earthquake preparedness

DOGAMI Archives

No one can say when exactly the next Cascadia megaquake will strike other than there's a fair chance it'll happen in our lifetimes. A new study of likely earthquake impacts in the Greater Portland region finds the exact timing and season make a big difference when it comes to casualties and damage.


Planned student walkouts Wednesday bring attention to reducing the threat of school shootings. One group of Northwest parents is pushing schools to prepare better for another kind of disaster, a major earthquake. 

The Big One, Serialized

Mar 1, 2018
Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

Do you have two weeks of food, water and other essentials to survive after a catastrophic earthquake or other disaster? Most Pacific Northwesterners mean well but aren't prepared. In Portland, on the Washington Coast, in British Columbia and now in Bellingham, writers tackled The Big One in serial form to motivate people into action.

Robert A. Eplett / FEMA News -

Oregon and Washington officials have identified hundreds of bridges that still need to be replaced or retrofitted to withstand a magnitude 9 earthquake from the offshore Cascadia fault zone.

But the pace of highway reinforcements is picking up.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

Shallow, active earthquake faults are being discovered all over Oregon and Washington state. Collectively, these may present a higher risk than the better known offshore Cascadia subduction zone.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

More people than ever—1.2 million in Washington state and more than 570,000 in Oregon—are registered to participate in the annual Great ShakeOut earthquake and tsunami drill Thursday morning.

Not coincidentally, a Washington state agency is using this week to highlight how the Evergreen State needs to play catch up with neighboring states on earthquake preparedness.

Liz Roll / FEMA News

Last week’s earthquake in Mexico provided another reminder about the risks of poorly reinforced buildings. According to government studies, there are literally thousands of older brick and concrete buildings in Oregon and Washington that could collapse in a strong earthquake.

Washington State House Republicans / Flickr -

The threat of a nuclear attack, immigration enforcement and paying by the mile to drive are all on the agenda as Washington lawmakers hold meetings the week of September 11.

Andrea Booher / FEMA News Photo

Fewer than one in five homeowners in the West carry earthquake insurance, according to an insurance industry survey. That would set back our region's recovery if the Big One were to hit tomorrow.

Now both Oregon and Washington state are looking to California for a possible solution to get their numbers up.

Masahiko OHKUBO / Flickr -

Vulnerability assessments by utilities and emergency planners along the U.S. West Coast suggest it could be weeks or a month or more before water service gets restored after a major earthquake - not to mention electricity, sewage treatment and fuel supply too. The social and economic disruption does not have to be that bad though, given adequate preparedness and investments in critical infrastructure as demonstrated in Japan.