Are You Ready For the Big One?

I do my best to live in the moment. I try not to let fear of the “what ifs?” bring unnecessary stress into my life and affect my health.  However, I do believe it is important to be prepared.   The hospital I work for is preparing for “The Big One.”  The mega-quake on the Cascadia Subduction Zone that is predicted to hit off the Oregon coast sometime in the next 50 years.  This quake will affect most of the Northwest with Oregon getting the brunt of it.   Most scientists believe it’s not if, but when.  When this quake does happen, it will be beyond disastrous.  Ask yourself, are you ready?

Have a plan for your family.  For example, if you work on one side of the river and your kids go to school on the other side, do you have a plan for them if you are unable to cross the bridge?  Is there a friend who will take them for you until you can get home?  I work in Oregon and my son goes to school in Washington.  I have a plan in place that my neighbor will take my son until I can come home.

Do you have enough food, water, medication, fuel for at least two weeks?  A way to cook the food is important if there is no electricity or gas.  Do you have ways to stay warm if it’s in winter?  How is your first aid kit?

We have 25 pound of dried beans and rice stored in airtight containers plus a variety of canned goods.  I also make sure all my propane tanks are full and my camping stove is functioning.  We have a water filter and keep many water containers full in our deep freeze.  This works in two ways, one – we have water, two – it buys us time to use the food in the freezer before it spoils.  You can get a cheap butane single burner stove for about $30.  What I like about it is that you can safely use it inside.

It doesn’t take much to be ready.  Even without the threat of a major catastrophe , it is good to be set up.  A few years ago we had a huge ice storm in the gorge and my family was not ready for it.  We had 5 days without power and we were not able to leave our home due to the ice, downed power lines and trees.  It was awful and scary and it was a big lesson for me.  I never want to be caught with my pants down again.

I am not trying to be a fear-monger, just giving you some food for thought.  I know that I am more relaxed and less worried about a something happening knowing I have a plan.

Below are some links I recommend.

Check out this great tool from OPB.  You put in your address and it will predict the damage and it gives pointers on how to prepare.

Here is an interesting article from Discover

Just some things to think about,


“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”

Benjamin Franklin



  1. Heather June 6, 2015
  2. Dayl June 6, 2015

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