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Free seminar on earthquake, disaster preparedness

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Prepare Out Loud forum set for 7:30 to 9 a.m. Thursday, May 11, at Camp Withycombe, 15300 S.E. Minuteman Way, Clackamas

Community partners are helping Oregonians to better understand the impact of a 9.0 Cascadia earthquake and the simple steps they can take now to be ready for disasters of all kinds by holding a free Prepare Out Loud forum. It is set for 7:30 to 9 a.m. Thursday, May 11, at Camp Withycombe, 15300 S.E. Minuteman Way, Clackamas.

Learn the science and history of the Cascadia Subduction Zone, what to expect during an earthquake, how to quickly locate your loved ones following a disaster, and how much food, water and other supplies you will need. The Red Cross Prepare Out Loud presentation also will outline steps people can take now to be ready for other, more common disasters like home fires, floods and wildfires.

Prepare Out Loud presenter Steve Eberlein was witness to the destruction of the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami in Sri Lanka. The tsunami was caused by an underwater subduction zone earthquake and resulted in the deaths of nearly 300,000 people in 14 countries. His first-hand account of the incident lends perspective to the importance of preparedness.

"I encourage businesses to seriously consider making this presentation available to their employees and, if possible, their communities as soon as practicable," said James Merryman, president/COO of OFD Foods. "The information it provides will help them and their families understand they can take a positive step by starting to prepare now. They will find some comfort in knowing they can help their family and friends in the event of such a disaster and in knowing you cared enough to bring this important information to their attention."

"We know we need to prepare for a disaster and Prepare Out Loud helps people and organizations know where to start," said Von Summers, community affairs manager for NW Natural. "I came to the presentation knowing I would learn more about the hazards we face in the Pacific Northwest. What I didn't realize is how motivating the topic could be. Prepare Out Loud inspires thought-provoking conversations and stimulates preparedness."

RSVP for this free event at redcross.org/PrepareOutLoudClackamas or at kpam.com (Pamplin Media Group is the media partner for this event).