Great letters to the Editor from our Local Preparedness Leaders. Read at OregonLive.com
Print publication: Friday, Feb. 8
The Oregonian’s excellent story “Report: Quake will bring vast devastation” (Feb. 5) highlights Oregon’s vulnerability to the inevitable megaquake, with its hazards to infrastructure and business.
The report says “human resilience” needs future planning. Though it appropriately recommends that individuals gather supplies for at least two weeks — not the inadequate 72 hours formerly suggested — much more must be done to create a resilient community. Fortunately, a volunteer group collaborating with the Portland Bureau of Emergency Management and the Multnomah County Office of Emergency Management has developed a helpful online resource:PREPOregon.org. PREP, or Planning for Resilience & Emergency Preparedness, has practical, even fun, things we can do to prepare our households — and to help our neighbors too.
NPR’s “The Key to Disaster Survival? Friends and Neighbors” concluded that “it is the personal ties among members of a community that determine survival during a disaster, and recovery in its aftermath.”
Let’s organize potlucks, play preparedness bingo and help get our neighbors ready for any emergency.
LIZ BRYANT and JEREMY O’LEARY
Bryant and O’Leary are members of the PREP steering committee.
The article by Richard Read concerning the report on earthquake devastation should wake up the populace. This possible scenario is the reason the Neighborhood Emergency Team (NET) in Portland and Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) in the rest of the state were formed. Members of the teams are trained to be first responders in their neighborhoods.
The Portland NET teams are trained by Portland Fire & Rescue to conduct search and rescue, triage, disaster medicine, utility control, fire suppression and help overwhelmed emergency responders. There are currently about 1,400 people who have taken the training, but that’s far too few to help in all areas.
The website portlandoregon.gov/pbem/net provides a wealth of information on how to prepare for an emergency situation, including making a plan, building a kit and preparing your home for a disaster. It also has a link to take the training to become a NET member. The training is free to Portland residents. Those outside of Portland can contact their local fire department for information.
Survival is a do-it-yourself project. No one else can do it for you. It’s your family, your home, your life.
Rentz is leader of the Laurelhurst Neighborhood Emergency Team.