The Colestin Rural Fire District is no longer operational. As a courtesy to our local community, this website will continue to be maintained on a limited basis and for a limited period of time; however, we are no longer liable for responding to fire calls, medical calls, or any other emergencies. We have not yet been annexed into Jackson County Fire District 5, although we will have their support during fire season, so at this time, District 5 is not primarily responsible for responses within our district. Instead, all calls should be directed to 9-1-1. The appropriate resources will be dispatched accordingly, and as they are available.

Emergency Preparedness

Last September (9/28/20), Lisa Buttrey, CRFD's Emergency Preparedness Committee Coordinator, sent a letter ("Updater") out to our residents summarizing CRFD's community emergency preparedness procedures.

This includes our Public Information Officer dedicated phone, social media information channels, neighborhood blocks and leaders, and our emergency preparedness phone tree and text alert systems.

We urge you to read (or to re-read) this letter - it is full of critical information that will help you to become better prepared and to know how to access local, real-time information in the event of a fire or other significant emergency. You can access the most recent Updater here (pdf).


CRFD Emergency Managers tested our Emergency Alert Phone Text tree on Sun. 9/13, starting at 12:00 noon. Block leaders only were contacted in a separate check on Sat. 9/12.

The phone text tree is part of our local Emergency Alert system, in addition to phone contact, and our online posting venues (see the left sidebar). We conduct periodic testing to ensure that our contact information to reach residents during an actual emergency is accurate and current. Thank you to all who participated in the Sun. 9/13 test, which went well by all reports.

If you are a resident who has signed up for local emergency text alerts but you did not receive a text from us during the recent test, please report this to Lisa Buttrey, our Emergency Preparedness Committee Coordinator, at 541-821-5479 so we can update your contact information.

This page is an on-going work-in-progress as we develop our community plan and resources.

Our EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS PLAN PROJECT is in recognition of the increasing need to be able to effectively respond to significant emergency events here in our valley, and to provide help and leadership through the District to our residents.

Building upon our Community Wildfire Protection Plan and its phone tree communications system, begun in 2004, this project is intended to encompass not only fire-related emergencies, but any kind of significant or large-scale emergency event that affects our community and/or its members.

The involvement of community members at the very local level is paramount to the success of this project, and ultimately, to the quality of emergency response that we are able to provide to our community and to one another in the event of an emergency incident.

Since our initial community-wide efforts, over the past year, in addition to encouraging individual emergency preparedness, we have seen or learned of more neighbors talking to neighbors, particularly regarding resources that could be available or shared during an emergency, an awareness of who is here in the valley at various times, and what might be needed for animal care, sheltering or evacuation if needed.


BACKGROUND:  The Colestin/Hilt Emergency Preparedness Plan Leadership Group held its first meeting on Sat., January 18th, 2014, from 2 to 3:30 pm at the Hilt Church. Besides three members of the Emergency Plan ad hoc organizing committee (Lisa Buttrey, Peggy Moore and Nancy Bringhurst), we had a good turn-out of 14 neighborhood leaders and co-leaders.

Lisa Buttrey led the meeting and reviewed materials that she provided, customized for our community and prepared for our neighborhood leaders to use with their groups, and attendees discussed various emergency preparedness and response topics as they relate to the community as a whole.

A packet of Emergency Preparedness printed materials from the Oregon Office of Emergency Management and the Jackson County OEM that were provided to us by the Jackson County OEM was also given to each person attending; packets were also mailed out afterward to all community members not at the meeting.

In the months following the first January 2014, meeting, neighborhood leaders contacted the residents within their groups and held localized meetings, discussing Emergency Plan details, confirming basic emergency contact numbers and alternate communications methods, finding out what resources residents may be able to provide in an emergency, and learning what particular and special needs various individuals may have in an emergency event.

The information voluntarily provided by each resident on the prepared questionaires is confidentially retained by neighborhood leaders and will be updated for accuracy as much as possible; confidential copies are also held by the Emergency Plan organizing committee and can be accessed by the District upon request on a "need to know" basis for the sole purpose of responding to an emergency event.


We encourage the continued development of individual emergency preparedness and neighborhood and community-wide preparedness. The resource links below are intended to help this process, as a stepping-off point; it is the actual steps taken, however, in any and all of the ways possible, that will make a real difference if and when an emergency event occurs.

The better informed and the more prepared we are, the more likely it is that the effects of an event can be kept minimal, with the least harm to our lives and to our community. Each step forward, however large or small, is a part of the positive, pro-active state of preparedness we need to achieve if we are to effectively respond, both as a Fire District, and as a small, outlying community, to a significant emergency event.

Thank you for participating in our Emergency Preparedness Plan Project, for doing whatever you can to become better prepared and to help our community become better prepared, and for being a part of helping us all achieve a better outcome to a significant emergency event.

For Resource links, see below.

Earthquake Info in the news - 2018:

Sunday Focus: EARTHQUAKE PREPAREDNESS: "When the SHAKING starts... Will you be ready? Here are some tips for getting your home in shake-shape," by Damian Mann for the Mail Tribune, Sunday, June 24, 2018, p. A1 top story & A2. Online as "Can your house survive the big shake?"

Cascadia Subduction Zone: The Big One: "Study: Quake less likely off Oregon Coast," by Christian Hill for The Register-Guard, published in the Mail Tribune on Tues. Aug. 7, 2018, p. A2 (West). The complete version of this report is available online as "Study: Eugene Might Be at Lower Risk From a Big Quake," at, Aug. 6, 2018.

Earthquake Preparedness: "If it breaks, it'll be Bend," by the Associated Press, published in the Mail Tribune on Fri. Dec. 28, 2018, p. A1. An excerpt: "Because Oregon lacks major military bases, the Redmond Airport would also likely be a central staging ground if airfields at Portland, Salem, Eugene, Medford and other points west of the Cascades are rendered unusable." Online at MT as "Bend 'worst-case scenario' command center in big earthquake," Dec. 27, 2018.


"Subduction zone earthquakes off Oregon, Washington more frequent than previous estimates"

Posted on EurekAlert! The Global Source for Science News by Oregon State University.

Public Release: 5-Aug-2016. The following is an article excerpt:

"CORVALLIS, Ore. - A new analysis suggests that massive earthquakes on northern sections of the Cascadia Subduction Zone, affecting areas of the Pacific Northwest that are more heavily populated, are somewhat more frequent than has been believed in the past.

"The chance of one occurring within the next 50 years is also slightly higher than previously estimated.

"The findings, published this week in the journal Marine Geology, are based on data that is far more detailed and comprehensive than anything prior to this . . . "

Read the complete article, "Subduction zone earthquakes off Oregon, Washington more frequent than previous estimates," online at:

Prepare Out Loud - Presented by The Red Cross - Cascades Region

Thurs., October 6th - 5:30-7:00 pm in Medford:

From the promotional flyer:

"Learn the facts. Take action. Talk about it."

"Together we can rise to the challenge of a Cascadia Earthquake."

Register at:

"The American Red Cross Prepare Out Loud presentation will empower you to be ready for disasters of all kinds (including a Cascadia earthquake) by taking practical steps to start preparing, being vocal about your preparedness and encouraging others to start preparing."

