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Tsunami: Be ready at a moment’s notice

Those of us living on the Southern Oregon Coast are well aware that a large earthquake and subsequent tsunami can strike at any time.

In fact, it’s long overdue.

Last week, experts shared the latest research at three public meetings that showed not only are tsunamis more common than initially thought, but are likely to be bigger and reach higher ground levels than expected.

The purpose of sharing such information, and publishing the subsequent story in the paper, is not to create a state of fear, but to remind people of the danger, and to encourage them to be prepared.

The greatest cause of death and injury won’t be from the quake, but the tsunamis it generates.

For many residents living in Brookings, Harbor and Gold Beach, the shaking of the earth is the only warning we will get. When that happens, we only have minutes to gather up critical supplies and run or drive to higher ground. Evacuation maps for Brookings-Harbor were published in the Jan. 15 issue. Cut them out and save them.

Having a plan is critical to surviving a tsunami. For example, determine now which route you will take from your home to a safe location. Determine a meeting place for family members should disaster strike during work and school hours.

Prepare a 72-hour emergency “go bag” – a backpack for each family member filled with supplies such as  food, water, clothes, first aid kit, flashlight, radio, spare medications, important phone numbers, toiletries and so on.

Make sure the bags are easily accessible at a moment’s notice. And don’t forget a go bag for your pets.

More information on disaster preparedness can be found at www.ready.gov. The website will help you build a preparedness kit and make a plan for yourself and your family (including your pets).

There are many ways to be prepared – doing so doesn’t take much time or money – and the peace of mind it brings is well worth the effort.

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