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Oregon is earthquake country. In 1993 western Oregon experienced two damaging earthquakes, Scotts Mills (magnitude 5.6) and Klamath Falls (magnitudes 5.9 and 6). Molalla High School and the State Capitol building were severely damaged.
In addition to the historic record, prehistoric evidence for great subduction zone earthquakes, such as the Cascadia Subduction Zone, and associated tsunamis have been found in coastal wetlands along the Pacific Northwest coast.
We must be aware of and take action to prevent the risks that earthquakes pose to our homes and families. We need to prepare for the earthquake before it happens. By preparing now for future earthquakes, we can protect our homes and families.
For information about the geologic hazards program at OEM, contact:
Althea Rizzo, Geological Hazards Program Coordinator
What to do when the earth shakes:
Drop Cover Hold on Graphic
DROP where you are, onto your hands and knees. This position protects you from being knocked down and also allows you to stay low and crawl to shelter if nearby.
COVER your head and neck with one arm and hand.
  • If a sturdy table or desk is nearby, crawl underneath it for shelter.
  • If no shelter is nearby, crawl next to an interior wall (away from windows).
  • Stay on your knees; bend over to protect vital organs.
HOLD ON until shaking stops.
  • Under shelter: hold on to it with one hand; be ready to move with your shelter if it shifts
  • No shelter: hold on to your head and neck with both arms and hands.
If you are near the ocean and feel a large earthquake, Drop, Cover, and Hold On until the shaking stops. Then walk inland and up to high ground. Do not wait for an official warning. A tsunami could come ashore in a few minutes.
Helpful Links and Information
Check out the Preparedness Publications
Videos you can watch and share
Get prepared to be 2 Weeks Ready!
OEM encourages people to be prepared to be on their own with enough food, water and supplies for a minimum of two weeks.
Business preparedness
Businesses have a lot to plan for in order to recover from a natural disaster. This includes getting employees back to work, how to bring computer systems back online, how repairs to buildings will be made, and how inventory will be resupplied.
Homeowners should take earthquake preparedness and mitigation efforts seriously, like having their home seismically retrofitted.
Oregon Seismic Safety Policy Advisory Commission (OSSPAC)
OSSPAC was developed to promote earthquake awareness and preparedness through education, research, and legislation. You can find out more about the mission, history, and work of OSSPAC on our OSSPAC page.

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