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Tsunami 'Go Kits' Now Assist Guests at N. Oregon Coast Hotel

Published 04/09/2019 at 5:33 AM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Tsunami 'Go Kits' Now Assist Guests at N. Oregon Coast Hotel

(Manzanita, Oregon) - The Ocean Inn in Manzanita has come up with a special way to take care of their guests should one particular horrific disaster happen here.

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That spooky – and hopefully far-off – geological upheaval that will someday hit the Oregon coast continues to loom over the region: the imminent threat of a massive underwater earthquake just offshore and the subsequent tsunami. Both are expected to do extensive damage to all beach towns, quite likely wiping some off the map entirely. Subduction zone earthquakes and their resultant tsunamis occur in this region approximately every 300 to 500 years, and the last one happened in 1700.

Ocean Inn owners Larry and Janice Zagata, with the help of two other north Oregon coast residents, helped create the “Go Kits” in case of a major tsunami. Jason Johnson, owner of Seaside hiking and sporting goods store Tonquin Trading Company, created the actual product, and Linda Cook of the Emergency Volunteer Corps of the Nehalem Bay helped steer the group’s direction.

Tonquin Trading’s emergency kits are lightweight backpacks that contain a watertight first aid kit, water packets, two food bars, two emergency blankets, two emergency ponchos, and two hand warmers. They also contain a light stick that lasts as long as 12 hours.

They hang in every closet at the Ocean Inn, along with a laminated set of instructions of what to do in case of a tsunami. It’s not rocket science, Larry Zagata points out in a video about the product: you turn right and walk away from the ocean. But evacuation procedures need some explaining sometimes, and the cards will come in handy during a time of panic and desperation.

Janice said she had the idea awhile back, but they only came to fruition this winter.

“The idea of Go Bags for our guests rooms began a few years ago after attending an Emergency Preparedness meeting of the Emergency Volunteer Corps (EVC) of Nehalem Bay,” she said. “I have to admit coming out of that meeting I was even more confused. I began wondering what my obligations to my guest's were. After some research we decided we needed to provide our customers with something that they can ‘grab and go’ with in the event of a natural disaster of any kind.”

Once people arrive at the tsunami meeting point up the road, they will get further instructions.


“We believe that the items in the bag will assist our customers with the basic needs to sustain them until they get to the assembly area and for a short time after.”

Together with Johnson and Cook, they created the go kits. Tonquin Trading Company’s site is now opening them up for sale to other lodgings on the Oregon coast. The names and logos of any company can be printed on them.

They are designed to take care of two individuals, but Johnson’s company can tailor-make them according to other needs.

The go kits aren’t just for tsunamis: they can work in case of any other kind of disaster. Indeed, Manzanita experienced a rare tornado touching down a few years ago that tore up numerous buildings and took down almost a third of the north Oregon coast town’s trees, but flooding and other issues could arise as well.

One such disaster was the inspiration behind creating Nehalem Bay’s EVC. Back in 2007, a large chunk of north Oregon coast – from Wheeler up to Astoria – took the area by surprise when the Great Gale that December knocked out power in many little towns for about a week. Cook said her organization now includes a whopping 400 members who are educated in not just tsunami preparedness but other disasters as well.

Ocean Inn is at 32 Laneda Ave. Manzanita, Oregon. 503-368-7701. 866-368-7701. www.oceaninnatmanzanita.com. - Hotels in Manzanita, Wheeler - Where to eat - Maps - Virtual Tours







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