Thursday, April 9, 2009


April 8, 2009
Discuss quake response with family
People will be less likely to panic if they are prepared

Previously, I asked you to think about a simple disaster scenario. It was this: Mom and dad are at work, and the kids are at school. There is a big earthquake. There is no phone service or power. Roads are closed because of power lines. What do you do?

Hopefully, you took the time to think this through and discuss it with your families. A large earthquake is possible off the coast of Oregon and could happen in the next 50 years.

So did you decide which of you would try to pick up the children? Remember that you will not be able to call each other or them. Did you decide on a location where you could all meet? Do the children have an alternate location if they can't get home?

Would your children have food and water and be safe until you were able to get home? If you think through these decisions ahead of time, you and your children are less likely to panic and do the wrong thing.

The next scenario is: You and your family are at the beach. Your children are playing at the edge of the water. You are lying in the sun. Blankets, towels and shoes are all around you. The earth begins to roll and shift and continues for about 10 minutes. Your children are scared, and the water has receded drastically.

Some people are running out to the water to gather shells in the low tide; others are taking pictures. Some are slowly folding up their blankets and towels. What should you do?
See real-life video of a tsunami at

Jennifer Bailey, formerly of FEMA, is the public-affairs coordinator of Oregon Emergency Management. She may be reached at (503) 378-2911, Ext. 22294. Additional Facts
Learn more: Send questions about emergency preparedness to be answered in this column to Other information may be found at or