2016 was one of PBEM’s busiest years ever as we finished up long-term projects, expanded several of our programs, and managed the Portland Emergency Coordination Center (click here to review our annual report). Here are some of the milestones and highlights. Over the past 12 months, we:
- Completed the multi-year update to Portland’s Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan;
- Led recovery efforts to support residents and business in the Nob Hill Business District affected by a natural gas explosion in October (known as Recover NW 23);
- Launched a PublicAlerts system to help warn the public in an emergency, including the addition of an option for residents to sign up to receive alerts in ten languages other than English;
- Activated Portland’s Emergency Coordination Center 25 times for training exercises, emergency incidents, and large-scale planned events, including the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Indoor Championships;
- Expanded the Neighborhood Emergency Team (NET) program by 38%, bringing the total number of volunteers to 1,175 with active teams in 58 neighborhoods;
- Conducted 21 trainings on the Basic Earthquake Emergency Communication Node (BEECN) program, and assigned 125 volunteers to staff 30 BEECN sites;
- Continued progress with the Portland Bureau of Development Services, Portland Development Commission, and community members on a policy for Council to consider in 2017 requiring the mandatory seismic retrofit of unreinforced masonry (URM) buildings;
- Reached more than 22,500 residents through outreach efforts with neighborhood associations and community groups, presenting at conferences and schools, tabling at public events (such as Sunday Parkways and Fix-It Fairs), and much more to bring PBEM programs and emergency preparedness to an economically diverse and culturally rich base of attendees throughout the city;
- Taught two Youth Disaster Academies at Wilson High School and Benson High School to 170 students;
- And much more!
Please take a few minutes and review our annual progress report for an update on what we’ve been doing.
And if you want to see where we’re headed, stay tuned for an update to our three-year strategic plan. We’re planning to release it in the next few months.