The City of Portland is encouraging residents to join the Neighborhood Emergency Team program – or NET – as a way to prepare for earthquakes and other disasters. In the immediate aftermath of a major disaster, more than 90 percent of persons rescued are not assisted by firefighters, police officers or other public safety responders – they are rescued by their neighbors. The NET program gives residents basic safety skills they can use to help with search and rescue, treat injuries, and shut off damaged gas and water utilities until professionals arrive.
“The earthquakes off the Oregon Coast on Sunday and Monday serve as a reminder we all need to take action to prepare before the next major quake,” said Commissioner Steve Novick. “Joining the NET program is one of many ways Portlanders can become more resilient and help their families, friends and neighbors.”
Last week the Portland Bureau of Emergency Management released a report highlighting the work of the NET program [click here to read the report]. In 2014, the program contributed 14,402 volunteer hours (up 59% from 2013), added 135 new members, took active steps to increase NET diversity, and deployed teams eight times in response to emergency incidents, including during a wind storm last December, and planned events.
Portland residents can learn more about how to join the NET program by visiting www.portlandoregon.gov/net, and find tips on how to prepare for an earthquake at www.portlandoregon.gov/pbem.