Gov. Brown tours Oregon coast talking earthquake preparedness - KPTV - FOX 12

Gov. Brown tours Oregon coast talking earthquake preparedness

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CLATSOP COUNTY, OR (KPTV) -

Governor Kate Brown was already planning to visit the coast to discuss earthquake preparedness before an earthquake happened Wednesday morning.

She said the 3.6 quake near Warrenton is a good reminder that Oregon needs to be prepared for the Big One now.

“Certainly this morning was a wake-up call," she said. "We have to continue this work, we must work together."

Brown visited the Clatsop County Emergency Operations Center at Camp Rilea, testing the emergency radio to see how it works for herself.

State leaders say the room is considered the most robust communication system in the state and would be a secondary site for all official emergency communications in the event of a major earthquake and the tsunami that ensues.

The center was just one of a handful of stops Brown made on the coast Wednesday to get a firsthand look how prepared first responders are.

She also met with community leaders at the Clatsop Community College to learn what they're doing to prepare people who live in town. Part of those efforts including handing out signs to place in a window of a home or building after an earthquake to help first responders know right away if residents need help.

The college is also currently undergoing renovations to be built to seismic standards.  School administrators hope their facilities will one day be an evacuation option for people if needed.

“I was excited to see the new building at Clatsop Community College,” Brown said. “Clearly with no just students in mind entire community in mind.”

Further down the coast, Oregon State University is planning to construct a new marine science building in Newport in the heart of the tsunami inundation zone. School officials say they hope the building will provide a vertical evacuation option for people in the event of a tsunami.

The decision to build in the tsunami zone went against the advice of many state leaders but was made with the use of state funding.

The governor’s office didn't respond to requests for comments when FOX 12 reported the university's plans in September, but Wednesday Brown said she supports the idea.

“I see that as an opportunity to build it to the highest standards that we have,” she said. “I think what’s key about OSU building there with the Marine Science Center, is that it will give students there the hands-on learning opportunities, but I think it will also challenge our architects and our builders to build a facility that is state of the art.”

Brown said she was encouraged by what she saw on the coast Wednesday but added there is still a long way to go when it comes to being fully prepared for a big earthquake.

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