Learn more about:

• The science and history of the Cascadia Subduction Zone

• Human behavior during disasters

• What to expect during and after a Cascadia earthquake

• How to prepare to quickly locate your loved ones following a disaster

• How much food, water, and supplies you will need to take care of yourself and others


WHEN:  THURSDAY, OCTOBER 6, 2016 - 5:30 – 7:00 pm

WHERE:  Asante’s Smullin Health Education Center
   2825 E BARNETT RD., MEDFORD, OR 97504

View the event flyer:  Prepare Out Loud Medford 6 Oct. 2016 FLYER  (pdf)

Register at:


The State of Oregon Proclamation from the Office of the Governor designates National Preparedness Month as an annual opportunity for Oregonians to learn about how to prepare for emergencies.
(OEM Photo by Cory E. Grogan)


News Release from [the] Oregon Office of Emergency Management

Posted on FlashAlert: September 1st, 2016 10:55 AM

September is National Preparedness Month and a good time to think about things you can do to make sure you and your family are prepared for emergencies. Oregon Governor Kate Brown has issued a state proclamation in support of National Preparedness Month, highlighting the efforts of Oregon's Office of Emergency Management (OEM) to work with communities across the state to train, educate, prepare and equip Oregonians for emergencies.

National Preparedness Month

September is recognized as National Preparedness Month (NPM) which serves as a reminder that we all must take action to prepare, now and throughout the year, for the types of emergencies that could affect us where we live, work, and also where we visit.

Due to the success of last year’s theme, “Don’t Wait, Communicate. Make Your Emergency Plan Today,” will be returning for this September with a continuing emphasis on preparedness for youth, older adults, and people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs.

Thank you for taking time to help make America more prepared for emergencies.

• Week 1 - Aug. 28 - Sept. 3:
Kickoff to National Preparedness Month. Find resources at:

• Week 2 - September 4 - 10:
Preparing Family & Friends: Make a family emergency communication plan.

• Week 3 - September 11 - 17: Preparing Through Service: Honor 9/11 by Getting involved in your community & planning with neighbors.

• Week 4 - September 18 - 24: Individual Preparedness: Take individual steps to prepare for a disaster today like downloading the FEMA app.

• Week 5 - September 25 - 30: Lead up to National PrepareAthon Day: Be counted and register your preparedness event for National PrepareAthon Day!

"Oregonians are known for our grit and resilience," Governor Kate Brown said. "National Preparedness Month is a great reminder that we each must do our part to be personally prepared and develop family plans so we are ready for and able to quickly recover from major disasters, emergencies, and ultimately, the 'Big One.'"

This year OEM is participating in FEMA's Ready.Gov campaign to inform and empower people to prepare for and respond to emergencies. The campaign theme "Don't Wait. Communicate." provides a call to action for families, neighborhoods and individuals to make an emergency plan and communicate the plan before, during and after emergencies. OEM is encouraging Oregonians to set a goal of being prepared for at least two-weeks.

"What we do today to prepare will saves lives and property tomorrow, or whenever a disaster strikes," said OEM Director Andrew Phelps. "As we build a culture of preparedness in Oregon we are empowering Oregonians to be disaster survivors not victims. We want Oregonians to be prepared not scared."

* Be informed about disaster risks. In Oregon winter storms, floods, heat waves and earthquakes threaten residents. Monitor all types of media -- newspapers, websites, radio, TV, mobile and land phones, and amateur radio are all good sources of information about disasters. Check out for the latest preparedness information.

* Build an Emergency Kit. A disaster can happen anywhere you live and work. Once it happens it may take days for responders to reach you and you may have to go without food, water, or electricity. Build an emergency kit with two weeks supply of food, water and other necessary supplies. The American Red Cross has a recommended list of emergency kit items:

Gov. Kate Brown, Dan Little and OOEM Director Andrew Phelps bukld a 2-week emergency supply kit at Mahonia Hall in Salem April 12, 2016 Governor Kate Brown and First Gentleman Dan Little begin the process of putting an emergency kit together with Oregon Office of Emergency Management Director Andrew Phelps at Mahonia Hall in Salem, April 12, to show how to build a kit with at least two-weeks emergency supplies. Phelps said purchasing a few items each pay check - and using other items you already have - is a good way to build a kit affordably over time.
(OEM Photo by Cory E. Grogan)

* Make an Emergency Plan. Talk with your family and friends about what you will do and if you're not together during an emergency. Discuss how you'll contact each other, where you'll meet, and what you'll do in different situations. Read how to develop a family disaster plan at html/make-a-plan.asp.

OEM has an array of preparedness materials to help plan for disasters available through local county emergency management offices. One of those publications is the OEM Emergency "Go-Kit Passport," a mini-booklet that provides a way to track family information, a home evacuation plan, medical contacts and prescription needs, as well as insurance carriers and critical information for family pets. In addition, the booklet contains a list of basic emergency kit items and links to other disaster preparedness resources.

Families and individuals can receive a Certificate of Preparedness signed by Governor Kate Brown for completing a "Go Kit Passport" for their emergency kit. Contact for more information.

September 11 - National Day of Service

While September 11 is a time for remembrance and reflection, it is also a National Day of Service. The September 11 National Day of Service and Remembrance is the culmination of efforts originally launched in 2002 by the nonprofit organization 9/11 Day with support from the entire September 11th community and well-known national service organizations.

In 2011, President Obama asked Americans to remember the lives of those lost, pay tribute to those who rose up in service, and honor those who serve our country today by engaging in service on the September 11th weekend. According to, these deeds can be as simple as volunteering at a food drive, sprucing up schools and neighborhoods, or supporting and honoring veterans, soldiers, and military families.

Find volunteer opportunities in your area and make plans today! If you are interested in organizing a community service project, has communication toolkits and other resources to help you get started. But it doesn’t have to end there! Volunteering with your local Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) is another great way to give back while preparing your community for emergencies. Be sure to share your community service experiences on social media using #911Day.

For more information about NATIONAL PREPAREDNESS MONTH:

FEMA's Ready Campaign:

United We Serve: National & Community Service - 9/11 National Day of Service and Remembrance:

The NFPA'S September is National Preparedness Month blog at:

Earthquake Preparedness Training Opportunity - July 14th, 2016:

Sponsored by the Oregon Office of Emergency Management and hosted by the Josephine County Office of Emergency Management, this is a day-long local FEMA training event. According to the event flyer:

"This training will first provide an overview of mitigation strategies for nonstructural components along with hands-on demonstrations (FEMA P-909) and conclude with a more in-depth look at nonstructural earthquake risks and strategies for reducing these risks. (FEMA E-74).

"The target audience for the FEMA P-909 training includes home/property owners, building owners, small business owners, emergency managers, and the general public. The target audience for the FEMA E-74 training includes property owners, facility managers, local officials, engineers, architects, small businesses, and emergency managers. // The listed target audience is not meant to limit participation, but is provided for guidance purposes only."

Josephine County Emergency Services Manager Jenny Hall also provides the following information:

"[Linked here] please find [the] training announcement for FEMA P-909, Home and Business Earthquake Safety and Mitigation, and FEMA E-74, Reducing the Risks of Nonstructural Earthquake Damage.

