Survival and Resilience after a Cascadia Earthquake Event

Block diagram of Cascadia Subduction Zone

Block diagram of the Cascadia Subduction Zone, where two tectonic plates are locked together and building up for The Big One. Image from the USGS.

This week’s New Yorker article on The Really Big One has struck a chord with my friends on my Facebook feed. I’ve seen several posts this morning from geologists and non-geologists alike expressing fear and hopelessness in the face of a looming threat: the next great Cascadia earthquake, which may happen at any moment and will bring the coastal Pacific Northwest along with both Portland and Seattle to its knees.

Though the article’s science and history are spot-on, the author has left out a critical part of the story: just what are we supposed to do about it? Contrary to popular belief, a Cascadia earthquake does not mean that everything is simply “toast,” as FEMA’s Kenneth Murphy is quoted as saying. Each of us has the power, both as individuals and as a regional community, to prepare for survival and resilience.

Keep reading to learn more about what you can do! Continue reading