A news release from Portland’s Office of Emergency Management about the inaugural Great Oregon ShakeOut—modeled after California’s example—follows.

At 10:15 a.m. on January 26, 2011, the Portland Office of Emergency Management and Multnomah County Emergency Management, urge everyone to take part in the state’s largest earthquake drill called the Great Oregon ShakeOut.  All residents, businesses and schools are asked to practice their earthquake preparedness and drop, cover and hold on.  “It’s a simple exercise people of all ages should know and practice. It will help you survive an earthquake,” says Carmen Merlo, director of Portland’s Office of Emergency Management.

The Great Oregon Shake Out is a one minute drill to practice how to protect ourselves during an earthquake and how to get prepared.  The exercise marks the anniversary of the great Cascadia Subduction Zone quake that hit the Northwest on January 26, 1700.  Scientists believe the Northwest is primed for a large scale earthquake and the region should begin preparing for such an event.  “Emergency personnel will not be able to reach everyone immediately so, we have to learn to take care of ourselves and neighbors if a big quake hits,” said Dave Houghton, director of Multnomah County Emergency Management.

Knowing how to be self resilient is what Portland resident Kate Raphael says saved her family’s life after one of the biggest earthquakes in history hit Chile last year. Raphael and her family were living in Chile when an 8.8 magnitude quake hit and set off two tsnumais. Her son videotaped their escape from the coastline immediately after the quake. “We didn’t have time to think, we just reacted with what we’d been taught to do,” said Raphael.  She hopes people will take the time to participate in the Great Oregon Shake Out and learn what to do during an earthquake.

“Knowing how to prepare for an earthquake and knowing what to do when seconds count could make the difference in your survival, and allow you to help others in the aftermath,” said Raphael.  You can watch Raphael’s home video here.

To learn more about the Oregon Great ShakeOut and resources to prepare for an earthquake, visit the Web site or call Christine Miles, Office of Emergency Management, 503-793-1650.