By: Glenn C. Devitt, Sunnyside NET Team Leader
How well is your family prepared for an emergency like an electrical outage?
Or a winter storm?
Or an earthquake?
In Sunnyside, we share the motto: Be Prepared, Not Scared!
Southeast Uplift has generously offered to include information in this newsletter to help you prepare easily and inexpensively for any event. We want residents to be educated and equipped to help each other when needed. Every small step you take makes a difference. Every gallon of water. Every can of tuna. And believe it or not, it can be fun – and kids enjoy it too!
The most important part of emergency preparedness is getting to know your neighbors before an emergency happens. Say “hello” at the mailbox. Have potluck dinners. And eventually, create a shared supply of emergency equipment.
- In a widespread disaster, 95% of survivors are rescued by their neighbors because professional first-responders are overwhelmed.
- For example, there are four Firefighters on duty at Station 09 on César E. Chávez Blvd who serve 138,000 residents in the Southeast Uplift area! To support the professionals, more than 150 Neighborhood Emergency Team (NET) volunteers in the area have been trained by Fire & Rescue and the Bureau of Emergency Management. Citywide there are more than 1,600 NETs. More info about the program is at portlandoregon.gov/net
There are many resources to help you begin the process of emergency preparedness, and Southeast Uplift can help you access them. Some of the topics we will cover in upcoming messages:
- Portland’s Neighborhood Emergency Team (NET) program will train you – for free! – to join the volunteer team in your neighborhood. The next three-Saturday class series is March 3, 10, and 17. Registration is here. Childcare will be provided, and scholarships are available to provide trainees with the materials they need. Cost is not a barrier.
- A 24-week shopping list for any household to purchase basic supplies on a budget.
- How to properly store food and water in your house or apartment.
- Map Your Neighborhood skills and equipment inventory for your block or building.
Who knows what? Who has what? Who can do what?
- Volunteers conduct basic preparedness discussions for groups, in your living room or community space. These presentations are not scary, and are kid-friendly – we promise!
- Familiarize yourself with the closest BEECN (Basic Earthquake Emergency Communication Nodes) location in order to access emergency supplies and assistance if phone lines are down.
- Keep up-to-date with Neighborhood Association Committees that support NET efforts. You can access this information through your Neighborhood Association’s website or by contacting the Neighborhood Association’s Board Members directly.
Thanks for preparing your family and your neighbors!
Glenn C. Devitt
Sunnyside NET Team Leader
Sunnyside Prepared co-chair (A committee of the Sunnyside Neighborhood Association)
Friends of Portland NET co-founder
Friends of Portland Fire & Rescue board member