Oregon gets a new playbook for responding to an earthquake

SALEM — Oregon has a new playbook for preparing and responding to a major earthquake that dictates what should be tackled over time versus a list of tasks to get done. The playbook provides a two-week blueprint for the state’s response and expectations for prioritizing Oregon’s recovery from what would be the deadliest natural disaster in the U.S.

Oregon faces the threat of a 9.0 magnitude earthquake and tsunami that would hit the 700-mile Cascadia Subduction Zone, rippling from the coastal counties and impacting much of the state and neighboring Washington.

Emergency planners estimate coastal areas would have as little as 15 minutes notice to escape an incoming tsunami, and as many as 25,000 people could die. About a million Oregonians could be impacted in other ways: needing shelter, food and medication while waiting for help.

To prepare for the worst-case scenario, Oregon’s Office of Emergency Management has updated and revised its response plan, a 100-page document called the Cascadia Playbook.

Times for responding and recovering are a key change from two previous editions.

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