In the last 100 years, there have only been five magnitude 9.0 or higher “megaquakes” worldwide. The pressure currently building in the Cascadia Subduction Zone that runs along the California, Oregon, and Washington coasts could unleash a sixth.
To prepare for the disaster, this Saturday the Oregon Office of Emergency Management is supporting the largest statewide emergency communications exercise Oregon has ever had. About 200 amateur radio operators will participate, and according to Cory Grogan, a public information officer at OEM, these operators could serve a vital role in affected areas when – not if – the earthquake strikes.
“Basically any form of communication likely will be down,” Grogan said. “Amateur radio is going to be the only form of communication that we’ll have available at that point.”
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