How the Portland area can bounce back after a major earthquake

A 9.0 megathrust earthquake at the Cascadia subduction zone will shake the Pacific Northwest to its foundations. This geological event is rare, inevitable and outside humanity’s control. How much death and destruction it will deliver, on the other hand, depends very much on how prepared and resilient the Portland area becomes.

Minimizing damage and maximizing community capacities to respond will speed Portland’s recovery after a catastrophic earthquake. Identifying those measures that will increase the Portland metro region’s resilience was the task given to your committee.

Your committee did not focus on the responses that will be required immediately following an earthquake. Those rescue operations are already being developed, tested and refined. Instead, we identified actions that will help ensure that our unique culture and strong economy can continue to thrive after a major earthquake. This report provides findings, evidence-based conclusions, and recommendations that further two vital goals:

  • Mitigating risk to vulnerable physical systems by protecting key transportation and energy lifelines, conserving our natural environment and increasing the seismic resilience of buildings.

  • Empowering communities by strengthening social connections, linking diverse organizations and ensuring that critical human needs can be met after a major earthquake.

Read the full report.