Most people know about the Cascadia Earthquake but not many have taken its extreme threat seriously. Even less have taken the time, research, and energy to prepare fully. My name is Anastasia Klingler, I’m a senior at St. Mary’s, and for the past two years, I have made it my mission to educate and prepare as many families as possible.
I learned about the Cascadia earthquake from my grandma four years ago, when I was just starting out at St. Mary’s. She called me on the phone and asked for help putting together kits for the family. I was very excited to help and eagerly accepted her proposal. However, I remember thinking, "What the heck is this earthquake? And is it really necessary to prepare?"
Only after spending hours researching and consulting local experts did the importance of preparing really sink in. I realized preparing for this earthquake was not optional, it was critical. Here are some quick statistics courtesy of the Oregon Oﬃce of Emergency Management: the cost of restoration will be around 32 billion, it is likely to take over three months to restore functioning water systems, and thousands of civilians will be killed or severely injured. The more I learned about this earthquake, the more I knew I needed to help.
After spending hours researching, my grandma and I created earthquake kits we were conﬁdent would keep the family safe. Then we delivered the kits around Vernonia and Portland as early Christmas presents. Others started asking about the earthquake kits and I slowly realized the extent of people unprepared. Although I was happy my family was safe, I wanted to help others in some way. This led me to start my own earthquake kit business: Oregon EQ Kits. Now, I know every St. Mary’s student will understand when I say that juggling a business while prioritizing my education is not easy. In fact, it continues to be a challenge. Even so, running this business has been incredibly rewarding. I truly believe that each family that invests in a kit is as prepared as possible.
Outside working on my business, I love being able to engage with my local community and raise awareness about this issue. A couple preparatory events I am looking forward to organizing or speaking at in the upcoming months include “Preparedness and Pizza Night,” “Earthquake Preparedness Day” featuring Ted Talk Speaker Steven Eberlein, and “We Are The World Citizens.”
I want to encourage anyone reading this article to sign up for a local preparedness event in your area as it is truly a great ways to connect with your community about this issue. And of course, don’t forget to prepare!