Preparing for “The Big One”
Depoe Bay City Councilors signed on with the county in an effort to have some kind of emergency water supplies following the next Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake – whenever it comes.
County Emergency Management Coordinator Jenny DiMaris said her office is applying to NOAA for a $1.5 million grant to set up shipping container caches of water, water treatment equipment and water purification straws that will see earthquake survivors through until rescue operations appear in the air and on the beaches. Roads are expected to be largely impassable.
The council put a $2,500 local matching contribution into the application, as other cities, fire districts, water districts and others have done – in varying amounts.
DeMaris told the council the application will be filed within a few days and that the county should hear back within a couple of months on whether the county got the $1.5 million. It’s a nation-wide competition applying to all coastal states in the country seeking disaster aid due to unusual storms, hurricanes as well as earthquakes.
DeMaris and Lincoln County Schools Safety Officer Sue Graves have been equipping county schools with post-earthquake/tsunami caches of not only water and water purification devices, but also food (MREs), medical supplies, shelters and other items to get students and staff through the rough two weeks following the disaster if it occurs during the school day. When asked if the NOAA caches might someday include additional post-disaster supplies she said “We’re working on it.”
When DeMaris and Graves launched their disaster program for the schools, the question was asked if school students and staff could be taken care of following the disaster, what would it cost to cover everyone in Lincoln County? Preliminary figures pegged the cost at around $2 million. Dividing that $2 million up between 45,000 residents would place around fifty disaster caches one for each evacuation assembly area from Otis to Yachats. A one-time 20 cent property tax override ($50 per family) would fund the caches so no one would have to lug two weeks worth of disaster supplies up a hill. Again, these are rough figures penciled out based on the already existing program for schools and rough computation by the Lincoln County Assessor’s Office.
Depoe Bay City Councilor Kathy Wyatt resigns
Citing “conflicting professional commitments,” City Councilor Kathy Wyatt has resigned her seat on the Depoe Bay City Council. She was appointed last year to serve out the remaining term of City Councilor Skip Hoitink who died last August.
The council formally declared a vacancy on the council and invited any and all qualified Depoe Bay residents to apply to fill now Wyatt’s unexpired term. Applications are due August 11th. Just drop them off at City Hall. Interviews are scheduled for August 18th.