John Rosman/OPB

If the Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake struck right now it would take a couple of months to get the water system fully operational in Portland and its suburbs. But it’s an entirely different story on the Oregon Coast.

In the event of the Cascadia quake, the coast will be closest to the epicenter, fully in the tsunami zone and, due to its rural location, last in line for repairs. How long would it take for these systems to be rebuilt?

In a radio special as part of OPB’s “Unprepared,” series, OPB digital producer John Rosman explores what water infrastructure can tell us about the survival of coastal communities after what could be the largest natural disaster in American history.

Click here to read more and see photos from this story.

About Unprepared

OPB’s Unprepared series is dedicated to stories that inform our community about the dangers of a megaquake, and to examining ways our region can be better prepared. Oregon Field Guide spent the last year-and-a-half probing the state’s level of preparedness. It found that Oregon is dangerously far behind many quake-prone regions in the world. Watch the hour-long Oregon Field Guide Unprepared special.