Formulation of an emergency plan is one of the most important undertakings that can be accomplished before a disaster ever happens. We have laid out different tiers of strategies for you and your family to consider and implement before a catastrophe strikes.
Laying down the foundation
One of the first steps is conceptualizing what you will need first.
- Where will you meet after a disaster?
- At home, have a designated spot outside of the home where everyone meets.
- If you and your partner are at work, where will and how will you meet-up?
- If you have children, who will pick them up from school?
- Do you have pets? What is the ideal way to bring them along?
- If everyone is scattered apart, what is the long-term game plan of a final assembly place. Will it be the local school, police or fire department, your home?
After you have formulated meeting places, practice. The Red Cross suggest that you practice earthquake and fire drills twice a year using multiple escape routes. By coordinating the drills when you change your clocks, it becomes easier to remember and to be consistent with this life-saving technique.
An out-of-state contact should be chosen and everyone in the home should have the number. After a disaster, local phone lines may be jammed or down, making a long-distance call may be easier. If all of your family members are scattered apart from each other, having that outside contact may be the vital life-line that your family needs to use to let everyone know that you each are safe.
Also, reaching out to neighbors for additional resources, may not only help you, but them as well. They may have important skills or items at their disposal which may come in extremely handy in a disaster. Also, would they be willing to look after a child until you could make it home, if you have pets, would they be able to assist them?
The State and Portland area Counties and Cities are each creating their own earthquake emergency outreach plan, please visit their websites for additional resources:
- State of Oregon Office of Emergency Management State of Oregon Earthquake Page
- Multnomah County Office of Emergency Management Multnomah County Earthquake Page
- The Portland Bureau of Emergency Management City of Portland Earthquake Page
- Clackamas County Emergency Management Clackamas County Earthquake Page
- Yamhill County Emergency Management Yamhill County Earthquake Page
- City of Vancouver Emergency Preparedness Vancouver, WA Earthquake Page
Preparing an Emergency Kit and Important Information Storage
After surviving a quake, you will still need to get through the next couple days, up to weeks and even months. Creating an essential survival kit with food, water and household items will allow you and your family the ability to carry through until vital services are up and running.
We’ve laid this out in different levels of what would be the most vital to survive through items that would make life easier when basic luxuries are not available.
Essential Family Records
Crucial paperwork containing contact information for your home, banking, medical and benefit institutions can be equally important when trying to rebuild after a disaster. Make copies of all listed and store them in at least two safe places, even consider having an out-of-state relative keep copies for you. Have a “go-box” that contains this crucial documentation and should be kept with or near the Main Home Essentials. Essential Family Documentation