Oregon Office of Emergency Management
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News Releases
Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed a proclamation declaring October 18, 2018
Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed a proclamation declaring October 18, 2018 "Great Oregon ShakeOut Day."
Earthquake Preparedness is as Easy as "Drop. Cover. Hold On." (Photo) - 10/10/18

All are invited to participate in Great ShakeOut, an annual earthquake preparedness drill, at 10:18 on October 18.

Salem, OR – October 10, 2018 – Crustal earthquakes are regular occurrences in Oregon. They are generally small and low-impact and can cause significant localized damage while the threat of a Cascadia Subduction Zone quake is a geologic hazard that will affect the entire state. On average, Cascadia quakes occur every 300 years and are caused by the shifting of geologic plates in the Cascadia subduction zone.  Emergency management agencies and other organizations across the state have worked with communities to share information and promote preparedness. The best protective action anyone can do during any type of earthquake is to “Drop. Cover. Hold on.” Most injuries are caused by falling debris or being thrown to the ground.

On Thursday, October 18, people worldwide will practice how to “Drop, Cover and Hold On” as part of the Great ShakeOut annual earthquake drill. It’s your chance to be one in a million - or one of a half million! Currently more than 520,000 Oregonians have pledged to participate in the Great Oregon ShakeOut. Join us at 10:18 a.m. on Thursday, October 18, as we "Drop, Cover and Hold On." Register today and check out some great earthquake preparedness resources.

“Earthquakes are just one of the natural hazards we face in Oregon,” says Althea Rizzo, geologic hazards awareness program coordinator at Oregon’s Office of Emergency Management. “We also experience winter storms, wildfires and flooding. Experience has shown that in the aftermath of large disasters - consider the recent earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia or Hurricanes Maria and Florence – personal preparedness is critically important. The Great ShakeOut is a safe and fun way to practice what to do when seismic activity occurs.”

Oregon Governor Kate Brown has declared October 18, 2018, “Great Oregon Shakeout Day.” The proclamation encourages participation in the ShakeOut and urges Oregonians to be
2 Weeks Ready.

 “We know that a Cascadia Subduction Zone quake and tsunami could leave large areas of our state without resources for days and weeks,” says Rizzo. “Having 2 weeks of food, water and other emergency supplies is critical for individuals and families who may need to take care of themselves until formal response resources can reach them.”

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Nationwide Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) Test - 10/02/18

Salem, OR – October 2, 2018 – The nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) will occur on Wednesday, October 3. The test, which will be conducted by FEMA in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), was originally scheduled to take place on September 20 but was postponed due to response and recovery efforts after Hurricane Florence.

In Oregon, the WEA portion of the test commences at 11:18 a.m. Pacific Time, and the EAS portion follows at 11:20 a.m. Pacific Time. The test will assess the operational readiness of the infrastructure for distribution of a national message and determine whether improvements are needed.  

FEMA and OEM remind the public:

  • No action is required.
  • While the test begins at 11:18 a.m. Pacific Time, it may take several minutes for the alert to reach your phone.
  • Most cell phones will sound the alert; do not be caught off-guard if you are in your car, at a personal or business appointment or other location.
  • There is no threat; it is only a test. Do not call 9-1-1.
  • The alert message will also be broadcast over radio and television.
  • Additional information is available at https://www.gov/emergency-test-alert.

The nationwide test ensures that in times of an emergency or disaster, public safety officials have methods and systems that will deliver urgent alerts and warnings to the public. Alerts are rare, but can happen locally, statewide, or nationally. According to FEMA, a nationwide WEA message would only be used in the most extreme emergency situation.

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National Emergency Alert Test Postponed to October 3 - 09/17/18

Salem, OR. – Sept. 17, 2018 – The nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) has been postponed until October 3 due to ongoing response efforts to Hurricane Florence. The test will be conducted by FEMA, in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

In Oregon, the WEA portion of the test commences at 11:18 a.m. Pacific Time, and the EAS portion follows at 11:20 a.m. Pacific Time. The test will assess the operational readiness of the infrastructure for distribution of a national message and determine whether improvements are needed.  

The test was originally scheduled to take place this Thursday, September 20, although FEMA held October 3 as a back-up date. According to FEMA, a backup date was planned in case of widespread severe weather or other significant events on the primary test date.

For further information on the test, go to https://www.fema.gov/emergency-alert-test.