Personal Prepartation

With your family and neighbors, review the following resources to help prepare your home for emergencies.

Coastal Residents: Steps to Be Prepared

Make a Disaster Preparedness Plan

Family Communication Plan form from FEMA

Earthquake Home Hazards Hunt

Emergency Kits + Go Bags

Every resident needs an emergency kit. During and after an emergency, you may need to be able to survive on your own for several days. In the big windstorm of 2007, many residents were without electrical power for up to week. During the Labor Day windstorm and fires of 2020, many people were forced to evacuate their homes due to the Pike Road fire. Others voluntarily left due to the thick smoke from the fire. Many older residents remember the volcanic ash from Mt. St. Helens. Having an emergency kit ready to go means you can quickly access it or take it with you in an emergency.

American Red Cross Survival Kit Guidelines

Ready.Gov Survival Kit Guidelines

Go Bags

Your First Step to Preparedness

When disaster strikes there may be little time to gather the essential items you will need. You may only have time to grab your bag and go.  Simply stock a backpack or duffel bag with the essential supplies you need to survive for 3 days and keep it in a convenient place to grab and go. Then celebrate that you have accomplished the first step toward being prepared.

A GoBag needs to be light enough to grab and go. Pack smart and don’t forget to include any personal items you will need, such as prescriptions, eye glasses or hearing aides. While the bag needs to be good for three days, there is no guarantee that you will be able to return home at the end of three days.  Carry your GoBag in your vehicle when you go to work, the store, or out of town.  A disaster can strike at any time.

GoBags should include these essential items

Items to keep you warm and dry (e.g., waterproof poncho, gloves, hand warmers to place under your arms, mylar sleeping bag):

  • Drinking water supply and water filtration system
  • 3 day supply of food (dehydrated food, etc…) and any necessary eating utensils
  • Whistle (a good quality one to call for help if necessary)
  • 30-day supply of prescription medications
  • Basic first aid supplies
  • Light source (e.g. headlamp or flashlight with batteries)
  • Hand sanitizer

Additional items you may consider:

  •  Lightweight can opener
  • Fire starter (ex. Disposable lighter)
  • Backpacking style stove and fuel canister (light weight and portable).
  • Lightweight multi-tool or pocket knife
  • Lightweight stuffable jacket, stocking cap

Know about alerts and warnings

There are many different kinds of emergencies.  The Ready.Gov website has many links to ways to prepare for a large number of scenarios.

Survival preparedness: Worst case scenario

There are many kinds of disasters to prepare for.  However, probably the single largest disaster is the predicted earthquake running the length of the Cascadia Subduction Zone.  This event could feature an earthquake in excess of 9.0 and a series of devastating tsunami’s. 

In the event of the “Big One,” our only tsunami warning here on the coast will be the ground moving in the quake.  After that, we need to make sure we are out of the tsunami zone and only have around 20 – 30 minutes to get there.  Know where to go at all times, even when visiting friend’s or relatives, or just walking on the beach.  One can travel a long way on foot in 30 minutes so long as you know where to go.

The earthquake itself will severely damage our homes and communities.  Every structure will be affected.  Some may collapse, shift on their foundations, or be unusable afterwards due to liquefaction or other factors.  Residents trapped in the buildings may require rescue.  Power lines may be down and power will likely be out.  Roads may be blocked.  Water mains and sewer lines may be broken.  Bridges may be damaged and unusable.  It is likely that residents who need to flee will have to do so on foot.

It can be expected that areas inundated by the series of waves will be destroyed.  In Japan, the areas hit by the waves were reduced to piles of rubble.  A few massive structures survived.  Others, some considered tsunami evacuation areas, were destroyed.  Some were over-topped by the waves, which reached 144 feet in some areas.  However, Tillamook County towns do not have these kinds of structures.  It is best to assume that areas where the waves reach will be uninhabitable and unusable.

This means that residents in those areas need to plan for what they will do if their home is gone.  Where will they go?  Who will they stay with?  What about food, water, and shelter?

In Bay City and the surrounding area, it is very likely that municipal and community water systems will be out due to pipe breaks.  The damage may be irreparable, and the water will be out for the duration of the emergency.  Some predictions are that areas of the coast will have services out for up to three years.
The same thing will happen to sewer lines.  The Bay City treatment plant is in the inundation zone.

Those on private wells and septic tanks may also have problems, too.  Most wells have electric pumps which will not operate without electricity and the earthquake may have an effect on the water quality.  Connections to septic tanks may be broken.  The.  It is best to have a backup plan in place for water and sanitation. 

There are guidelines for preparing your home and businesses for earthquakes to reduce the danger to those caught inside when the quake strikes.  See the guidelines below.

After the Quake

A 9.0 earthquake may go on for a long period of time and can cause tremendous damage.  Building that are still standing may shift on their foundations, making doors and windows very difficult to open.  A crow bar or similar tool may be needed to exit a room or your home.  Broken glass is another hazard, especially for those getting out of bed barefoot.  Foot injuries to broken glass are very common and are very debilitating.  It is highly recommended to put hard soles shoes, a headlamp with extra batteries, leather palmed gloves, and a small crowbar in a bag under your bed, and attach them to a leg of your the bed.

A series of tsunami’s are expected to come ashore within 20 – 30 minutes.  Know if you are living in a tsunami zone, and be sure to get your go bag and hike above the height of the expected water.  Error on the side of caution and go higher.  In Japan, the water levels were higher than predicted.
It is important to know your assembly area and have a plan in mind.  It is unlikely that emergency personnel will be able to respond.  They will be saving their families and are likely to be involved in life saving rescues.

Be aware that there will be many tsunami waves, and any wave can be the highest, so avoid the inundation zone.

A 9.0 or larger quake on the coast is expected to do considerable damage to the communities in the Willamette Valley and inland.  Critical infrastructure may be destroyed.  Bridges will be damaged and perhaps destroyed.  Most of Oregon’s fuel supplies (gas and diesel) are stored on the edges of the Willamette River.  The tanks may rupture or spill.  Emergency managers are aware that there may be an acute fuel shortage in Oregon, and there might be no fuel available on the coast.  The result of all this is that the cities will be busy surviving themselves, and we will have to be prepared to rescue ourselves and survive for a long time on our own.

Family Preparation

Your kids are at school at Neah-Kah-Nie middle school and high school when the earthquake hits.  Your spouse is at work in Tillamook.  You are up in the hills logging.  Will your children be able to get home?  Will your spouse be able to get home.  How about yourself?  Does your family have a plan in case this happens?  Where will your kids go?

If you live in the inundation zone

You may not be able to go back home again as your residence may be destroyed.  It is important to prepare in advance for this possibility.  Some residents in coastal towns have made arrangements with relatives or friends in walking distance to store supplies.  Others have combined with their neighbors to build a supply shed in a safe area (making an arrangement in writing with someone in a safe area to locate the shed) and each family stores their own supplies there.

It is each resident’s responsibility to prepare.  BCEV will help, but we can’t do it for everyone at once. 

Bay City Emergency Volunteers Monthly Meeting

Location: Bay City City Hall Meeting Room at 5:30 on the third Monday of the month.


Radio check-ins at 7:00 every Wednesday

Activities and Events


Get Involved and Make a Difference. Bay City Emergency Volunteers is a volunteer organization. Giving your time is a great way to get to know your neighbors and others in the town, and to bolster our community’s preparedness and resilience.