Preparing for the Big One

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From powerful earthquakes to the dreaded zombie apocalypse, natural disasters have the power to derail life as you know it. You may have to survive without access to clean running water, lights, heat and other important things you rely on for your health, comfort and safety. And depending on the severity of the event, any hope of rescue could be days or weeks away, as infrastructure breakdowns or immense demand slows humanitarian efforts. 

While you wait, you will need to use your personal resources and skills to survive. If you are taking a tally of those things, and coming up naught, then you might benefit from the emergency preparedness courses at Portland Community College.

Emergency preparedness instructionsEarthquakes in the Local News

With its placement over the Cascadia megathrust fault, Oregon remains in the line of fire for the catastrophic earthquake event dubbed the ‘Big One.’ As reported by KATU, scientists claim that the PNW region experiences this massive event every 500 years and, according to their accounts, it is already long overdue. Predictions state that up to 10,000 people could die as the earthquake and resulting tsunami ravages the land. Although the initial event will cause great damage, most deaths will likely occur in the aftermath, as people struggle to survive while waiting for help to arrive.

With much of Oregon’s infrastructure built prior to the knowledge of these risks, the potential for catastrophic damage is much higher than Alaska, for example, which largely uses seismic-proof buildings across its cityscapes. The lack of structural preparedness could result in more than $80,000 in building damage along with the long-term displacement of more than 250,000 people, according to Oregon Live. With the potential of extra damage comes a much bigger need to prepare your resources and learn how to survive natural disasters.

Why Prepare?

Although 82% of people know they need emergency preparedness training to increase their chances at surviving natural disasters, most still do not make any preparations. In areas without the appropriate structuring to help buildings withstand the shaking, this decision could be especially devastating. Buildings that are not up to code can rapidly turn into rubble, trapping people inside and blocking emergency crews from moving their way through the city. Without proper preparation, many households do not have the capacity to survive the days or weeks it can take for rescue to arrive.

How to Prepare for the Next Quake

You can prepare for the next earthquake, or any other natural disaster, with the emergency preparedness courses at PCC. These training courses can help prepare you, physically and psychologically, to tend to your immediate survival needs as soon as the natural disaster begins. You will learn to:

  • Prepare a survival kit and road bag
  • Identify and safely store food
  • Defend yourself from threats
  • Practice basic survival skills
  • Plan and follow your evacuation route

The earthquake-centric course will also help you better understand what to expect at all stages of the earthquake and its aftermath. From the initial earthquake and aftershocks to the survival stage and rescue, you will learn how to stay safe as well as the techniques you will need to survive. The survival skills you learn from both courses can also apply to many different natural disasters and other events that demand you to use your resources and skills to make it out unscathed.  

Get Started in Improving Your Emergency Preparedness

Whether you want to improve your ability to survive earthquakes or the zombie apocalypse, learning about emergency preparedness can give you the knowledge and skills you need. Building your survival kit with the right items and knowing how to proceed through every phase of the disaster will serve you well when the ‘Big One’ arrives. You still have time to learn what you need to know by signing up for the emergency preparedness courses at PCC. So, sign up today and increase your chances of survival in the next natural disaster.

About Justin Eslinger

Justin is the Graphic Designer for PCC Continuing Education. His responsibilities include designing departmental promotions, student support and customer relations. Justin has an Associates of Applied Science in Graphic Design from Portland... more »

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