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'September is Preparedness Month. ... We are overdue for the next quake. Let's get prepared together!'

What does preparedness mean to you?

To me, Nancy Monroe, a senior resident of Forest Grove for 36 years, it means families and neighborhoods all have enough water and food to last them at least two weeks. Did you know we need at least one gallon of water per person per day to survive (more if we are going to cook or clean)?

I am new to preparedness for a disaster in which emergency services; police and firemen and hospitals will be overwhelmed and unable to respond to every need; where neighbors will need to be the first responders to help each other. I like the idea of neighborhood resilience, of people helping other people. To be able to do this, we need to prepare, as families, as neighbors and as community members.

I learned through Map Your Neighborhood that there is something called the "Golden Hour."

"The "Golden Hour" was first described by R. Adams Cowley, MD, at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore. ... Dr. Cowley recognized that the sooner trauma patients reached definitive care — particularly if they arrived within 60 minutes of being injured — the better their chance of survival." — Charlie Eisele, Journal of Emergency Medical Services

In Forest Grove and Cornelius, we have access to Map Your Neighborhood training in both English and Spanish, which teaches what to do during the Golden Hour, step by step, to better survive a large disaster.

I called on 20-plus homes in my neighborhood in 2016 and with Stacy Metzger's help (Stacy is a volunteer with Forest Grove Fire & Rescue). I opened my home and provided snacks while Stacy trained us in the Map Your Neighborhood program.

We had a second meeting in 2017 at a neighbor's home where Stacy trained us in the challenge of readying ourselves for two weeks with food and water.

In 2019, we had a neighborhood picnic, just to get to know each other better, which makes us a more resilient neighborhood.

If the subduction zone Cascadia quake happens during my lifetime, I know our chances of survival will be greater if we are prepared as a family, a neighborhood and a community. For more on the Cascadia subduction zone, see oregon.gov/oem/hazardsprep/Pages/Cascadia-Subduction-Zone.aspx.

There will be a Quake Up event adjacent to the Forest Grove Farmers Market on Sept. 18 from 4 to 7 p.m. There will be fun for the family with lots of information on how to get prepared including how to cook without a stove, water sanitization, how to stop a bleed, preparedness that people with disabilities can do, and more.

September is Preparedness Month. The last subduction Cascadia quake was in January of 1700. It was magnitude 9.0. We are overdue for the next quake. Let's get prepared together!

Nancy Monroe is a Forest Grove resident.


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