"The training will be held [Thurs.] July 14th from 8-5 at Josephine County Search & Rescue," at 250 Tech Way, Grants Pass OR 97526.

"Registration is being handled by Oregon Emergency Management and instructions for how to register are in the flyer.

"The course is FREE. Please forward this on to anyone you think may be interested."


To learn more
about the recent (June 7-10) Cascadia Rising exercise, the Cascadia Subduction Zone, the earthquake hazard in the Pacific Northwest, and for earthquake preparedness information, visit the Oregon Office of Emergency Management online and check out our Emergency Preparedness page.

June 7-10, 2016: Cascadia Rising

Cascadia Subduction Zone Pacific Northwest Catastrophic Earthquake and Tsunami Functional Exercise:

"Much attention has been given lately to the possibility of an 8.0-9.0 magnitude Cascadia Subduction Zone (CSZ) earthquake occurring in the Pacific Northwest, along the CSZ fault line, which stretches from southern British Columbia to northern California. History has shown, and scientists confirm, this quake occurs, on average, once every 200 to 500 years. The last major CSZ earthquake and tsunami occurred in 1700.

"June 7-10, the Cascadia Rising 2016 (CR-16) region-wide functional exercise will help prepare the Pacific Northwest to coordinate a response to a CSZ earthquake and tsunami. Participants in this exercise include agencies at state, local and federal levels in Oregon, Washington and Idaho." [Quoted information is from the OOEM website.]

We encourage everyone to participate locally by taking actions to prepare for a large-scale seismic event, including signing up for Citizen Alert, preparing an emergency evacuation go-kit, and preparing shelter-in-place resources starting with a 3-week emergency supply of water and food, and a first aid kit. This is also a good time to review and update your emergency plans and contact info with your neighbors.

To learn more about the Cascadia Rising exercise, the Cascadia Subduction Zone, the earthquake hazard in the Pacific Northwest, and for earthquake preparedness information, visit the Oregon Office of Emergency Management online and check out our Earthquake Preparedness section (below).

"Unprepared: An Oregon Field Guide Special" has been re-airing on SOPTV (KSYS) periodically, in case you missed the original full hour-long version last October. It was most recently re-aired on Sun., March 27th, at 1:00 - 2:00 am and at 6:00 - 7:00 pm. Watch local program listings for future repeats.

"The Pacific Northwest is due for an earthquake as large as any the planet has seen. What are the risks? How can we prepare? Over a year in the making, this special presentation takes an in-depth look at Oregon’s lack of preparedness and looks to Japan for specific lessons learned from the 9.0 Tohoku earthquake that struck there in 2011."  [As stated in the SOPTV March 2016 program guide (p26); bold font is ours.]

We encourage those who haven't yet seen this program to give it your attention. The information presented includes mega-quake damage research and suggestions for possible ways to prepare for and mitigate some of the anticipated worst effects of such a major, devastating event. More info below.

"CASCADIA: It's MY Fault" EARTHQUAKE FILM SERIES:  "Are you ready for the Big One?"

"Watch a series of films relating to earthquakes and emergency preparedness developed by the University of Oregon geology department, on select Saturday afternoons in November and December, 2015, from 12 noon – 2 p.m., in the Guanajuato Community Meeting Room of the Ashland Branch Library, 410 Siskiyou Boulevard. Community discussions will follow each film showing.

"The Nov. 28 film is about Pacific Northwest earthquake hazards and preparedness. Details.

"The Dec. 5 film is about how a major earthquake could affect Oregon. Details.

"The Dec. 12 film is about what you can do to protect yourself and your family. Details.

"Call 541-774-6980 or see"

SHAKEOUT OREGON 2015 took place at 10:15 am, Thurs. October 15th:

The Oregon Office of Emergency Management states that "ShakeOut participants included businesses, schools, local, state, and federal government organizations, and many others. The worldwide drill is conducted to practice earthquake safety and promote emergency preparedness."

According to a 10/15/15 news release from the OOEM, "Approximately 540,000 Oregonians participated in this year's Great Oregon ShakeOut." Read on to learn more:

From Sara Rubrecht, Manager of Jackson County's Office of Emergency Management - Mon. Oct. 12th, 2015:

Jackson County is registered to join the over 510,000 Oregonians and over 40 million people worldwide participating in the annual “Great Oregon ShakeOut Earthquake Drill.”

Thursday, October 15th at 10:15 a.m., millions of people worldwide will practice how to Drop, Cover and Hold On in preparation for an earthquake.

Participating in the drill is a great way for you, your family, friends and coworkers to be prepared to survive a large earthquake. Everyone, everywhere, should know how to protect themselves in an earthquake. Even though earthquakes are rare in Jackson County, they may happen where you or your family travel, or perhaps where you or your children may live one day.

You can help by telling people you know that you are participating (via social media, e-mail, and in person) and invite them to join you. A one minute “Drop, Cover, and Hold On” earthquake drill may one day minimize injuries or save their life. You and/or your agency can register to participate with us here

At 10:15 a.m., we encourage you to practice drop, cover and hold on for 60 seconds as if we were having a real earthquake. (Visit the following website for more information:

Many of you may already have plans for earthquake safety and response in your agency. In addition to the “Drop, Cover and Hold On” drill, you may wish to have a brief discussion about your plans with staff members.

The Earthquake Country Alliance has put together 7 steps to earthquake safety. The 7 steps are simple things you can do to make yourself safer before, during, and after an earthquake. The information in the steps will help you learn how to better prepare to survive and recover, wherever you live, work, or travel.

Step 1: Secure your space by identifying hazards and securing moveable items.

Step 2: Plan to be safe by creating a disaster plan and deciding how you will communicate in an emergency.

Step 3: Organize disaster supplies in convenient locations.

Step 4: Minimize financial hardship by organizing important documents, strengthening your property, and considering insurance.

Step 5: Drop, Cover, and Hold On when the earth shakes.

Step 6: Improve safety after earthquakes by evacuating if necessary, helping the injured, and preventing further injuries or damage.

Step 7: Restore daily life by reconnecting with others, repairing damage, and rebuilding community.

For more information about ShakeOut, please visit:

Additional Earthquake and preparedness information, visit:

Oregon Emergency Management -

Jackson County Emergency Management -

News Release from Oregon Office of Emergency Management - September 23rd, 2015:


"Millions of people worldwide will practice how to Drop, Cover, and Hold On at 10:15 a.m. on October 15* during Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills!

"Oregonians can join them today by registering for the 2015 Great Oregon ShakeOut. Participating is a great way for your family or organization to be prepared to survive and recover quickly from big earthquakes– wherever you live, work, or travel. ShakeOut is also a major activity of America's PrepareAthon!

"* If you cannot hold your ShakeOut drill on 10/15 you can select another day when you register."

On October 15 at 10:15 a.m., Oregonians are encouraged to participate in the world's largest Drop, Cover, and Hold On! earthquake drill called the Great ShakeOut.  Learn more.

Approximately 385,000 Oregonians have already registered for this year's drill. Due to the fact that Oregon is seismically active with both inland earthquakes and the Cascadia Subduction Zone off the Oregon Coast, the Oregon Office of Emer gency Management (OEM) is encouraging participation in the Great Oregon ShakeOut.

