earthquake preparedness

Federal agencies and university scientists are making progress on the deployment of an earthquake early warning system for the West Coast. That was one of the messages from a half-day earthquake preparedness summit hosted by the White House Tuesday.

Making school buildings strong enough to withstand a major earthquake is one of the highest priorities for emergency planners on the West Coast. Washington state is taking small steps to identify the most vulnerable schools, while Oregon is actually spending to fix things.

The state of Oregon has updated its master plan for what to do in case of a major earthquake and tsunami.

U.S. Geological Survey

Members of Washington’s Congressional delegation were in Seattle Monday to push for expanded funding for an earthquake emergency warning system.

Senator Patty Murray and Representative Derek Kilmer toured the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network at the University of Washington.

Congressman Calls For Earthquake Warning System For NW

Jul 28, 2015
U.S. Geological Survey

Oregon's Democratic Congressman Peter DeFazio introduced a bill Tuesday to fund an earthquake early warning system for the Pacific Northwest.

Pacific Northwest businesses have noticed an uptick in earthquake preparation sales and inquiries since the New Yorker wrote about an expected 9.0 magnitude earthquake.

Engineer Calls Oregon Earthquake Investment 'A Start'

Jul 14, 2015

The Oregon Legislature made its largest-ever investment for earthquake improvements this past session, but experts say the state still has a long way to go.

Amidst further downsizing confirmed by the U.S. Army Thursday, the Washington National Guard got good news. The Guard’s 81st Armored Brigade announced it will shed its heavy tanks and armor to convert into a more nimble Stryker configuration.

By Tom Banse

More than one thousand Washington National Guard members are rehearsing a worst-case earthquake scenario this week. That would be a magnitude nine rupture of the offshore Cascadia fault zone. Adjutant General Bret Daugherty says he assumes quake relief in that case will need to be delivered by airlift from east of the Cascades.

"We're going to have large pockets of isolation because we're not going to be able to travel on the ground. So really, help is going to have to flow into Western Washington from the east. Spokane is going to play a critical role there," says Daugherty.

Andy Maguire / Flickr

Congressional Democrats from up and down the West Coast are asking the House Appropriations Committee to allocate more money for a new earthquake early warning system.

The warning system uses sensors to detect the initial, less destructive, waves of an earthquake. So it doesn't give much advance notice -- between a few seconds and a minute.

But politicians argued that's enough for a doctor to stop a complicated surgery, a train driver to put on the brakes, or a family to move away from the windows.

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