Throughout the entire month of September the Emergency Volunteer Corps of Nehalem Bay (EVCNB) is announcing a disaster preparedness campaign focused on safety, starting with a community meeting on Sept. 16 at the Pine Grove Community House.
By Brian Cameron
“With the events in Houston and Hurricane Harvey, not to mention Irma and José, the idea of being prepared for a disaster is on everyone’s mind,” said Linda Kozlowski, EVCNB President. “We’re hoping that this may spur more people to be involved and learn more about how north Tillamook County can react to a catastrophic emergency.”
Kozlowski made it clear that per the geographic location of Manzanita, Nehalem and Wheeler, the effects from a large-scale disaster could inadvertently put the area on a proverbial back-road as far as accessibility to outside communities and assistance.
“After looking at the most recent projections as far as damage to our commerce infrastructure,” said Kozlowski. “We realized really quick that due to the tunnel over Arch Cape, the bridges over the Nehalem and the other expected damage that something like a large earthquake and tsunami could deal out to us, that we may be one of the furthest reachable communities throughout the entire state.”
Through this dire prediction Kozlowski hopes that it may spur the community to be more involved with not just long term survivability after a catastrophic event, but also personal emergency preparedness as well.
Focusing on a number of topics the overall theme and message behind personal emergency preparedness revolves around four basic things that North Coast Citizens, and visitors, should know in the event of a large-scale disaster.
• Know where the nearest assembly-site is and how to get there
• Have a go-bag in your homes, car or office
• Have a plan for the entire family
• Be prepared to shelter-in-place
“Even before Hurricane Harvey hit Texas, EVC had been sharpening our Mass Care Strategy,” said David Dillon, EVCNB Board Secretary. “An apparent lack of personal preparedness in Texas appears to be a source of trouble for them. We could expect to have very similar problems here.”
Dillon was referring to the kind of large-scale disaster that can (and likely will at some point) be in the form of a subduction earthquake caused tsunami, though he suggested that anything from a devastating storm, a manmade event of some kind or a repeat of last year’s tornado that ripped through Manzanita are other examples of situations where personal emergency preparedness are important to remember.
On Sept. 16 the EVCNB plans on presenting Jeff Rubin, Emergency Manager with Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue and Vice Chair of the 2012 Oregon Resilience Implementation Report, in a free public presentation.
“Rubin is a charismatic, energetic and experienced speaker with creative, innovative and pragmatic ideas for individual preparedness,” said Kozlowski. “He will offer practical steps that can be taken by anyone to secure their homes.”
According to Kozlowski the Sept. 16 meeting will also include displays and presentations on local CERT (Community Emergency Response Teams), go-bags, Prepare Our Neighborhood as well as Water, Sanitation and Hygiene programs. In addition local hardware stores are scheduled to be on site to provide examples of supplies they carry that can be used to improve individual readiness. The meeting is slated to start at 1 p.m. at the Pine Grove Community House in Manzanita.
Aside from the first meeting on Sept. 16 with Jeff Rubin, the EVCNB is also planning a series of programs all focusing on preparedness for Emergency Preparedness Month, but also next month begins Tsunami Preparedness Month with presentation by OEM/Homeland Security grant discussion for 2018-2019 with Eric Swanson on Oct. 16 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Nehalem Bay Fire & Rescue Station 13. On Oct. 19 the Great Oregon Shakeout disaster drill which will be held at CARTM just after 10 a.m.