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Earthquake expert says: be prepared

Big crowd set to hear James Roddey at Marylhurst on May 11
by: SUBMITTED PHOTO  by  JAMES RODDEY James Roddey demonstrates the first thing to do when an earthquake hits. He will cover much more at his multi-media presentation next Wednesday.

The reaction to the upcoming appearance of scientist James Roddey in Lake Oswego shows how Northwesterners are vitally concerned about earthquakes.

Event organizers have already taken in 245 reservations for May 11 at Marylhurst University's Clark Commons, and a capacity crowd is certain.

'I'm blown away by this. I'm very pleased,' said Bonnie Hirshberger, citizen information specialist for the City of Lake Oswego, who arranged for Roddey's appearance. 'It's a great opportunity for us to ask, 'Are we prepared for an earthquake?' '

'We know we're in an earthquake area,' said Dr. Jan Dabrowski, director of the science department at Marylhurst. 'When Bonnie asked if we would host Mr. Roddey, I said, 'You bet.' He doesn't mince words about how the Northwest needs to be better prepared for an earthquake than it's been in the past.'

The main reason for this surge in earthquake interest is the recent disaster in Japan. Panicked reactions have taken place across the USA. But the Northwest has much more reason to fear than most.

'We know we're in an earthquake area in the Cascade Zone,' Dabrowski said. 'There a threat of a major earthquake happening in the next 200 years.'

Roddey, the PIO for the Oregon Department of Geology, has been flooded with speaking requests ever since the Japanese quake, but he chose to come to Lake Oswego because of successfully teaming up with Hirshberger on previous events.

'I will always try to find time to support communities that have responded positively to my message of getting prepared,' Roddey said.

What can Oregon families do when the shaking starts? Plenty, Roddey says. He will talk about the latest studies on chances for a mega-earthquake here in our lifetime and how it will affect every community in Oregon and Washington.

Roddey will seek to engage, challenge and motivate people to realize that even with a Japan-size disaster in the Pacific Northwest there's plenty families can do to prepare without busting budgets.

'An earthquake is not a long shot,' Dabrowski said. 'We have got to be better prepared in the Northwest.'

'The disaster in Japan got so much publicity that it got people to thinking about what if it happens here,' Hirshberger said. 'James will really be taking a look at what can happen and the effects an earthquake can have here.'

Registration for Roddey's program is free but registration is required and space is limited. To register call the Main Fire Station at 503 635-0275.

For more information contact Bonnie Hirshberger at 503 675-3992 or email her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .