Seismic upgrades on cache sites needed

Emergency preparedness committee hopes to bolster stability at emergency cache sites in Cannon Beach.

CANNON BEACH — Residents store medicine, provisions and other supplies in three emergency cache sites in Cannon Beach. Will those sites survive the Big One?

Ensuring that the cache sites are able to withstand an earthquake is important to the city’s emergency preparedness committee.

“My priority is to make sure all three sites are shored up to withstand a seismic event,” committee member Paula Vetter said at a late October meeting.

Many agreed that internal building modifications on the city’s three emergency container cache sites, for seismic purposes, would be one way to use the committee’s funds.

“The seismic upgrades at the three cache sites are the No. 1 priority, along with supplies and outreach for the fiscal year,” committee chair Karolyn Adamson said after the meeting.

The committee’s budget for this fiscal year is $6,500. The amount can be spent on preparedness and education efforts through June 30. Cost estimates for the cache site modifications have yet to be determined.

The committee may consider purchasing a prototype for the sanitary facilities. Supplies needed might include propane-cooking burners and utensils.

“When you’re feeding hundreds of people, you need something to feed them with,” Adamson said.

Although budget priorities could include seismic upgrades on cache sites, outreach, business preparedness and supplies, members agreed further discussion was needed. The committee will meet again in December.

By December, three informational kiosks will be put in place downtown, midtown and the Tolovana Wayside. Panels will include emergency preparedness information and a site-specific tsunami evacuation route map, upcoming monthly events and local recreational attractions.

The kiosks are funded by a $30,000 grant from the Oregon Office of Emergency Management. The grant also funded eight beach access identification posts and a dozen pavement markers for the tsunami line that lets people know they reached the “safe zone.”

After the recent Manzanita tornado, the committee discussed the need for tornadoes to be part of the committee’s education efforts.

The Red Cross will assess whether certain Cannon Beach locations could be used as future shelters, said Stacy Burr, the city’s emergency consultant. Locations could include Coaster Construction, Cannon Beach Bible Church, Tolovana Inn, Breakers Point condominiums, Sea Ranch RV Park, Cannon Beach Christian Conference Center and Haystack Gardens, depending on whether the property owners would like to use the area as a shelter.

“There’s a lot of preparedness going on in the next eight months,” Burr said.

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