"Participating in the drill is something you can do to protect yourself and your family," said Oregon Office of Emergency Management Geologic Hazard Coordinator Althea Rizzo. "Oregonians should strive to be self-sufficient for at least two weeks after a major earthquake."

OEM is also asking for support promoting the Great Oregon ShakeOut by using #ORShakeOut. There was a twitter chat on Sept. 30 from 11:00 a.m. to 12 p.m. hosted by OEM to discuss earthquake preparedness, and to highlight the 2015 ShakeOut.

You can register and get more information about the Great Oregon ShakeOut at

Recently, there has been increased interest about earthquakes in Oregon. The release of an article in the New Yorker called "The Really Big One", Governor Kate Brown's proclamation of September being National Preparedness Month, the release of the updated "Cascadia Playbook", and other important projects that are highlighting and mitigating earthquake risk Oregon are examples.

If you are interested in learning more about earthquakes in Oregon and the state's earthquake preparedness initiatives, here are some suggested resources:

* "With time ticking, quake warning system begins to take shape" - By Terrence Petty, The Associated Press, carried in the Siskiyou Daily News (Yreka, CA) - Posted Sep. 11, 2015 at 12:10 AM, Updated Sep 11, 2015 at 3:39 AM:

"PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) " University of Washington researchers are testing an earthquake alert system as the Pacific Northwest prepares for the day when a 600-mile-long fault line looming off the coast unleashes a catastrophic earthquake and tsunami."

* "The Really Big One" - The New Yorker really-big-one

* Quake Week on KOIN 6 | -

* The Cascadia Playbook Overview -

* National Preparedness Month Proclamation by Governor Kate Brown -


* UNPREPARED: An Oregon Field Guide Special -

"Unprepared: An Oregon Field Guide Special" aired locally on SOPTV (KSYS CH 8) on Thurs., October 8 at 8:00 pm (to 9:00 pm); it re-aired on Sun., October 11 at 1:00 am and again at 6:00 pm.  

"The Pacific Northwest is due for an earthquake as large as any the planet has seen. What are the risks? How can we prepare? This special presentation takes an in-depth look at Oregon’s lack of preparedness and looks to Japan for specific lessons learned from the 9.0 Tohoku earthquake that struck there in 2011."  

See SOPTV's documentary trailer for more on this program; also see the references to recent Pacific Northwest earthquake articles (below).


More recent articles of interest:

"Quake, tsunami experts advise nervous Northwesterners on preparing for The Really Big One," a recent assessment of the mega-quake risk for our region with some preparation tips, published in The Oregonian on Sat. 7/18/15 and available online at (

From the Council: Medford has much to do to prepare for The Really Big One, the Mail Tribune, posted online Sat. 15 August 2015 [print version "Much to do to prepare for The Really Big One"], the Mail Tribune, Sun. 16 Aug. 2015, pg. B6]:

"Kathryn Schulz of The New Yorker Magazine has started a national conversation on the perils of a potential Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake in the Pacific Northwest. Schulz’s 6,000-word article titled “The Really Big One” contains some sobering predictions. [. . .] Once the gravity of these predictions settles in, one is left with the obvious question: What can individuals and local governments do to prepare for a Cascadia earthquake? // Individuals should consider the following to prepare for an earthquake: ..."

For further information on Pacific Northwest earthquakes and what you can do to prepare, see below.


Throughout this month, each week highlights a different hazard-focused theme leading up to National PrepareAthon! Day on September 30th.  

From FEMA's Individual and Community Preparedness E-Brief, Sept. 29th, 2015:

National PrepareAthon! Day is Here

Are you prepared? National PrepareAthon! Day is finally here and now is your time to take action! The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is encouraging individuals, families, workplaces, schools, and organizations across the nation to take part in National PrepareAthon! Day on September 30, 2015. Extreme weather is occurring more often across the United States, which is increasing the costs of natural disasters. According to a recent survey conducted by FEMA, fewer than half of Americans have discussed and developed an emergency plan with their household.

As part of National Preparedness Month and National PrepareAthon! Day, FEMA is encouraging everyone to take these simples steps to prepare for disasters:

• Create a family emergency communication plan;
Sign up for local text alerts and warnings and download weather apps;
Gather important documents and keep them in a safe place; and
• Create an emergency supply kit.

To learn more about National PrepareAthon! Day and how you can participate, please read the full press release.

The Oregon Office of Emergency Management's EARTHQUAKE PREPARATION "road show" was in southern Oregon the week of Sept. 14th - 20th, 2015, holding a series of free presentations by geologist and OEM Geologic Hazards Coordinator Dr. Althea Rizzo, including:

  • two on Wed. Sept. 16th in Medford;
  • one on Thurs. Sept. 17th in Phoenix;
  • one on Sun. Sept. 20th near Ashland.

For details, see Channel 12-KDRV's online news post (by Julia Moore, 9/14/15):

Information is also on the Rogue Valley Emergency Management website ( which has a Facebook section (Jackson County is on the left) with links to event posts.

Community Emergency Preparedness Event - After-Notes

A big thank you to all who attended our Community Emergency Preparedness Presentation earlier this year (on Sat. May 2nd, 2015, 10 am - 12 pm at the Hilt Community Church).

We also extend a huge thanks to Sara Rubrecht, Senior Manager of the Jackson County Office of Emergency Management, and her husband, also an OEM member, for coming out to our community and presenting this timely event.

Sara did a great job covering the universe of emergency management in less than 2 hours, ending with a brief Q & A opportunity.

We learned about the OEM's role in dealing with emergencies, its purpose ("to lessen the effects of disasters on life, property, and infrastructure through emergency plans, then getting funding and equipment for these, and training and exercises for these"), and the 4 phases of emergency management (Preparation, Response, Recovery, and Mitigation), and how the OEM addresses each of these phases in detail. (OEM funding comes from the Dept. of Homeland Security's Title 3 grant and two others.)

"Emergency management," we were told, more often than not means "preparing for things that never happen." And much of that preparation, whether related to funding, equipment, organization, or emergency management training and exercises, must occur well in advance, in spite of how simple things may seem later, when everything is in place and put to the test by an actual event or is at least ready for one. (For example, FEMA Region 10's Exercise in preparation for a major Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake is already scheduled for June 7-10, 2016.)

In short, preparedness is a complex process that requires a lot of formal planning and implementation at many levels, from strategy, to tactical, to operational, in order for help to be available and to function effectively when the time comes. "Emergency management" is all about "bringing back order from the chaos as soon as possible."

Jackson County updates its hazard assessment "every 5 years"; "the highest hazard in Jackson County is wildfire." Other significant hazards include chemical spills on I-5, train derailment with haz-mat spills, earthquake (Sara remarked that this is her "#1 highest hazard"), severe weather, and biological or disease outbreaks.

Preparation has many aspects, beginning with getting together as neighbors to learn what resources or skills we may be able to contribute or share during an emergency, and what vulnerable populations there are within our community or neighborhood, and what they may need. Forming (or strengthening) CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) groups [such as our more recently formed neighborhood emergency preparedness groups], and learning from existing CERTs is one approach; related to this is having a current phone tree (in case phone services are working in an emergency) that we test periodically for effectiveness and practice. Firewise Communities, which emphasizes working on fuels reduction, is also a useful resource.

