Ashland residents have an opportunity tonight to hear a presentation on preparing for "The Really Big One" — a massive Cascadia subduction zone earthquake scientists say is coming, sooner or later. If you are uncertain about the threat, and want to know more — including what you should personally do to prepare — we recommend showing up.

The talk starts at 6 p.m. at Ashland Christian Fellowship. Admission is free.

Presenter Steve Eberlein of the American Red Cross described his approach in a story in Friday's Tidings. Eberlein, a Klamath Falls native, calls his 90-minute program "Preparing Out Loud" because of the importance of enlisting friends, relatives and neighbors in the effort of stockpiling food, water, first-aid supplies and camping gear.

For those from California who think they know earthquakes, think again. The legendary San Andreas fault — which is not a subduction zone fault — can produce, at worst, an 8.2 magnitude quake. Because the magnitude scale is logarithmic, that's just 6 percent as strong as the 9.0 quake that hit Fukushima, Japan.

The biggest potential Cascadia quake could be a 9.2.

Interstate 5 would be impassable in much of the state. Everything west of I-5 would be "toast," in the words of one FEMA official.

Eberlein emphasizes that it's not the resources available to respond after such a massive jolt, but the impossibility of delivering those resources where they are needed. People who survive will do so by saving themselves. Get started by attending tonight's meeting.