Proposed $12.7 million investment to prepare Oregon for natural disaster
SALEM — Governor Kate Brown today detailed her support for Senate Bill 1537, which proposes a $12.7 million investment to build infrastructure, improve citizen awareness and education, and ultimately ensure that more Oregon families are supplied for an eventual Cascadia subduction earthquake and other large-scale natural disasters.
“This package is about saving lives, protecting Oregon’s critical infrastructure, and preparing our communities across the state before a catastrophic event occurs,” said Governor Brown. “For our communities and economy to continue to thrive, Oregon must be resilient and ready to recover from natural disasters. This, of course, includes an eventual Cascadia event — also known as ‘The Big One.’ In order to ensure Oregon is more prepared and ready for disasters, we have to prioritize action as a state.”
The bill makes four key proposals for disaster readiness:
- Two-Week Readiness: Educational and outreach efforts to take steps towards ensuring Oregonians are prepared with a two-week supply of non-perishable food and water after a natural disaster, as well as identifying staging bases in communities across Oregon to distribute critical resources.
- Earthquake Early Warning System: An earthquake early warning system, also known as ShakeAlert, will give Oregonians precious seconds in the event of an earthquake. Oregon is the only state on the west coast without the system.
- Dam Safety: Conduct safety assessments on high-risk dams to prioritize critical seismic investments and upgrades.
- Update the Oregon Resilience Plan and Coastal Plan: Updating the plan will strengthen coordination and response with state, local, tribal, and underserved communities. The current plan is over a decade old.
The Governor’s testimony to the Oregon Senate Committee on General Government and Emergency Preparedness is available here.