Earthquake emergency exercises ramped up

In the case of a catastrophic earthquake, amateur radio would be the only means of communication.

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Radio would be the only means of communication in the case of a catastrophic earthquake that knocked out phone and Internet lines.

In light of the recent disaster in Nepal, more ham radio operators are participating in emergency exercises.

The Lincoln County Dispatch reports:

Radio operators across the state sent more than 2,000 messages during Saturday’s drill. The training provided county and state amateur radio emergency communication units an opportunity to prepare for a worst-case scenario. While QuakeEX was only a simulation, 7,000 miles away in Nepal, amateur radio operators provided the only source of communication in many areas after a 7.8 magnitude quake struck. Hams in Nepal and around the world helped pass requests for aid and messages from survivors to their families.

“Oregon is due for a Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake that could be even larger than the one that struck Nepal,” said Kim Lippert, public information officer for the Oregon Office of Emergency Management.  “An earthquake of that size will cut standard forms of communication, making amateur radio operators critical.”

Within the next 50 years, there is a 40 percent chance of a 9.0 — or greater — earthquake in Oregon.

The topic of the next Hot Topics/Cool Talks breakfast hosted by Oregon Business is “Quake Smart: Innovation in a Seismic Zone.” Learn more about the event here.