Sara noted that, in an emergency, "going elsewhere isn't always best," and that we should also be prepared to shelter-in-place. To this end, another aspect of preparedness is sustainability; basic emergency supplies needed "used to be 72-hour kits" but this has been expanded to "2 weeks minimum," and in Sara's opinion, "this is probably still not enough; FEMA [the Federal Emergency Management Agency] will come, but not for several weeks," since, in a major regional event, Jackson County's four Emergency Response Teams will be responding to the larger, closer population centers before getting to outer-county areas, which could take "weeks." A 72-hour kit and a 2-week kit are the same; the only difference is that of quantity. "Everyone's emergency list will be different," she said, but what is important is to "include not just 'stuff,' but practice using emergency equipment."

Sara also commented that she is often asked which kind of kit, between a home or a car kit, people should start with first, when beginning to prepare emergency supplies; her response is to "start with a car kit, because where your car is, usually you are, too," whereas a home kit will have to be moved into a vehicle first if you need to leave, assuming it is possible to get to it (such as in an earthquake or fire). An even stronger reason to "carry essentials in your vehicle" is that "we are not always at home." But most importantly, "have a plan and do exercises. Practice."

Particularly in the event of a quake, resources that support self-sufficiency will be important, such as ATVs, fuel, food, generators, etc. "Fuel comes through Portland - the most seismically unsecured area in the state," Sara noted. Since "repair will happen from the middle out," whatever resources we already have here will help to lessen the need for those things in a major event. She also observed that, in a major emergency event, town people will see us "as a commodity - so having a security plan for the community is important."

Response to an emergency involves the EOC (Emergency Operations Center), which handles resource acquisition and response, "coordinating who needs what and sending it." Response also involves emergency notification, such as Citizen Alerts through EAS (Jackson County's Emergency Alert System); this now includes all cell phone numbers through all cellular towers, whether people with cell numbers have opted in or not; land-line numbers are also automatically notified, but as Sara pointed out, few people have these anymore. "Conveying the facts to the public - constant info" is essential, so that the people affected by an emergency are kept informed.

Sara explained that the Emergency Command & Operations Centers of Oregon and California "speak two different languages - Those on the ground are willing, but the top management and the systems are totally different" but that "usually, the local folks will cross the line and help." Additionally, "Jackson County and Siskiyou County get together several times a year to try to coordinate."

The emergency alert system is tested semi-annually (most recently this past February, the next in September). Also, people can ask for a personal test to their device, and we can do a County-coordinated community test.

In response to a question about whether California residents can sign up on Oregon's Citizen Alert, Sara responded that she will try to have the Jackson County (Century Link) system accept them, but she wasn't sure if it would allow it; she will look into this. She said that Siskiyou County doesn't have an Emergency notification system, and that Jackson County has to pay $32,000 a year for this service, through Everbridge, the parent company of Citizen Alert; there are many emergency notification vendors, she noted, and they operate differently. However, it "doesn't matter who your cell phone provider is for alerts."

Locally, our community phone tree is a very important response resource. However, response to an event of greater impact may also require the knowledge and use of ham radios, since many types of electronic devices that we now rely on for communication may be unable to function. Jackson County's EOC will be able to communicate with otherwise isolated areas through ham radios. Within the next few months, Jackson County will start a recruitment drive, looking for volunteers to learn to operate ham radios and become licensed, in order to increase the probability of having enough operators during emergencies when communications must fall back on this older, but still useful, technology. For more info on becoming a licensed ham radio emergency response operator, see Jackson County's ARES (Amateur Radio Emergency Service) web page.

We are lucky, Sara also noted, to have a ham radio at our fire district's base station; this is important not only for communications with the County, but since the fire district is the emergency response agency of our community that people will expect help from and that will be the primary responding organization to those needing help, having a ham radio centered in the community as a backup for communicating with our residents will also assist response efforts enormously.

If evacuation becomes necessary: Evacuation levels have been standardized following the Douglas County fires in 2013; the new levels are: Level 1 (one) - Green - "Ready" (to leave); Level 2 (two) - Yellow - "Set" (all set to go); and Level 3 (three) - Red - "Go." These Levels will be used in any evacuation messages issued by the Citizen Alert system. Sara pointed out that, "come fire season, everyone should be at Level 1 (one)." Level 1 preparedness means being able to leave within no more than a couple of hours or less. Level 2 means that "your stuff is by the door, ready to leave now," at a moment's notice. Level 3 means "imminent danger," when you "just go." Sara noted that "no one may come to your door" telling you to leave immediately; "if this is the level, [Level 3], leave on your own - don't wait." Also, "if you're at [Level] 3, and not at home, you can't get back in." [Authorities will prevent you.] At "Level 2, you need an ID to get back in." And if you are at home and refuse to leave, "you can't be physically forced to leave."

In response to the question of "how do we know who has left, or not?" (I.e., if there are people needing help to evacuate, or who may still be at home and in danger?), Sara said that ribbons are used in some states (red and green, to indicate "help" or "all okay," respectively, but she says it is "not recommended" to do this [or to use signs, etc.], since "it signals [that] homes are empty and unprotected," and creates an easy target for criminals.

It was acknowledged that our knowledge of our immediate neighbors through our local neighborhood emergency response groups and our planning and information-sharing with these neighbors will provide very useful, perhaps life-saving, information in the event that evacuation alerts have been issued. Having designated gathering places in order to account for everyone in each part of the community was also mentioned.

Animal evacuation: Many of us have animals, including large/livestock farm animals, yet there is "no formal agency for this yet," and no plan currently in place at the County level for large animal evacuation. "Have your neighbors know who your animals are, where their food is, etc.," Sara advised. Also, "prepare - have a plan," such as a "mutual evacuation exchange agreement with friends on the other side of the county." Prepare for animal transportation on your own, since "the County resources don't include trailers," etc.; we need to have our own.

Also essential, although it seems obvious, is having enough Emergency Responders responding to an emergency. It isn't necessary to have a title, however: "Everyone has a role; what is it?" Each of us needs to determine our possible role in an emergency response, and do our best to do it.

While "there is no single rule" as to how to prepare or respond to an emergency, and while we may have to figure out what is best on a case-by-case basis, Sara suggested that, in order to avoid confusion and worse chaos, "people should listen to your Chief."

Sara noted that, in emergency management, "preparation, recovery, and mitigation is harder to achieve" because "it's not that exciting." Therefore, "taking advantage of emergencies as teachable moments is huge." Following major events, it is easier to get people to sign up with Citizen Alert, and the like. "People don't think about disaster prep and response until it happens." [This is true: The Colestin Rural Fire District was itself born from the ashes of the 1981 Colestin Fire, which burned nearly 700 acres of timbered land in the heart of our valley, spurring residents to organize a local fire response agency. For more on the Colestin Fire, see this post on our Bulletin page under Fire Season Outlook.] However, we would prefer it if, as a community, we could be prepared ahead of a crisis or emergency, rather than having to learn the hard (hardest) way.

