New York Times Article Prompts Emergency Preparedness

Emergency Preparedness

Lincoln County Emergency Management has noticed an uptick of interested citizens looking for more information, requests for preparedness presentations, inquiries into our natural hazard planning efforts, etc. Jenny Demaris, Lincoln County Emergency Manager, indicates this might be due to the recently released New Yorker magazine article “The Really Big One”, Annals of Seismology July 20, 2015 Issue.

Jenny commented, “I’ve heard from local citizens and witnessed myself that this article has been referenced on national evening news, flooded on social media outlets and email list servers. With the promotion of such a descriptive and compelling article it’s no wonder residents and visitors of our beautiful Pacific Northwest are taking notice and might finally be ready to hear the message and take personal action to prepare themselves.

Emergency Managers across all governmental and private organizations have been emphasizing the Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake hazards, affects to our public infrastructure and need for personal resiliency. However, with national attention we may finally be able to begin to swing the pendulum of individuals to the “aware and prepared” side instead of living in the “wait and see” zone.”

With this increase in emergency preparedness interest Lincoln County Emergency Management would like to inform our community members of the upcoming activities they can participate in and/or take note of the progressive actions by their public safety, governmental leadership and community partners. The following community events will each have an individual media release and formal community announcement in the next several weeks.

• Lincoln County Emergency Readiness Fair, co-sponsored with Northwest Natural Gas, Saturday, September 12, 2015, 12:00 – 3:00p.m., Lincoln County Fairgrounds (free to public), official announcements will be distributed by the end of July.

• Lincoln County Emergency Readiness Fair – Keynote Speaker, Director Lane Roberts, Missouri Public Safety (prior Police Chief of Joplin, MO.), Saturday, September 12, 10:00 – 11:30am, presentation on community and citizen resiliency, before and after the Joplin Tornado and relation to our Cascadia subduction zone earthquake hazard. Oregon Hatfield Marine Science Center (free to public), official announcements will be distributed by the end of July.

• Great Oregon ShakeOut, Thursday, October 15, 2015, 10: 15am. Multistate citizen and business level Drop, Cover and Hold-on 60 Second Exercise. Everyone is encouraged to register themselves, their families, community groups, and businesses that plan to participate on this day!!

• 2015 NOAA Coastal Resiliency Grant, Lincoln County is applying for a $1.5 million resilience grant this July; Lincoln County Comprehensive Water Resiliency Framework. Supporting community partners are assisting with the $500,000 required matching funds, spread over the grant performance period, 36 months. Grant award notification could be as soon as November 2015 and if awarded would provide:
o Plan Development: Framework (assessments and plans) to address acute ‘shocks’ (e.g. earthquake) as well as long-term ‘stresses’ (e.g. climate change) to County’s water systems
o Education and Outreach: Development and implementation of resident and business water resiliency education plan and tool kit
o Emergency Supplies: Implementation of 100 emergency water supply pods at or near tsunami assembly areas and other remote locations within the county

• 2016 Cascadia Rising, June 7-10, 2016. Public safety, governmental agencies and community partners are beginning the initial planning efforts for our Lincoln County participation in this this multi-state and FEMA Region X full scale Cascadia Subduction Zone exercise.

• Emergency Planning and Assessment: Public safety, governmental leadership and community partners are reviewing the final updates of several critical emergency operation and natural hazard mitigation planning efforts through August 31st with final submission to the Board of Commissioners by the end of September. This will be the finalization of many hours of review and input from our stakeholders over the past 18th months:

o Lincoln County Emergency Operations Plan (EOP)
 Debris Management Plan, supported by the Lincoln County Solid Waste Committee
o Lincoln County Health and Human Services Annex plan to the County EOP
These plans are the foundation of our emergency response plans, documentation processes and accountability protocols during emergency situations.

o Natural Hazards Mitigation Plan (NHMP)
Lincoln County has recently completed a periodic update of its multi-jurisdictional Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan (NHMP). The NHMP is designed to permanently reduce the losses of life, damage to property, and injuries resulting from natural hazards. The plan provides a critical tool in understanding of the relationship between natural hazards, vulnerable systems, and existing capacity in the community to respond and recover from a natural disaster or hazard. Through identified action items and strategies, communities in Lincoln County become better equipped to reduce the overall risk to natural hazards. Strategies include policy changes, projects, and education and outreach to targeted audiences.

The NHMP was developed by Lincoln County in partnership with numerous public agencies, private sector organizations, and citizens within the community. Key partners include the Cities of Depoe Bay, Lincoln City, Newport, Siletz, Toledo, Waldport, and Yachats. The update process was facilitated by the Oregon Partnership for Disaster Resilience, a program of the Community Service Center at the University of Oregon.

For additional information on planning or assessment findings by the State of Oregon please review “The Oregon Resilience Plan Reducing Risk and Improving Recovery for the Next Cascadia Earthquake and Tsunami” report to the 77th Legislative Assembly from Oregon Seismic Safety Policy Advisory Commission (OSSPAC).

Link to the New Yorker magazine article “The Really Big One”, Annals of Seismology July 20, 2015 Issue;
General Preparedness Information: or