In conjunction with National Preparedness Month and the 9/11 anniversary, the Portland Bureau of Emergency Management (PBEM) has launched a multi-faceted awareness campaign. Activities include neighborhood-level training, an FM radio show, a first-ever TV and newspaper advertising campaign and the special, symbolic lighting of the Portlandia statue.
During the month of September, nighttime visitors to downtown Portland will notice the Portlandia statue lit in amber-yellow (the official color of PBEM and National Preparedness Month). This symbolic gesture is meant to urge residents to prepare themselves and their families for a potential 9.0 magnitude earthquake and other disasters. Just last Friday, the metro area was reminded of its earthquake vulnerability as a 3.5 magnitude quake near Molalla rumbled through the area.
Also, with support from federal grant funds, PBEM and its regional partners have launched an ad campaign urging residents across the Portland/Vancouver metro area to sign up for the PublicAlerts program. PublicAlerts enables first responders to provide real-time, life-saving notifications to geographically targeted neighborhood groups during emergencies. Registrants can customize alerts to receive them via landline phone, cell phone, text and/or email.
On September 12th, PBEM’s Neighborhood Emergency Team (NET) training will begin seven weeks of classes for dozens of neighborhood volunteers. This free training includes classroom instruction, hands-on practice and a field exercise, all designed to provide life-saving knowledge to residents during emergencies. Current classes are full but recruitment for the volunteer program is on-going. New, online introductory classes are available to the public here.
On September 21st, tune into KBOO radio 90.7’s emergency preparedness show from 11:00 a.m. to noon. PBEM Director Carmen Merlo and State of Oregon earthquake expertYumei Wangwill discuss earthquake home preparedness and other relevant topics.
Later this year PBEM will unveil a completely revamped and refreshed website. For more information on National Preparedness Month, the NET program, home preparedness kits and how to seismically brace homes against earthquakes, visit PBEM online at www.portlandoregon.gov/pbem.