Jackson County Emergency Management now has a facebook page with announcements; it also has just updated its County website, which also has a Citizen Alert sign-up. (They encourage copying others' info related to emergency management.) They will also post our information (IF they get it; we need to send it to them for that). Their site also has links to Inciweb, the Oregon DEQ and a smoke blog [we are also linked directly to these from this site from our page Fire News & Prevention Info with Links & Resources.] Other features include earthquake information, preparedness info by category, and downloadable brochures; Sara has also offered to get us hard copies of anything they have, if needed.

In addition to the printed brochures and other material that Sara brought with her, Sara also stated that she and Jenny Hall, until recently also with the JC OEM and now with Josephine County, are working together on Emergency Evacuation and a new brochure; look for that information in the coming months, as well.

The presentation on May 2nd was enormously informative and gave us a lot to think about and go on. The Jackson County Emergency Management website has a wealth of information; we urge you all to browse and utilize it as much as possible. Many other highly informational resource sites that provide lots of specifics on all kinds of emergency preparedness are linked below.

National Wildfire Community Preparedness Day 2015

Wildfire Community Preparedness Day: Sat. May 2, 2015

This was the Second Annual National Wildfire Community Preparedness Day event, promoted by the National Fire Protection Association. While focused on one day only, the preparedness information continues to be enormously relevant. Learn more: (NFPA - Video & more)

The NFPA's FIREWISE Communities project

The NFPA's Fire Adapted Communities project

Fire Adapted Communities Learning Network (Blog)

Also, April 30th was National PrepareAthon Day.  Learn more.


General Emergency Preparedness Resources: - The Jackson County Emergency Management homepage. Quick links (right-side navigation) include Disaster Registry, Emergency Operations Plan, Emergency Preparedness Info, Emergency Preparedness Plan for Families, Integrated Fire Plan, 2012 Natural Hazards Mitigation Plan, Earthquake Preparedness in Oregon, and Animal Disaster Response Manual (Guidelines for the Evacuation and Sheltering of Pets and Livestock). A wealth of information on all of the above topics. For more on some topics, see below. - Rogue Valley Emergency Management: "A collaborative endeavor between Jackson & Josephine County Emergency Management to help the citizens of the Rogue Valley prepare for and respond to disasters." The shared web page of Jackson County Emergency Management and Josephine County Emergency Preparedness, which also has links to each County's Facebook page and to relevant partner agencies. - The State of Oregon's Office of Emergency Management site. A great resource with info on all kinds of emergency events, prevention & preparedness measures, planning & training, technology & response systems, mitigation & recovery; Current Topics; Alerts, Disasters & Preparedness by topic, links to related websites (see below), and much more. - The State of Oregon's Office of Emergency Management site "links to related websites" page, including FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency); Emergency Management & other contact info; earthquake & tsunami info; warning systems or alerts; natural hazard insurance info; hazard mitigation; Oregon websites; Preparedness Resources for Pet Owners, Animal Caretakers, and Stock Owners (a long list of links here); and two categories of Other info. - Information on a wide variety of disaster and emergency preparedness topics (a page of pdf file format links). - Jackson County Citizen Alert! system. Anyone can sign up for Emergency Alerts via the media of one's own choosing: "Landline telephones included in the 911 database are already registered, but by signing up online you can also be notified by: Mobile Phone, Work Phone, Email, Text Message." - Homepage of & FEMA (The Federal Emergency Management Agency). - Information for all kinds of emergencies & disasters.


More Specific Resources:

FEMA'S brochure, "Prepare for Emergencies Now: Information to Get Ready." (Printed copies can also be ordered.) A comprehensive general brochure.

The "Jackson County Emergency Preparedness Plan for Families," put out by the Jackson County Emergency Management Advisory Council, is available in individual Chapters (as pdfs) on the County's site. We have recently mailed printed copies of this full-size booklet to our residents, provided to us by Jackson County Emergency Management, in order to ensure that everyone in our community has the very important and useful information and resources included in this publication. [If you are a local resident who does not receive your copy soon, please email the CRFD webmaster to let us know, so we can be sure you receive yours.]

FEMA'S brochure, "Family Emergency Plan." (Printed copies can also be ordered.)

FEMA's "Family Communication Plan for Parents and Kids" brochures: "Family Communication Plan for Kids" and "Family Communication Plan for Parents."

Jackson County Animal Disaster Response Manual [introductory page] - with a link (below) to the document, "Animal Disaster Response Manual: Guidelines for the Evacuation and Sheltering of Pets and Livestock") (63 pages, pdf).

NOTE: Jackson County Emergency Management was able to supply us with a limited number of copies of the booklet, "Keeping Your Animals Safe during Emergencies & Disasters in Jackson County: Owner's Handbook," which we have distributed to our Emergency Preparedness Plan neighborhood leaders for working with local neighbors. This publication by the County is unavailable online. However, we have a handful of remaining copies still available for residents who have or manage animals (pets and/or livestock) and would like a copy. If this applies to you, please email the CRFD webmaster to have a copy sent to you. First come, first serve.

Also linked from Jackson County's Animal Disaster Response Manual page is the American Veterinary Medical Association's "Disaster Preparedness for Veterinarians," the AVMA's resource site for veterinarians and other first responders for animals in the event of emergency; also available here (linked near the bottom of the page) is the publication, "Saving the Whole Family," which can be viewed/downloaded (at no cost) using the pdf icon under the purchase info. (The AVMA's site also has downloadable cards for pets and livestock under its right-hand navigation Quick links.)

The Humane Society of the United States also has animal emergency preparedness information.

FEMA'S brochure, "Prepare for Emergencies Now: Information for People with Disabilities." (Printed copies can also be ordered.) - Includes info on people with disabilities & pet care.

FEMA's brochure, "Preparing Your Pets for Emergencies Makes Sense. Get Ready Now." (Printed copies can also be ordered.)

FEMA'S brochure, "Prepare for Emergencies Now: Information for Older Americans." (Printed copies can also be ordered.)

The Channing-Bete Company: A source for a wide variety of emergency preparedness products for purchase, including "Your Guide to Emergency Preparedness," a small booklet that conveniently provides basic before-during-and-after information on nearly every conceivable emergency/disaster situation. (Jackson County's Office of Emergency Management was able to supply us with a limited number of these, which are being used by our neighborhood leaders and co-leaders; this company is the original source.) Other titles that may be of particular interest are "How People With Disabilities Or Special Health Needs Can Prepare For An Emergency; A Self-Care Handbook" and "Emergency Planning For Pet Owners -- Help Your Animal Stay Safe!" - Evacuation, Sheltering, & Post-Disaster Safety.


Disaster Supplies Kits:

FEMA's brochure, "Emergency Supply List," a comprehensive checklist for emergency preparedness. (Printed copies can also be ordered.) - on the FEMA website.


Wildland Fire Emergencies:

"Wildfire... Are You Prepared?" A pamphlet put out by the U.S. Fire Administration, Dept. of Homeland Security/FEMA, FA-287, Aug. 2004. Extensive wildland fire prevention measures and what to do during a wildfire. (8 pages)

"Living with Wildfire: A Homeowner's Guide," by the Rogue Valley Fire Prevention Co-op, revised Nov. 2008 (16 pages).

"Be Ember Aware! Will YOUR home survive when the embers arrive?" Published by the Univ. of Nevada Cooperative Extension (6 pages). A brief overview with full visuals and an "ember awareness checklist." - Prevention, what to do when wildfire threatens, evacuation info, what to do upon returning.

