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Red Cross helps C.O. prepare for ‘the Big One’


More than 400 people gathered at Bend’s Tower Theatre Monday night, but this was no concert or performance.

It was about being prepared for a major disaster.

The big threat under discussion: An earthquake off the Oregon coast. Scientists say the area is overdue for an earthquake and that it would have a major impact on the eastern side of the state.

“Prepare for the worst and expect for the best,” attendee Sharon Stevens said.

The presentation was not limited to the threat of a big quake. Wildfires, house fires and extreme weather are also things you need to be ready for. However, the big topic of the night was a Cascadia earthquake hitting the Pacific Northwest along the major fault line off the coast.

It is “something that will significantly affect our region, and surrounding counties, states, local governments, cities — this is something that’s going to affect all of us,” said Monique Dugaw, regional communications director with The American Red Cross.

The Red Cross and other disaster agencies are preparing for the worst. When this earthquake hits, some officials said Central Oregon will have the huge task of providing support to the rest of the state and region.

“In Bend, we need to be prepared for an influx of people coming to this area for relief and delivering relief supplies,” Dugaw said.

And with a sold-out house, it seems Central Oregon is on board with preparing.

“That’s why I’m here, to be forearmed with knowledge,” Stevens said.

“If you’re prepared for a Cascadia earthquake, you’re prepared for just about anything,” Dugaw said.

Officials say that first off, have an emergency kit ready and keep it in an easily reachable spot. They recommend the first floor of your home. Some things to include are extra batteries, a flashlight, a radio, non-perishable food items and blankets. Another important item is one gallon of water per person, per day.

“These are things we can think about right now, before the disaster occurs,” Dugaw said.

The Red Cross has kits already assembled, or you can make your own. Those kits, and supply lists, can be found online at


If you missed Monday night’s presentation and want to learn more, the Red Cross plans to host another event in Central Oregon next spring.

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