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Services And Guidance Just a Tent Away at Eugene Emergency Preparedness Fair

Brian Bull

The possible threats from a large earthquake, wildfire, or flood drew locals to the City of Eugene’s emergency preparedness fair at the Park Blocks today. 

While the prospect of a Cascadian event and its aftershocks has made news in recent years, concerns over global warming and its effects on forests have also increased. To that end, officials want residents to be stocked with about two weeks’ worth of water, food, and supplies regardless of the incident.

Eugene resident Cathy Eva says she feels fairly prepared. Her main priority after a disaster is her family’s safety.

“How to stay in contact with one another," Eva tells KLCC.  "Making sure we have an exit plan. Sometimes when an emergency takes place you never really know where the rest of your members will be.  So I guess that would be one thing for us to take into consideration.”

Credit Brian Bull / KLCC
Caleb Doughterty (left) and Bill Blair (right) tend the Team Rubicon Tent at today's event.

A dozen vendors were present at the fifth annual observance of the fair, including EWEB, the Red Cross, and Team Rubicon, a disaster response team that recruits veterans. 

J.B. Carney is the owner of Earthquake Fit, one of many regional firms that’ve sprouted in recent years.   This is the first time they've set up a tent at the event.  He says their technicians and engineers work to safeguard homes against sliding off their foundations during a quake.


“We also do seismic gas shutoff valve installation for homes," explains Carney.  "Some of the biggest damage after an earthquake really comes from fires caused by gas lines breaking.”

Credit Brian Bull / KLCC
J.B. Carney (right), owner of Earthquake Fit, at his tent where retrofitting homes for better earthquake resiliency is demonstrated and explained.

Scientists say there’s a 37 percent chance of a 9.0 point magnitude earthquake hitting the Pacific Northwest within the next 50 years.

And the State of Oregon warns residents that homes built before 1974 will suffer the most seismic damage.

Copyright 2019, KLCC.

Brian Bull is an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Oregon, and remains a contributor to the KLCC news department. He began working with KLCC in June 2016.   In his 27+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (22 regional),  the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from  the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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