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National Preparedness Month

September is National Preparedness Month, an opportunity to raise awareness about the importance of preparing for disasters and emergencies that could happen at any time. 

This year -- one year after the most destructive wildfires in the state’s history -- the Office of Emergency Management is asking Oregonians to Honor with Action and pay tribute to those who lost so much in the wildfires of 2020 by proactively preparing for future disasters.

Disasters affect Oregonians in different ways, and each of us can be impacted by fires, floods, utility outages, severe weather and other hazards. As we work to build a culture of preparedness in Oregon, we have a shared responsibility to ensure we are actively reducing our risk.

National Preparedness Month logo  

When a disaster strikes, it may take days or even weeks for responders to reach impacted Oregonians, who may have to go without food, water or electricity. Oregonians should plan on being self-sufficient for at least two weeks following any type of emergency. This takes pressure off first responders so they can triage effectively and attend to life-threatening situations; ensures individuals can survive without help or additional supplies if roads are impassable; and encourages neighbors to care for one another, along with other vulnerable populations.

The words preparedness and readiness – along with the notion of having two weeks’ worth of supplies – can sound and feel overwhelming. The good news is, you may be more prepared than you think. It starts with simple actions:

  • Be informed by signing up with OR-Alert for area emergency alerts.
  • Help start or join an existing Community Emergency Response Team.
  • Check in on neighbors and loved ones before and during severe weather, utility outages or other emergencies.
  • Understand Oregon’s tiered evacuation levels and identify evacuation routes from home, work or school and the surrounding neighborhood.
  • Make and practice an emergency plan that outlines what to do before, during and after an emergency, and talk with your family, neighbors and friends about the plan.
  • Pack an emergency kit with two weeks’ worth of food, water, supplies and necessities like medications, copies of important documents and phone chargers. You probably already have many of the necessary items – flashlights, gloves, a battery-powered radio, trash bags, a first-aid kit – in your home; start small and work toward the two-week goal.

Disasters don’t wait for us to be ready, and when they strike, the time to prepare has passed. Start integrating a culture of preparedness into your daily lifestyle now. Click here to view resources to help you and your family prepare for what lies ahead. Taking simple steps now can pay huge dividends when the next emergency arrives.

Downloadable Resources