PACIFIC NORTHWEST STRATEGY FOR EARTHQUAKE EARLY WARNING (EEW) OUTREACH, EDUCATION, AND TRAINING released

Earthquake program coordinators from Oregon and Washington in coordination with CREW have finished work with hundreds of first responders and emergency management professionals in crafting a new strategy on how to effectively implement earthquake early warning systems when the strategy eventually goes public in the Pacific Northwest.
The 45-page strategy is being released today and gives a path forward for state and local governments in Oregon and Washington to contribute to the successful implementation of ShakeAlert preparedness activities. The key will be to make sure first responders have the same training and are given clearly defined roles and responsibilities. There also needs to be staff support to ensure everyone is on the same page.
The ShakeAlert system detects earthquakes and rapidly disseminates warnings to end users in potentially affected areas. ShakeAlert is currently operating as a prototype in California, Oregon and Washington. Partners, like the University of Oregon, University of Washington and the U.S. Geological Survey (UGSG), are exploring ways for the public to receive warnings in the future.
The vision calls for a fully-developed and tested ShakeAlert system that detects earthquakes and disseminates warnings to end users with public alerts that integrate with organizational systems and processes, such as utilities that automatically shut off or doors to fire stations that lift up on their own. The ultimate goal is for a broad understanding and acceptance of ShakeAlert capabilities and limitations – and the funding to make it all happen.
Washington and Oregon based the goals, objectives and activities in the strategy on input from more than 100 state, tribal, local emergency managers and more than 300 community members, including many who have had training as part of Community Emergency Response Teams. The federal government provided funding to develop the strategy.
“Oregon and Washington state, tribal, local, and business partners have spent months collaborating on this strategy,” said Maximilian Dixon, earthquake program manager for the Washington’s Emergency Management Division and CREW Vice President. “It is our roadmap to reach stakeholders and to educate the public on actions to take when they get a ShakeAlert.”
Key strategy recommendations include having dedicated staff to coordinate training sessions with public safety and emergency management officials on earthquake early warning and partnering with existing preparedness efforts, such as The Great Washington ShakeOut, which is the third Thursday in October.
The strategy also calls for the development of specific earthquake early warning preparedness education and training materials to ensure the public understands the importance of drop, cover & hold on as a protective action when an earthquake occurs.
As part of its recent budget bill, Congress allocated $22.9 million in funding last week for the continued development of the ShakeAlert system. However, none of that funding is currently designated for state- or local-level education, training and outreach on ShakeAlert or Earthquake Early Warning preparedness.

*NEW* Safer, Stronger, Smarter: A Guide to Improving School Natural Hazard Safety

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FEMA released this week the Safer, Stronger, Smarter: A Guide to Improving School Natural Hazards Safety. This is a great resource for school administrators, teachers and parents. Not only is it important to be prepared for home, but at schools too! This new guide aims to help schools increase their resilience, and in doing so, the overall community’s resilience, to a variety of natural hazards.

One of the principle authors, John Schelling, is a former board member and past President of CREW. Congratulations John and Team!

NEW School Earthquake Factsheets available!

The Cascadia Region Earthquake Workgroup (CREW) has recently released new school earthquake factsheets for school administrators, teachers, parents and the public to assist in identifying the mitigation needs of our schools and resources available for them to increase their mitigation.

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CREW School Factsheet – Schools in Washington

CREW School Factsheet – Schools in Oregon

CREW School Factsheet – Preparing Schools for Earthquakes

These worksheets are part of a series of worksheets. Check out the four business worksheets here.

Tsunami Awareness & Preparedness in Cascadia Region

CREW is committed to raising awareness of the tsunami risk in the Cascadia region while promoting mitigation and preparedness. Many lessons have been learned from the March 11, 2011 Great East Japanese (Tohoku) earthquake and tsunami – these also apply to the seismically-similar Cascadia Subduction Zone.

The following links provide additional information on ongoing awareness and preparedness activities in the Cascadia region:

Washington State

  • In a Seattle Times, CREW Vice-President John Schelling and CREW Treasurer Tim Walsh express the importance of ongoing awareness activities along with the scientific information needed to better quantify Cascadia’s risk.
  • Washington Emergency Management Division has more information on how to prepare to hazards in Washington state.
  • Project Safe Haven, completed in 2011, developed vertical evacuation options for the counties of Pacific and Grays Harbor.

Oregon

British Columbia

For more information on earthquakes, tsunamis, and how to prepare, please visit our pages on Earthquake Information, Risk Reduction, and read more in our Products and Programs.

If you have any questions, please Contact Us.

New publication on vertical-evacuation siting for Cascadia tsunami hazards

Researchers at the USGS, Sacramento State University and the Washington State Military Department recently published an article on how to compare sites for vertical-evacuation refuges to minimize loss of life from tsunamis associated with Cascadia subduction zone earthquakes. The case study of Ocean Shores, Washington, integrates refuge options derived at Project Safe Haven workshops, geospatial pedestrian evacuation modeling, and statistical methods to compare benefits and tradeoffs. The article is available online from the International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction at http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2212420914000387. For more information, contact Nathan Wood, Portland, OR, 503-251-3291, nwood@usgs.gov.

2014 Oregon American Planning Association Conference

See CREW Board Directors present the Cascadia Subduction Zone Scenario Update at the 2014 Oregon Chapter of the American Planning Association Conference. The conference theme is “The Next 40 Years: Adaptability, Diversity, Resiliency”.  CREW will be presenting on May 29rd from 2 to 3:30 PM.  Please find our scenario here:  CSZ Update.
Event Date: Wednesday, May 28, 2014 – 08:00 to Friday, May 30, 2014 – 16:00

2014 Partners in Emergency Preparedness Conference

See CREW Board Directors present the Cascadia Subduction Zone Scenario Update at the 2014 Partners in Emergency Preparedness Conference.  The conference theme is “Experiencing Private – Public Partnerships”.
CREW will be presenting on April 23rd from 9:30-11 AM.
Registration and location information.
Event Date:
Tuesday, April 22, 2014 – 08:30 to Thursday, April 24, 2014 – 16:00