This week marks the Anniversary of the last Great Earthquake back in the 1700’s, and while all the annoyances of the past week in the Portland Metro area are fresh in folks’ minds, let’s review:
@wweek As of 10 am, the official accumulation at our office in Parkrose was 7.9″. Downtown had 11.8″. Before 2008, 6.6″ 1/27/1996.
— NWS Portland (@NWSPortland) January 11, 2017
The transportation network gets thrown into chaos. Cars are abandoned on roadways; due to road conditions people are unable to leave their homes.
Businesses shut down and suffer huge economic losses, as workers cannot report to work and customers are unable to shop.
Power loss is sporadic and occurs region-wide.
Trees fall, damaging roadways, vehicles, and homes.
If ever there was a great test of a community’s preparedness and resiliency, it was this storm.
Take every single thing that made the last week challenging for the 2.2 million residents of the Portland Metropolitan Area and then imagine it’s worse, and lasts for over 21 days.
While it would be insanely bad luck, there’s no reason whatsoever the “Big One” can’t hit in the dead middle of a winter snowstorm.
Forget the snow, just look at how big the impact of a week-long weather event was on only one city, and think about the entire region. What if everywhere from Redding, CA to Vancouver, BC, and all points in between were affected just as hard? What if the event lasted 3 weeks – or longer??
Whether you live in Vancouver, Seattle, Portland, or anywhere in the “earthquake zone”, this snowstorm should be a wake up call.
If you lived through the storm, did you have enough food for the entire event? Were you housebound? Could you get to work? Was work closed? Did you lose pay? Were schools closed? Childcare issues? Power go out?
Take stock of every little thing that went wrong, was a challenge, or made things difficult and ask yourself, if a storm happened tomorrow, what would you do differently?
Would you have more or different supplies? Fuel up the car? Are there things you should have ready, but didn’t? Blankets, batteries, car kit, etc…? Did your “rainy day fund” have enough in it to handle emergencies? Do you need to start saving?
This is the start of an emergency plan. This is how you can really see what it would be like to go three whole weeks with conditions worse than the snowstorm.
BREAK IT DOWN INTO EASY CHUNKS.
You don’t have to get all McGyver in one day. Everything you do to be more prepared and ready is one less thing you have to worry about for when an emergency happens. One step at a time and you’ll be prepared before you can say “duct tape and a paper clip”.