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State officials advised people to have at least two weeks of supplies in anticipation of a large earthquake striking the area

PMG FILE PHOTO - In light of earthquakes that struck eastern California earlier this month, Oregon emergency management officials are urging area residents to become better prepared for quakes and other natural disasters.

Oregon emergency management officials are urging area residents to take the recent Southern Californian earthquakes seriously.

While the quakes bear no connection to the regional Cascadia Subduction Zone, they serve as a reminder to be ready for the "Big One" here, officials say.

California was hit with several large earthquakes in early July, causing injuries and damage across the region. The July 12 earthquake, which registered 7.1 on the Richter scale, became the main event in California, the earlier 6.4 quake now being called a foreshock.

Aurora Murphy, who lives near the epicenter in Ridgecrest, Calif., said the 7.1 felt like it wasn't going to stop.

"A lot of stores lost a lot of inventory. We were in Walmart yesterday and anything — meat, cheese, deli meat, milk — they're gone because they couldn't keep them refrigerated with no power," she said.

She also said people panicked and rushed to get supplies they didn't have.

"You can see the panic of everyone and a lot of people weren't prepared," she said. "Lines to the gas station were down the road to get gas, because people went into panic mode whether they needed to leave town or not."

Vancouver, Wash., resident Eugenio Vidales was living in Mexico City when a huge earthquake hit in September 1985.

"I am a runner, so I was training a lot, so when I was in the subway, I was feeling like this (moving) and thought 'Oh my gosh I'm training too much," he said.

He said after making sure his loved ones were OK, he joined a human chain that cleared debris from some of the most damaged sites.

"We went to the place of the disasters and we tried to help as much as we can moving damage in a chain," he said.

His best advice for an earthquake emergency is "try to be calm when something happens and try to be able to help people."

Oregon's Office of Emergency Management recommends that people have at least two weeks' worth of supplies because a major earthquake could cut power and communications.

Emergency kit basics include:

- A gallon of water per person, per day

- Foods that don't need to be refrigerated or cooked

- Can opener

- First-aid kit, prescriptions

- Cash

- Hygiene items

- Flashlight, radio and extra batteries.


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