Preparing for disaster
With talks of the "Big One" proliferating rapidly over the last few years, many Portlanders are increasingly concerned about their readiness in case a natural disaster strikes.
And in the Emergency Preparedness Fair at Multnomah Arts Center Sunday, March 4, a gamut of organizations such as the Oregon Humane Society, the Portland Water Bureau, NW Seismic and the Maplewood Neighborhood Emergency Team provided such conscientious citizens ample preparation tips to keep in mind.
Here are some of the key reccomendations and facts presented at the fair:
n Store an emergency gallon of water and an emergency bag of clothes.
n Store dollar bills rather than solely large bills in case people don't have change.
n Each pet should have a carrier for transportation and shelter, immunization records, a leash and a collar and blankets for bedding and coverage.
n Find a designated friend in your life who will check on your pet if you're unable to reach your home.
n In case of an earthquake, shelter under large and sturdy pieces of furniture and be weary of windows, falling objects and a falling chimney.
n Keep a battery powered radio to check for updates and use mobile phones or text messages to report emergencies.
n Learn how to tie knots as they could be important for rescue purposes.
n Learn CPR, first aid, how to use a fire extinguisher and how to shut off water, gas and electricity.
n Consider having your house seismically retrofitted so that it can brave seismic activity.
n Collaborate with neighbors as first responders might take a long time to come to your neighborhood.
n Keep a tarp handy in case it's raining and your house is damaged.
n Drink water with purification tablets.
n In case of an earthquake, strap down computers, televisions and other hazardous electronic components.
n Drop, cover and hold onto a sturdy object after an earthquake begins.
n To access water from your water heater, let the air out by opening the relief valve and then open the drain valve at the bottom of the heater to release the water. Also, properly brace your water heater to a wall and flush your water heater annually.
n To prepare for a fire, keep space heaters away from anything that can burn and install a home sprinkler system. Also, crawl under smoke rather than through it.
n There are currently no seismically hardened water crossings across the Willamette River.
n The existing water system in Portland will have 3,000-plus leaks and the backbone of the water system pipeline will experience at least 200 failures in case of a 9.0 earthquake — potentially derailing the water system.
n Fill the bathtub with water if you can because water might not be available for a long time after a natural disaster.