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Be ready! Comic book, events focus on disaster preparation

Month devoted to promoting emergency safety precautions


Photo Credit: COURTESY DARK HORSE COMICS - The cover of 'Without Warning,' a free Dark Horse comic about being prepared for earthquakes.The Napa Valley earthquake hit just as emergency management officials were gearing up for National Preparedness Month, which happens every September.

This year, preparedness efforts kicked off early with the Aug. 20 release of a free comic book on earthquake preparedness by Dark Horse Comics, the well-known comic book and graphic novel publisher in Milwaukie.

Free downloads were posted on the company’s website just days before the 6.0 earthquake rattled California’s wine growing region on Aug. 24, causing extensive damage and injuring more than 100 people. Oregon officials say the Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake expected to strike the Portland area sooner or later will be far worse.

The comic, “Without Warning,” is the result of a collaboration between Dark Horse, the Oregon Office of Emergency Management, and the Cascadia Region Earthquake Workgroup. According to OEM spokesman Cory Grogan, it is an attempt to interest teenagers and other young people in emergency preparedness.

“Not a lot of people think about emergency preparedness, but when they do, they get very passionate about it,” Grogan says.

The 12-page comic is about a girl who gets separated from her family at the Oregon coast by an earthquake and tsunami. It was written by OEM Geologic Hazards Program Coordinator Althea Rizzo, former Dark Horse Associate Editor Jeremy Barlow, and illustrated by veteran comic book artist David Hahn. The story highlights the importance of emergency preparedness.

“Without Warning” can be downloaded for free at https://digital.darkhorse.com/profile/4951.without-warning.

Other upcoming activities include Get Ready Portland, a free emergency preparedness event from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sept. 6 at Unthank Park, 510 N. Shaver St., Portland. It will include safety demonstrations, kids’ activities and materials from local emergency groups. The first 100 families will receive small Red Cross emergency kits.

Get Ready Portland is hosted by Portland Fire & Rescue, the Multnomah County Office of Emergency Management, the Portland Bureau of Emergency Management, the Portland Police, DOGAMI, Legacy Emanuel Hospital, AMR, the Oregon Food Bank, Self Enhancement Inc. and NW Natural.

Also coming up is the annual Great Shakeout Earthquake Drill at 10:16 a.m. on Oct. 16. It is an opportunity to practice the “drop, cover and hold on” response recommended during big

earthquakes. To register, visit http://www.shakeout.org.

For information on preparing an emergency kit and more, visit http://www.ready.gov.