Saturday, September 7, 2013
NW Natural and the American Red Cross are teaming up during National Preparedness Month to help Oregonians prepare for a natural disaster or emergency. During the month of September, Get Ready events will be held in 10 communities including Hood River and The Dalles.
The events are free to the general public. The first 100 families will receive free Red Cross emergency kits. Free food will be provided at most events, as well as safety demonstrations, kids’ activities, and materials from local emergency groups. There is no need to register: attendees can just show up.
Additionally, NW Natural will donate $2,000 to the American Red Cross Cascades Region at nine of the 10 events for a total of $18,000 from its Corporate Philanthropy fund.
“We want to go beyond just making a financial contribution, so we’re partnering with local emergency groups within our service territory to educate the public on how we can all Get Ready before a natural disaster strikes,” said Von Summers, NW Natural corporate community affairs manager.
Here are details of the local events:
n Hood River, Sept. 14: Hood River Fire Department on Meyer Parkway from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., joined by Hood River Fire & EMS, Citizen Corps, Medical Reserve Corps, Safe Kids Columbia Gorge, and Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital.
n The Dalles, Sept. 28: Water’s Edge on Lone Pine Boulevard, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., joined by Mid-Columbia Fire & Rescue, Wasco County Sheriff’s Office, CERT, Medical Reserve Corps, Oregon Department of Human Services, Community Action Partnership, OSU Extension Service, Home At Last Animal Shelter, and SERVPRO.
“These events are an engaging way to bring people together and get them to think or talk about the ways they can prepare for a natural disaster,” said Francisco Ianni, director of preparedness for American Red Cross Cascades Region. “We thank NW Natural for taking a leadership role in helping us all get ready.”
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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"
Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge