Seismic activity is a common occurrence in the Northwest. More often than not, most earthquakes go unnoticed as they rank low on the Richter-scale. The Richter-scale measures the amplitude (or in simple terms, the range) of seismic wave’s motion. This is how we established the magnitude rating system for earthquakes. In the article below from Michigan Tech, they describe how the different magnitude ratings affect people in an earthquake.
Based off the findings of Michigan Tech, until an earthquake reaches a magnitude 6.0 most people won’t know that anything happened. Now how does all this information apply to us. The last earthquake in the Northwest with greater than a 6.0 magnitude was in Seattle, WA in 2001. With the recent findings compiled excellently in an article by The New Yorker, it shows us that the Northwest is due for a massive earthquake. This earthquake is expected to be in the magnitude 8.0 range which will cause massive destruction and potentially a tsunami that may cause flooding near Portland.
Now, you may be thinking what can I do to prevent myself from being stranded and starving if flooding and destruction of buildings occurs. The best advice is to begin to find local, natural and sustainable alternatives to the products that you use everyday. Whether this is what kind of ketchup you use to the bottled water you get every week, transitioning to local products will greatly reduce the impact of the quake. For the die hards out there that can only have their Himalayan pink salt, it will be gone.
When and if the big quake does hit, it will destroy most bridges and buildings to the West of Interstate 5. This includes a lot of the building in downtown Portland, as most aren’t retrofitted for seismic activity. Most likely, cell phones and internet will be down as well as electricity. If we begin to slowly transition from our normal store bought products to local alternatives, we will both enable ourselves to be sustained when all infrastructure is destroyed, but we will also be supporting our local economy.