`The Big One'

Earthquakes of the Northwest opens

THE DALLES -- Earthquakes shake the very foundation of the Pacific Northwest. A sudden movement of the Pacific seafloor 32 miles (52 kilometers) beneath south Puget Sound sends shock waves racing in all directions through our planet. It took only 40 seconds of surface vibration to cause 400 injuries and $2 billion in damages in western Washington and Oregon -- a stark reminder from the Earth of the primeval geologic motion that created the Pacific Northwest.

"The Big One: Earthquakes of the Pacific Northwest," a traveling exhibit designed by the Burke Museum of Natural and Cultural History/University of Washington will open Feb. 28 at the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center.

In everyday language and through graphics, photos, text and two hands-on models, visitors will discover how earthquakes work, the types of earthquakes common to the Pacific Northwest, and how scientists use seismographs to record, measure, and interpret the earth movements.

Elementary and middle school classrooms will have the opportunity to check out earthquake study kits, which are designed with activities to enhance the students' experience and help them meet state learning requirements in earth sciences.

"It's guaranteed people will leave with a better understanding of earthquakes and how to prepare for them," said Patty Garland, Curator of Exhibits and Education at the Center.Accompanying the exhibit, Dr. Cathy Townsend, Regional Senior Geologist will host Earthquakes, Mountains, and the Geologic History of Washington through the Visiting Scientist Program. In a vivid slide show, Dr. Townsend places current earthquakes and geologic events into a geologic time scale, showing that the most fundamental aspects of our natural history have been at work building the Pacific Northwest for over a billion years. Presentations will be held Saturday, March 2 at 11 a.m. at the Discovery Center and at 1:30 p.m. at the Skylight Theatre in Hood River.

The Columbia Gorge Discovery Center will host emergency survival forums, March 7. The afternoon session will focus on Business Emergency Survival from 1-4 p.m. Homeowner Emergency Survival is the focus for the evening session, from 7-9 p.m. This one-day event will educate the public about earthquake and emergency preparedness. The Forum is sponsored by Cascadia Research Earthquake Workgroup, Wasco County Emergency Manager's Office, and the Discovery Center. For more information on upcoming exhibits, please contact the Center at 541-296-8600.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge



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