Recent cold temperatures and icy conditions in Portland are a great reminder to get prepared for winter weather. And by preparing for winter, you'll also be getting ready for earthquakes, floods, and other disasters. Many of the steps to get ready for one hazard (such as building an emergency kit) are important for any hazard.
Here are some easy actions to take that will help make your home or business disaster-ready:
1. Build an emergency kit.
There's no one way to do it, but it's important that the kit meets the needs of your family or business. You also shouldn't get overwhelmed when putting it together - the items don't have to be expensive, and you can add one item at a time or per paycheck. Here are a few of the essentials to consider:
- Enough food and water to last for at least two weeks or longer (including enough for your pets), but less is also okay if you don't have enough storage room or can't afford to keep more on hand.
- First aid kit and extra medication.
- Portable battery-powered radio and spare batteries.
- Flashlight and spare batteries.
- And more! Click here for other ideas on what to put in your kit.
2. Make a family/business plan.
This should include what to do if phones aren't working and you're separated from the rest of your family (such as meeting in a specific location). Other items to consider include:
- Selecting a family member or friend outside of the region to check in with following a disaster.
- Putting together a financial plan with banking and insurance information, and contact numbers. Click here for a template.
- And once you have a plan in place, test it regularly. A good time to review your plan is when you change your clocks at the beginning and end of Daylight Savings Time.
- For businesses, go through the Red Cross Ready Rating Program.
- Click here for other plan resources.
3. Take action to secure your home or business for every hazard.
There are many ways you can prepare your home or business to better withstand a winter storm, earthquake, or other hazard.
- Protect your plumbing. Click here for tips from the Portland Water Bureau.
- Perform a fire safety check of your home. Click here for tips from Portland Fire & Rescue.
- Go through your home and remove or secure heavy objects that could fall when the ground shakes. Click here to learn more.
- Bolt your home to its foundation. Click here for tips from the Portland Bureau of Development Services.
- Click here for information on other ways to prepare your home or business.
4. Stay informed.
- Sign up for PublicAlerts!. PublicAlerts is a system used by Portland and Multnomah County able to send urgent safety messages by email, text, cell phones, and landline phones. When activated, it enables public safety responders to warn residents to stay inside, evacuate, or take other safety actions. To ensure your information is in the system, visit www.publicalerts.org and sign up today.
- Check the National Weather Service for the latest forecast, especially if you plan on travelling.
- Also visit the Oregon Department of Transportation's TripCheck website for information on road hazards and travel disruptions.
- Get connected on Twitter to @PublicAlerts, @pbotinfo, @pdxfire, @portlandpolice, @portlandbem, @portlandwater, @nwsportland, @trimet, and others. Also check out these Facebook pages.
- Click here for other ways to stay informed.