"Help Your Home Survive a Fire: Clean up & Maintain Your Defensible Space! Spring-Summer Guide" published by ODF, Jackson County, and the Rogue Valley Fire Prevention Cooperative. A three-sided foldout with "Maintaining Defensible Space: Spring/Early Summer Activities" on the reverse side with a list of suggestions and example photos. Not available online but we have a very limited handful of these printed pamphlets still, provided by Jackson County Emergency Management. (Most are being used by our Emergency Plan neighborhood leaders with local neighbors.) If you are a local resident and would like a copy, email the CRFD webmaster to request one.


Heat/Sunstroke Emergencies: - Prevention, protection, what to do during a heatwave, how to make your home safer during a heatwave, how to recognize and treat heat exhaustion and heatstroke, heat cramps, heatstroke in animals.


Winter Storms: - Snow & ice damage, severe cold, hypothermia, winter flooding, protection during winter storms, wind chill, National Weather Service warning codes, & more.


Floods/Flashfloods: - Before, during & after.


Earthquake Emergency Preparedness:

Earthquake emergency preparedness is a part of the new Emergency Preparedness Plan Project outlined above. During the fall of 2013, a series of Earthquake Emergency Preparedness seminars was presented in Medford by Dr. Althea Rizzo, geologist and Geologic Hazards Program coordinator of the Oregon Office of Emergency Management. The first seminar on September 20th drew so much interest that three more were held on the 13th and 14th of November. These seminars were sponsored by the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, which also houses Jackson County’s Office of Emergency Management. The Oregon OEM holds emergency preparedness seminars throughout the state each year, including the southern Oregon area every fall.

To assist our community's preparation for the particular survival issues we are most likely to face, we contacted Dr. Rizzo of the State OEM about acquiring any of the earthquake and other emergency preparedness materials such as were given out at the above seminars. Since the Oregon OEM distributes printed materials through county OEM offices (to save on postage), our request was routed to Bev Hall, Plans and Training, Oregon OEM, who put us in touch with Sara Rubrecht, Emergency Manager of Jackson County’s OEM, who arranged for and provided our District with the materials that we have recently distributed to our district constituents.

Some of this material is also available online: - "Impacts on Jackson & Josephine Counties," an Earthquake Preparedness Presentation given in 2014 by Dr. Althea Rizzo, geologist and Geologic Hazards Program Coordinator of the Oregon Office of Emergency Management. (This document contains the Powerpoint slides used in the original presentation.) - "Impacts on Oregon" ("The Impacts of the Cascadia Subduction Zone on Oregon"), a 2014 Presentation by the Oregon Military Department - Oregon Office of Emergency Management. - "Cascadia, Ready or Not," a Presentation (with Powerpoint slides) by Dr. Althea Rizzo, geologist and Geologic Hazards Program Coordinator of the Oregon Office of Emergency Management. - Oregon State's Office of Emergency Management Earthquake page: the Oregon Shake-Out; Earthquakes in the Pacific Northwest; DROP, COVER AND HOLD EARTHQUAKE SAFETY MEASURE vs. the Triangle of Life; Publications, Presentations, and Other Information; Seismic Training Videos; and Additional Links.

Publications, Presentations, and Other Information will take you to the payload section, from where you can go to all kinds of extensive seminar and other information. In particular, some of the brochures, pamphlets and booklets we are sending out to our community members can also be found (in pdf format) linked on this page: - Living on Shaky Ground: How to Survive Earthquakes and Tsunamis in Oregon. - Earthquake Safety Guide for Homeowners - from FEMA - excellent detailed, practical how-to information for before, during, and after an earthquake. - Emergency Go-Kit Passport to keep a record of your important information in one easy-to-find location.

Also see: - "Earthquakes and Tsunamis in Oregon!" - "Published on Apr 23, 2013 - This 36 minute video will not disappoint! Very educational and interesting. OEM's Geologic Hazards Coordinator Althea Rizzo and Red Cross Readiness Specialist CeCi Pratt teach Seaside, Ore., residents about the earthquake and tsunami threat in Oregon and how to prepare their community and families. [ . . . ]" - "Cascadia Anniversary" - "Published on Jan 26, 2013 - On the 313th anniversary of the last great Cascadia subduction zone earthquake, Evelyn Roeloffs of USGS explains the science behind subduction quakes and the likelihood of the next 9.0 magnitude event." - Preparing for the "Big One" : Cascadia Subduction Zone, Oregon Emergency Management Geologic Hazards Program. - U.S. Geological Survey Earthquake Preparedness. - the American Red Cross

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), Salem, Oregon, February 2013.

For more on the State's previous Earthquake Emergency Preparedness seminars and other news relating to the earthquake hazard in Oregon, see the following articles:

[Mail Tribune online subscribers have full access to archived articles; non-subscribers are allowed 3 free "clicks" each month]:

"Sunday's anniversary of 1700 quake in Oregon signals time to prepare," The Oregonian online (, Fri. January 24, 2014, 1:39 PM, News/Education section. Some excerpts: "Sunday [January 26th] marks an earth-shaking anniversary in Oregon, literally. // "On Jan. 26, 1700, a magnitude 9.0 quake hit the Cascadia Subduction Zone from northern California to British Columbia. The fault, which runs off the coastline, is considered one of the most dangerous in the world." ..." 'We know a major earthquake and tsunami similar to the one that struck of the coast of Japan could hit Oregon at any time,' said Althea Rizzo, in charge of geological hazards at the state Office of Emergency Management. // "The Cascadia Subduction Zone poses a significant earthquake threat to Oregon and other western states." ... "Experts ... urge the public to prepare. That includes coming up with an emergency plan, creating a supply cache and learning basic first aid skills."

13 most-clicked stories on in 2013 - Mail Tribune, 12-31-2013.
"Here's what Mail Tribune website users were interested in this past year: 1. Bracing for The Big One (Sept. 12): State emergency officials promote a workshop to help Southern Oregon residents prepare for a magnitude 9.0 earthquake that could seriously disrupt food, water, transportation and other..."

No zombies, but not much fun either - Mail Tribune, 11-05-2013.
"Presentations will help participants prepare for a major earthquake here Althea Rizzo wants you to know the dead will not rise up to begin feasting on the living after a large earthquake strikes the Pacific Northwest. "We won't have zombies walking the streets," she promised, her tongue held..."

'Shakeout' will prepare county to roll with The Big One - Mail Tribune, 10-13-2013.
"Earthquake preparedness exercise meant to re-enforce the threat Amassive earthquake that could one day devastate Jackson County will take center stage on Thursday, Oct. 17, when local students and other residents participate in the "Great Shakeout." At 10:17 a.m. on that day, Oregonians will..."

The Oregon Resilience Plan - Mail Tribune, 09-21-2013.
"Oregon Resilience Plan Final by Mail Tribune"

'Big One' is due, quake experts say - Mail Tribune, 09-21-2013.
"State advises crowd in Medford to ready for possible disaster Sitting on a major fault line, Oregon is "like an eight-and-a-half-month pregnancy, due any time now" for a major earthquake, a geologist with the Oregon Office of Emergency Management told an overflow crowd Friday in Medford. "We're..."

