Extension educates Oregonians to prepare for massive earthquake, tsunami

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Scientists predict there is about a 37% chance that an earthquake of at least 8.0 magnitude will strike off the Pacific Northwest coast in the next 50 years. When it occurs, the historic temblor and resulting tsunami will cause widespread devastation in Oregon.

In an effort to educate Oregonians to prepare for the Cascadia Earthquake, resulting tsunami and other geohazards, the Oregon State University Extension Service created a free online course that consists of four modules. All materials are in English and Spanish.

  • Module 1 shows the evidence of this disaster, also known as the also as the Cascadia Subduction Zone and Tsunami Event (CSZ).
  • Module 2 focuses on the experience of the shaking of five to seven minutes and the immediate steps you should take.
  • Module 3 explores the altered life after the CSZ and provides tools to be prepared.
  • Module 4 contains additional education for Extension professionals, neighborhood leaders, and emergency agency or organization employees or volunteers who can assist before and after the disaster.

Each module contains multiple narrated sessions and many additional resources allowing the participant to delve as deep into the focus of that module as they would like. Module 2 also includes a virtual reality simulation of the earthquake.

As of January 2022, 635 people had registered for the course in English and four had registered for the course in Spanish. Fifty-five had completed the first three modules. According to participant surveys,100% of respondents would recommend the course to others.

As a result of participating in the course:

  • 95% of respondents said they now know more about what to do before, during and after the Cascadia Subduction Zone Earthquake and Tsunami Event (CSZ).
  • 70% said they learned about steps they can take to become more prepared or motivated to increase their preparedness for the event.
  • 70% said they will make written copies of the family communications plan for each family member.

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