Prepare for a Disaster
It may happen on a sunny day … or in the middle of the night during a winter rainstorm. The “big one” – an earthquake of unimaginable power. The ground will shake so hard we can’t stand, for what seems an eternity, really 3 to 5 minutes. This quake may destroy bridges, roads, power poles & lines, water and sewer lines – leaving an unimaginable mess. The sea will pull out, and a few minutes later the tsunami - a wall of water and debris 30′ to 80′ in height – will roll inland for a long ways. It may bring ships and barges, toss boats and logs like toothpicks, move cars and trucks like toys, and devastate buildings. Both in-bound and out-bound waves, one after another, will do their damage for hours. Then with the calm, will come the realization of the enormity of the disaster.
Can you survive?
The combination of quake and tsunami may leave us without shelter, isolated and self-reliant for a week or several weeks until significant outside help can arrive. However, the powerful local quake and tsunami are very survivable if only we prepare ahead, then act calmly and quickly when they strike. As soon as we can stand, we grab our emergency & go kit. Walk the route - we practiced several times – quickly uphill. Forget the car, as the roads will be impassible, or quickly clogged with broken structures, trees and debris, including abandoned cars. The key to survival is being prepared.
We have collected information from a variety of sources to help you prepare and plan for safety and survival should we encounter a disaster. Familiarize yourselves with this section of the web site and make use of its planning information.Tillamook Tsunami Sirens Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Gordon McCraw
Q. Why did the County decide to quite using the sirens?
A. It wasn’t just the county. Over a year ago, some of the Cities decided they no longer wanted the responsibility and financial burden of maintaining the sirens. As a result, several community meetings were held to discuss options. From these meetings, several Committees were formed to look at everything from siren placement, to financing options.
Q. Then why did it take so long before you decided to no longer support the sirens?
A. The decision was delayed for a period as we awaited the release of the new Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries Tsunami Inundation Maps to see what the latest science would show us.
Q. So, now that you decided to not support the sirens, if we have the big one, in the middle of the night, how will we know about it?
A. A Cascadia Subduction Zone Quake that would give us “the Big One” will be 3-5 minutes of severe ground-shaking resulting from a 9.0 earthquake that also throws and breaks things around your house and makes it hard to stand. If you experience severe ground shaking, you have approximately 15-20 minutes to get to the safe side of the Inundation Line. Do not delay leaving if you live in the Inundation Zone, your life may depend on it!
Q. If the siren wasn’t to warn us of the “Big One”, then what were they for?
A. There are two types of Tsunami’s, a local and a distant Tsunami. We already mentioned the severe ground shaking is your warning for the local event, and that you should immediately get out of the inundation area. If the quake is big enough to generate a tsunami, it will be big enough that we feel it locally. The Sirens could warn us of a distant event. The Worst-Case event is a Tsunami generated from a M9.0+ earthquake in the area of the Alaskan Aleutian Islands. This would give us a tsunami equal to the one generated during the Good Friday Earthquake in March 1964. Even then the tsunami for us in Tillamook County would be measured in centimeters.
Q. So, with a distant tsunami, how long do we have to get out of the inundation zone?
A. We would have approximately 4 hours to respond to the above worst case event. During the Japan March 2011 event, we had around 9 hours.