Leaving home for college can be scary, especially when emergencies strike and your family can’t be there. But being prepared is within reach with just a few simple steps. Start by learning about the potential hazards in the Pacific Northwest and creating an emergency kit. Discussing risks with your roommates and friends can also make a big difference in staying safe during an emergency. Don’t let fear take over - take control and be prepared.
Pacific Northwest Hazards
The Pacific Northwest region of the United States is known for its beautiful landscapes and rich biodiversity, but it is also home to several natural hazards that residents and visitors need to be aware of. Here are some of the most common natural hazards in the Pacific Northwest:
The Pacific Northwest is situated along the Cascadia Subduction Zone, where the Juan de Fuca Plate meets the North American Plate. This makes the region susceptible to powerful earthquakes, some of which can cause significant damage to buildings, bridges, and other infrastructure.
The Pacific Northwest is characterized by steep terrain, heavy rainfall, and unstable soils, which can all contribute to landslides. Landslides can be triggered by heavy rainfall, earthquakes, and other factors, and can cause significant damage to buildings, roads, and other infrastructure.
The Pacific Northwest is home to several active and potentially active volcanoes, including Mount St. Helens and Mount Rainier. A volcanic eruption can cause widespread damage and disruption, including ash fall, mudflows, and even lahars (volcanic mudflows).
The Pacific Northwest is also known for its extensive forests, which are susceptible to wildfires, especially during hot and dry weather conditions. Wildfires can cause significant damage to forests, homes, and other structures.
The Pacific Northwest is prone to flooding, especially during the winter months when heavy rainfall and melting snow can cause rivers to overflow their banks. Flooding can cause significant damage to homes, businesses, and other infrastructure.
Emergency Supply Kits
Having an emergency supply kit is essential for college students who may face unexpected situations or disasters while away from home. Here are some items that should be included in an emergency supply kit for college students:
Recommended items to include in a basic emergency supply kit:
Large backpack to hold your supplies
Flashlight and extra batteries
First aid kit
Dust masks to help filter contaminated air
Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
Sturdy hiking boots or other shoes
Extra clothes, including rain gear
Emergency phone numbers for your family and an out-of-state friend/family member if local phone service is disrupted
Reusable water bottle
Additional items to consider adding to your emergency supply kit:
Copy of medical insurance card
Prescription medications and glasses
Sleeping bag or warm/emergency blanket
Personal hygiene items
Emergency reference material such as a first aid book or information from www.ready.gov
Paper and pencil
Portable backup battery/power bank for mobile devices
Books, cards, non-electric games, puzzles or other activities to pass the time
Lewis & Clark College does not endorse any specific retailers of premade emergency supply kits. However, we understand the importance of being prepared for emergencies and have compiled a list of locations where students, faculty, and staff can purchase premade emergency supply kits. Please note that this list is not exhaustive and individuals are encouraged to do their own research to find the best option for their needs.