If you haven’t started setting aside supplies for a disaster, or done any other kind of planning, where is the best place to start? This is a common question, and while there’s no one right answer, I’ll give you my priorities to use as a guideline in case you need it.
Remember that you don’t have to tackle everything at once, and I highly advise taking it in small doses. A small amount of planning is better than no planning.
It is important to make sure that everyone in your family knows what your reunification plan is. To learn how to make a plan, visit ConcordiaPDX.org, click on “Concordia News” and read the NET columns in the Oct. and Nov. 2021 editions. A reunification plan doesn’t require any supplies, just thinking and talking things through with your family.
For supplies, I suggest starting with a three-day go-bag for each member of the family, including children, and I’ll cover what you should put in it in next month’s NET column. These are supplies you can use in your home or take with you, depending on the situation.
Once you’ve got that in place, it’s time to start thinking about larger quantities of water, a subject I covered in the July and Aug. 2022 NET columns. You will also need food supplies for a longer period of time. It’s a good idea to have at least two weeks of food and water supplies on hand. If it’s too much to buy all of that at once, add to your supplies gradually—it’s not an all-or-nothing rule. Some is always better than none!
If you feel like you have enough supplies for your family for a couple of weeks or more after a disaster, it’s time to get involved in your community if you haven’t already. Find out about joining your Neighborhood Emergency Team (NET) at Portland.gov/pbem/ neighborhood-emergency-teams, or your BEECN (Basic Earthquake Emergency Communication Node) team at Portland.gov/pbem/about-beecn (and see Concordia News August 2021). Or connect with neighbors to share preparedness duties and develop a disaster response plan for the block on which you live.
A community that plans together survives better and recovers faster from disasters!
Erin E. Cooper is a marine biologist living in Woodlawn. She spends a lot of time thinking about disasters and has been a NET member for many years. Contact her at OceanListener@gmail. com.