• OPB Think Out Loud on Getting Prepared

    AIR DATE: Tuesday, October 30th 2012
    Publish Date: 
    Tuesday, 30 October 2012
  • Announcing Planning for Resilience & Emergency Preparedness

    PREP is a new website at that offers you practical information on being ready for any emergency, from storms and power outages to earthquakes.
    PREP encourages preparedness for families, households and immediate neighborhoods, since emergency services may be overwhelmed and unable to respond promptly after a major disaster. Experience shows that "while official help is is the personal ties among members of a community that determine survival during a disaster, and recovery in its aftermath.”
    At the heart of PREP are four steps to readiness:
    1. Get Prepared: What to know, what to have on hand
    2. Get Prepared with Your Neighbors: How to help your neighbors get ready
    3. Get Organized: Make a plan with your neighbors for helping each other after a disaster
    4. Get Confident: Learn new skills by practicing together
    PREP emphasizes readiness for earthquakes and tsunamis, because if you’re ready for an earthquake you’re pretty much ready for anything. The next megaquake from the Cascadia Subduction Zone could happen anytime and will likely leave the Portland area without utilities, food and fuel deliveries, and other services for a week to a month or longer. Travel and communication may be difficult or impossible for a time.
    Here’s the good news:
    • Earthquakes are the most survivable of major disasters, especially when you know how to stay safe in one.
    • Experience shows that disasters tend to bring out the best in people.
    • By working together to gather resources and share skills, we’re making our communities stronger and more resilient. And that’s a good thing, disaster or not.
    The PREP website contains printable checklists plus links to more information. If you can’t print copies for your use or to share with neighbors, Portland residents can pick up preparedness handouts and a host kit at the nearest neighborhood district coalition office. Or if you live in Multnomah County but outside of Portland, call 503/988-4233.
    The website also includes a calendar of events and information on setting your household up for longer-term resilience.

    PREP has been developed by a group of volunteer first responders and members of community groups, in particular Transition PDX. Other collaborating partners include
    • Portland Bureau of Emergency Management
    • Portland Fire and Rescue
    • Multnomah County Emergency Management
    • Portland's neighborhood district offices
    For more information, visit or email Please email any suggestions about the website content to
    Publish Date: 
    Friday, 19 October 2012
  • Local food summit's missing ingredient: Congress

    Friday morning, at the third annual Multnomah County Food Summit, 300 people got things started by chanting together, "Food justice!" 

    It was what you might call a Portland moment. 

    Right now is what you might call the Portland food moment. The place that has shown the country how to make the most of both food stamps and food carts should have a few more courses to set out. 

    "This is a county that really cares about food, and not just in the ways The New York Times notices," declared County Chairman Jeff Cogen in his opening remarks to the summit. "Food justice is at the heart of the values of Multnomah County." 

    Publish Date: 
    Saturday, 16 June 2012
  • Resilience PDX to host free, one-day expo on disaster preparedness at Northeast Portland's King School

    ResiliencePDX is sponsoring an emergency preparedness expo Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., at King Elementary School.

    Experts from Portland city bureaus, Multnomah County, the Oregon Red Cross, Portland Public Schools, and more than 35 other groups will educate about resources before, during, and after a major emergency. There will be more than 20 skills workshops.

    All ages are welcome and attendance at the entire event is free.  Food vendors will be on site selling lunch, snacks, and desserts.

    Publish Date: 
    Tuesday, 29 May 2012
  • The Key To Disaster Survival? Friends And Neighbors

    When Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005, one victim was political scientist Daniel Aldrich. He had just moved to New Orleans. Late one August night, there was a knock on the door.

    "It was a neighbor who knew that we had no idea of the realities of the Gulf Coast life," said Aldrich, who is now a political scientist at Purdue University in Indiana. He "knocked on our door very late at night, around midnight on Saturday night, and said, 'Look, you've got small kids — you should really leave.' "

    The knock on the door was to prove prophetic. It changed the course of Aldrich's research and, in turn, is changing the way many experts now think about disaster preparedness.

    Officials in New Orleans that Saturday night had not yet ordered an evacuation, but Aldrich trusted the neighbor who knocked on his door. He bundled his family into a car and drove to Houston.

    "Without that information we never would've left," Aldrich said. I think we would've been trapped."

    In fact, by the time people were told to leave, it was too late and thousands of people got stuck.

    Publish Date: 
    Monday, 4 July 2011
  • The Earthquake Kit by Rebecca Solnit

    Somewhere, someone should write about the official euphemisms that accompany disasters.  The roiling set of problems at the Fukushima nuclear complex seems only to grow as one unprecedented situation after another arises, including a possible massive build-up of salt --99,000 pounds are estimated to have accumulated in reactors 2 and 3 -- from sea water pumped into the damaged reactors to cool them.  Salt can encrust uranium fuel rods and heat them up dangerously. In the meantime, the “mox” fuel (which contains highly toxic plutonium with a half-life of 24,000 years) in reactor 3 now seems to be leaking and venting.  The release of mox fuel into the environment represents a situation with which the nuclear industry has little experience.  Fears are rising that there could be "a crack or a hole in the reactor core's stainless steel chamber or in the spent fuel pool that's contained by a massive concrete container," which could prove devastating.  And that’s just to begin to lay out the problems at the complex itself, which are predicted to go on for "weeks, if not months."

    Publish Date: 
    Sunday, 27 March 2011
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