Read the state's earthquake preparedness plan - Mail Tribune, 09-13-2013.
"An extensive report about the damage a major earthquake could cause in Oregon is available online. State officials are promoting The Oregon Resilience Plan in advance of a series of preparedness workshops scheduled across Southern Oregon next week. State emergency officials will discuss ways for..."

Bracing for The Big One - Mail Tribune, 09-12-2013.
"Oregon emergency managers to persuade Southern Oregon residents to prepare for a 9.0 earthquake and all it may entail State emergency officials will spend next week urging Southern Oregon residents to prepare for a magnitude 9.0 earthquake that could seriously disrupt food, water, transportation..."

Are you ready for the 'Big One'? - Mail Tribune, 03-24-2013.
"When Harry Smedes talks about the Big One, there's no subjunctive mood. He doesn't say, "If it were to happen." He says, "When it happens." The Big One is the magnitude-9.0 quake that will rock the Northwest and wreak havoc the likes of which the region has not seen since settlement by people of..."

Brace Yourselves! - Mail Tribune, 04-14-2011.
"Experts say Southern Oregon is due for a big earthquake and suggest ways to ride it out ASHLAND — With images of mayhem fresh in our minds from the Japanese earthquake, local experts emphasize that we can be sure of three things: A very big quake is coming to Southern Oregon, you can prepare for..."

Experts: Major quake in our future - Mail Tribune, 10-31-2010.
"The experts agree: All the signs say we're due for a major eathquake Chances are few residents in Shady Cove or Butte Falls felt the earth move early on the morning of Oct. 22. But it did, according to seismic monitors at the Department of Earth and Space Sciences at the University of Washington...."

Do we really need to know about all of this, and is it relevant here in our remote area? Those of us who experienced the 1993 Klamath Falls earthquake and its largest aftershock will recognize that, yes, it CAN happen here, and since it can happen again, we do need to prepare. But that's not all. In recent years, geologists and other professionals have concluded that the 600-mile Cascadia Subduction Zone, or Cascadia fault, from around Eureka in northern California all the way to Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada, is well overdue for a major quake, including a "megathrust" major quake ("the big one") that could be a magnitude 9.0 or larger.

A quake of this size, or anything even near it, will impact coastal regions very severely, as well as inland areas, to differing degrees, as far east as Medford, Eugene, and other non-coastal parts of the state. Infrastructure is expected to be at a loss for a lengthy period of time, and we will need to be able to be as self-sufficient as possible until a semblance of normalcy can be restored.

Preparation plans will need to include water and non-perishable food for several weeks or more, medical supplies, backup power, and a survivor's list of additional emergency supplies, including personal medications, children's or elderly persons' special needs, and pet and livestock needs. We will also need to be prepared to work together with our neighbors and as a community in order to meet our own and our neighbors' survival needs.

In addition to preparatory neighborhood meetings, every person can take steps to help prevent at least some of the worst things from happening when a major quake strikes. While earthquake emergency preparation can seem overwhelming, it is useful to remember that it is still possible to accomplish one step at a time. By identifying items high on the list of individual home and family needs and starting with one of those, then the next, or identifying specific areas in your home where you or a family member spends a lot of time and starting with that room, then the next, and working down your own list in this way, the things that most need addressing will not be problems (or as significant a problem) when a large quake occurs.

This kind of planning takes time, so getting a little bit done, then a little bit more, is a way to gradually achieve an effective level of preparation, avoiding the tendency to become overwhelmed at the overall prospect and respond by doing nothing. The information, links and other resources provided here and that we will continue to build upon are intended as a place to start, in order to help our community become more resilient and better able to survive a major earthquake event, when it does happen here.

Some of Oregon's recent and near-past earthquake events:

Magnitude 3.8 quake near Agness, reported by The Curry Coastal Pilot, Fri., January 24, 2014 10:38 pm.: "(AP) — A magnitude-3.8 earthquake was reported early Friday in southwestern Oregon and was felt by residents in rural Curry County. // "No damage or injuries were reported. // "A U.S. Geological Survey report placed the epicenter of the 5:53 a.m. temblor 26 miles northeast of Gold Beach, near Agness..."

" 'Humdinger' of a quake rattles Agness area," Grants Pass Daily Courier carried by the Mail Tribune Sat. January 25, 2014, Local Pg. 3A. A few excerpts: "A 3.8 magnitude earthquake struck at 5:53 a.m. Friday, about 34 miles northwest of Grants Pass, near Agness..." "The earth has been rumbling actively all along the West Coast in recent days. //"Dozens of small jolts have been recorded, with the largest near Agness, according to U.S. Geological Survey data. // "A half-dozen or so quakes have been reported in Oregon in the past few weeks, including a quake Wednesday northeast of Eugene that measured 2.4 on the Richter scale, a 1.1 quake Thursday afternoon 20 miles out of Portland, and a 2.5 quake nine days ago in Central Point."

Earthquakes in our area - October 31, 2010
"Western Oregon and far northwestern California may not be a hotbed of major earthquake activity, but it has been shaken plenty in recorded history.// "Here are some earth shakers that have impacted the region, according to the U.S. Geological Survey and the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries records:..." [a listing of quakes by date]

Also see: - The Pacific Northwest Seismic Network and its Map and List of Recent Events (in the last two weeks). - Oregon Dept. of Geology and Mineral Industries - "Averting Surprises in the Pacific Northwest," published in 1995 by the U.S. Geological Survey: "Scientists recently discovered strong evidence that great earthquakes (magnitude 8 to 9) have repeatedly struck the Pacific Northwest in the past several thousand years, most recently about 300 years ago. This discovery has spurred the reinforcement of existing structures and changes in building codes in the region--measures that will save lives and reduce damage in future earthquakes." - To gain a better understanding of what a mega-thrust earthquake in the Cascadia earthquake zone could be like, see the U.S.G.S.'s 2014 video, "1964 Quake: The Great Alaska Earthquake" (11:37 min), which explains not only the 1964 Alaskan earthquake event, but also the basic mechanisms of plate techtonics, landslides, and tsunamis. This video " highlight[s] the impacts and effects of America's largest recorded earthquake. It is an expanded version of the four minute video "Magnitude 9.2". Both were created as part of USGS activities acknowledging the fifty year anniversary of the Great Alaskan quake on March 27, 2014..." - Also see "Preparedness Now," a USGS ShakeOut Earthquake Scenario video (produced in 2008; 4:32 min) of a hypothetical large-scale 7.8-magnitude earthquake, in this case along California's San Andreas fault: "The film was created... to depict the physical, social, and economic consequences of the most comprehensive earthquake scenario ever created..." and to inspire viewers "to prepare and mitigate for a faster recovery," including basic preparation tips. - Finally, see "Seven Steps to Earthquake Safety," by the Earthquake Country Alliance. "...designed as a step-by-step guide to give you details on what to do before, during, and after an earthquake. Start with the simple tips within each step so that you can build on your accomplishments."


Tsunamis (formerly called "Tidal Waves"): - Oregon Dept. of Geology and Mineral Industries. - NOAA (National Oceanic & Atmospheric Admin.) Tsunami Preparedness. - West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center