Portland neighborhoods 'sort-of' ready for the Big One

Portland neighborhoods 'sort-of' ready for the Big One »Play Video
None of the homes KATU visited Monday had an emergency kit like the one the Red Cross recommends.

PORTLAND, Ore. -- It seems to happen whenever there's an earthquake, the talk starts about the Big One happening here. And the question comes up: Are we ready?

We did our own unscientific research Monday to find out just how earthquake-ready people are.

Our method: Flipping through an old map book, tossing a dart, and heading to the neighborhood where the dart stuck.

In this case it was in the Kerns area of Northeast Portland.

We picked a block and knocked on a dozen doors, getting mostly no answer.

And that in itself is something the Red Cross says you can expect and prepare for.

When a disaster like a devastating earthquake hits, it's no certainty a family will be together; Parents may be at work; kids may be at school.

The Red Cross says to make a plan now on how to contact family members or arrange a meeting place or a destination for each family member before the lines of communication go down.

Of the people we did find at home, nobody had the kind of emergency preparedness kit like the Red Cross recommends ready to go.

But everybody felt like they could survive without electricity or water or a way to get fresh food for a few days at least with what they had in the house.

"Here's 30 pounds of blueberries" said Iris Briand as she showed us her well-stocked freezer.

"Fruits, nuts, yeah, we have plenty of food to last us. Maybe we need to get some bottled water. But we'll just go into survival mode, we're pretty low maintenance," she said of her and her roommates.

It seems to be the way many think about a disaster happening in the Portland area.

Jeff Chamberlain lived in Alaska.

"We know all about them," he said from his front porch.

"We're campers, outdoors people, we have fuel, flashlights, that kind of thing," he said. "It's more of a subconscious thing with us. We don't really have a plan, or a kit, but we know where to get food and water, that kind of thing. I would hope other people are at least that ready. But you never know."

We'll certainly find out if a 7, or 8, or 9 magnitude quake hits us.

Geologists and seismic experts say it will eventually -- years, months, or even just days away.

The Red Cross has a great list of what you need to have ready for that or any emergency.