EM 9284    Published March 2020


Cascadia Actions Steps explains how Oregon residents and guests can prepare to survive and rebuild after the expected Cascadia earthquake and resulting tsunami.

This checklist is a companion piece for Oregon State University Extension Service’s free online training, Preparing for the Cascadia Subduction Zone Event. The sessions are open to everyone. They include videos, narrated presentations, virtual reality simulations, interactive maps, articles and other resources exploring what the megaquake and tsunami will be like and how those affected can manage the subsequent recovery.

Scientists say there is a 37 percent chance that a major earthquake will occur along the Oregon Coast sometime within the next 50 years. The earthquake is expected to come from a rupture of the 600-mile fault called the Cascadia Subduction Zone, which sits from 70 to 100 miles off the Pacific Coast.

The fault is building up pressure and has the potential to produce a magnitude 8.0 to 9.0 earthquake with five to seven minutes of shaking and a tsunami.

Save this publication and use it as a checklist as you take the online training and make preparations. Additional tips are available in the publication No Power? No Problem: Tips to Help You Thrive in the Face of Disaster (EM 9278).

Take our online training!

Get prepared for the Cascadia earthquake and tsunami by taking our free course, Preparing for the Cascadia Subduction Zone Event.

Enroll now

Cascadia Action Steps


  • Select action steps you plan to take.
  • Planning with others can be beneficial.
  • Use a calendar to help organize your steps.

Who is responsible?

(initials of family member)

When should this be completed?

(note date, i.e., 10/20/20)


(When it’s done, check it off!)


Practice Drop, Cover and Hold On now and every 6 months (See Module 2).

Get a fire extinguisher and learn how to use it.

Prepare a written Emergency Financial Plan using a free kit from experts. (See Module 3, session 3.1)

  • Explore earthquake insurance.
  • Make copies of important papers for my Emergency Kit.

Keep at least a half-tank of fuel in my vehicle at all times.

Make written copies of my Family Communications Plan for each family member (See Module 3).

  • Establish a meeting place in my neighborhood.
  • Establish a meeting place outside my neighborhood.
  • Secure an out-of-area contact person.
  • Write down emergency numbers and make a copy for each family member.
  • Find an alternative place to stay.
  • Explore school or day care emergency plans.

Review, update and practice my plan every 6 months.

Regularly scout and walk tsunami evacuation routes when at the coast (See Modules 1 and 2).



Store 1 gallon of water per person per day needed for 2–4 weeks.

Prepare a system to purify water.

Assemble a first aid kit.

Arrange with doctor for extra medication for 1–3 months.

Stock up on food for 2–4 weeks.

Prepare a sanitation system for managing human waste.

Assemble basic tools.

Get a NOAA weather radio.

Consider maintaining a landline phone.

Keep cell phone charged.

Explore solar power or portable chargers.

Duplicate keys.

Store cash (small bills).

Prepare “2 to 4 Weeks Ready” Home Emergency Kit.

Prepare Grab-N-Go Emergency Kit.

Prepare Car or 72-hour Emergency Kit.

Prepare Work/School Emergency Kit.

Prepare Child’s Comfort Emergency Kit(s).

Prepare Pet Emergency Kit(s).

Check and update kits every 6 months.



Secure heavy furniture to wall to prevent tipping.

Secure heavy decorations to wall.

Secure water heater to prevent tipping.

Secure wood stove to prevent tipping.

Secure propane tank to prevent tipping.

Secure house to foundation.

Add reinforcement to the cripple wall under the house.

Reinforce the chimney.



Prepare to be calm and resilient by practicing a positive outlook.

Find ways that help me manage stress.

Establish healthy routines (sleep, exercise, healthy eating).

Increase patience with myself and others.

Connect with others for strength and hope.

Practice living off my disaster supplies over a weekend and identify any gaps in my preparations.



Connect with neighbors to share skills and resources.

Take a mental health first-aid class.

Take a wilderness first-aid class.

Take a CPR class.

Join a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT).

Participate in the Great Oregon Shakeout in October.


© 2019 Oregon State University.