Are you prepared for the ‘big one’? Poll says 52% of Northwest residents are not

SEATTLE — A new poll shows the majority of people who live in the Pacific Northwest are not prepared for an earthquake but expect one to happen in their lifetime.

PEMCO Insurance found that three-quarters (77 percent) of Washington and Oregon residents expect they’ll experience a big-time earthquake here, similar to the Nisqually earthquake which shook Washington 15 years ago creating $2 billion in damages and hurting 400 people.

But despite that fear, only half (52 percent) say they’re at least somewhat prepared, and two out of five (39 percent) admit they aren’t prepared at all.

Who are the worst offenders? Renters.

About half of Northwest renters (55 percent) admit they haven’t taken steps to prepare for a natural disaster, compared to just one-third (30 percent) of homeowners who said the same.

The CDC says planning and preparing are critical to surviving a natural disaster.