary of the last great Cascadia subduction zone earthquake, Evelyn Roeloffs of USGS explains the science behind subduction quakes and the likelihood of the next 9.0 magnitude event.
Presentations (.pdf)
Earthquake and Tsunami Preparedness Train the Trainer 2011
How to help your community to be more prepared for earthquakes and tsunamis. From a 2011 Train the trainer session help in Tillamook, OR.
Various earthquake preparedness presentations given in 2014
• Impacts on Eastern Oregon
• Impacts on Jackson & Josephine counties
• Impacts on Oregon
• Cascadia, Ready or not
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Oregon Earthquake Education Advisory Group (OEEAG)

The Oregon Resilience Taskforce recommended that the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) lead an outreach and education strategy among stakeholder partners. This process to develop and disseminate improved educational materials for agencies, businesses, and the public will include:

a) ​​​​​​Revising and standardizing information provided to the public and businesses to recommend an emergency preparedness goal of at least two weeks;

b) Training and education specifically relating to disaster preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation for decision-makers in the public, private, and not-for-profit sectors;

c) Supporting education, training, and related professional development for emergency managers, consistent with but beyond standard FEMA dissemination. This may include programs offered through institutions of higher education, conferences and other special events, and programs provided by professional associations;

d) Establishing an electronic clearinghouse of educational and technical information for emergency responders and planners, technical specialists, workplaces, and the general public.

Further, the ORTF recommended that the Department of Education lead a process of adopting standardized educational content and associated resources for K-12, applicable to the entire State as well as for specific hazard areas (e.g., coastal communities), and to establish an electronic clearinghouse for curriculum and supporting resources.

The ORTF also recommended that Business Oregon, in partnership with OEM, strongly encourage continuity assessment and planning for all businesses.

The goal of the advisory group will be to create a robust public outreach implementation strategy that fulfills the intent of the ORTF recommendations for the 2015-2017 biennium.

  • ​Alison Ryan, Department of Geology and Mineral Industries, Earth Science Information Officer 
  • Althea Rizzo, Oregon Office of Emergency Management, Geologic Hazards Program Coordinator 
  • Bret West, Administrator, Enterprise Goods and Services, Dept. of Administrative Services 
  • Cory Grogan, Oregon Office of Emergency Management, Public Information Officer 
  • Erik Rau, Oregon Office of Emergency Management, Emergency Management Planner 
  • Felicia Heaton, Portland Bureau of Emergency Management, Sr. Community Outreach Representative 
  • Gloria Zacharias, Oregon Business Development Department, Program and Policy Coordinator 
  • Heidi Moawad, Public Safety Policy Advisor to Gov. Kate Brown 
  • Ian Madin, Department of Geology and Mineral Industries 
  • Jay Wilson, Clackamas County Emergency Management
  • Julie Black, Ed.M., Oregon Health Authority, All Hazards Planner
  • Justin Ross, Oregon Office on Disability & Health, Emergency Preparedness Program Coordinator
  • Karen Parmelee, Oregon Office of Emergency Management
  • Kathleen Vidoloff, Ph.D., Oregon Health Authority, Public Health Division Public Affairs and Policy Specialist
  • Matt Crall, Oregon Dept. of Land Conservation and Development, Planning Services Division Manager
  • Melinda Davis, American Red Cross, Preparedness & Partnerships Manager
  • Nancy Bush, Clackamas County Emergency Management, Director
  • Paula Negele, American Red Cross Cascades Region, Communications Director
  • Ronault Catalani, City staff for New Portlander Policy Council
  • Zach Swick, Oregon Office of Emergency Management, Emergency Preparedness Planner 
Documents and links 
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Earthquakes in the Pacific Northwest

Since the late 1980´s, the citizens of Oregon have become increasingly aware that their home is definitely earthquake country and that damaging earthquakes will strike the state. This growing awareness increased dramatically in 1993 when western Oregon experienced two damaging upper crustal earthquakes, Scotts Mills (magnitude 5.6) and Klamath Falls (magnitudes 5.9 and 6). The last significant earthquake in Oregon, prior to 1993, was in 1962. This earthquake shook the Portland area with a magnitude of 5.2. Next door in Washington, the Puget Sound area experienced even larger and more damaging intraplate earthquakes in 1949 and 1965 with magnitudes of 7.1 and 6.5, respectively.
In addition to earthquake activity in the historic record, prehistoric evidence for great subduction zone earthquakes and associated tsunamis has been found in coastal wetlands along the Pacific Northwest coast. The last one, approximately 300 years ago, may have been a magnitude 9 or greater, affecting coastlines from British Columbia to Northern California. What is most surprising is that evidence for this great earthquake also came from Japan. Japanese historic records indicate that a destructive distantly-produced tsunami struck their coast on January 26, 1700. It is very possible that the subduction zone earthquake, that produced this tsunami, occurred off the Pacific Northwest coast. Indian legends also lend some support to the timing of this last event.
A wealth of geological and seismological information on earthquakes in the Pacific Northwest is found on The Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries and the U. of Washington Seismology Lab web sites. The sites include general information on the location and types of earthquakes, earthquake magnitudes and intensities, etc. Catalogs and location maps of recent PNW earthquakes, plus earthquake-related articles and hazard publications are also found on these sites.
For those of us who live in the Pacific Northwest, we can no longer be complacent about the potential risks that earthquakes pose to life and property. Therefore, it is imperative to prepare for the earthquake, especially before it happens. The Federal Emergency Management Agency Mitigation and the U. of Washington Seismology Lab web sites offer much information on what to do before, during, and after the earthquake. By preparing for and mitigating hazards now, deaths, injuries and property damage will be greatly reduced and recovery from the earthquake will be much easier financially and socially and much faster.
If you have questions, or would like further information, please contact Althea Rizzo, Geologic Hazards Program Coordinator​.
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DROP, COVER and HOLD Earthquake Safety Measure vs Triangle of Life

There have been recent inquiries to Oregon Emergency Management regarding an article circulating on email promoting the “Triangle of Life” protective measure during earthquakes rather than using the Drop, Cover and Hold procedure recommended in Oregon and throughout the United States. While the advice in the “Triangle of Life,” article is well intentioned; its prescribed actions are gleaned only from worst-case accounts from collapsed buildings outside of the United States. Because buildings in the United States are built to stricter codes and enforcement standards than those in other countries, including Mexico, and Turkey, collapses from earthquakes in the U.S. are rare. Structural analysis and behavioral studies confirm that the use of Drop, Cover and Hold reduces the likelihood of serious injury, since most earthquake injuries are a result of falling nonstructural elements (lighting fixtures, ceiling tiles, windows) and contents (appliances, shelves, office equipment). Post-earthquake investigations in recent California earthquakes have shown that most injuries occurred when building occupants attempted to exit buildings or move to a different location in the building. Drop, Cover and Hold is the earthquake safety procedure recommended by Oregon Emergency Management, the Oregon Seismic Safety Policy Advisory Commission, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the US Geological Survey, and the American Red Cross. Recent scientific research has found that Oregon will experience future earthquakes. Ultimately, Oregon residents should evaluate the earthquake readiness of their homes and work places and take appropriate steps to reduce their risk from structural and nonstructural building components. More information can be found at this link.
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