Get Prepared

Preparing for Disasters in Polk County

A Guide for Improving the Resiliency of Individuals and Families in Our Community

View or Download PDF: Preparing for Disasters in Polk County, Oregon

Community Resilience begins with the smallest steps, taken at the lowest levels of our community. The very foundation of an all encompassing preparation, response and recovery plan begins with you, the individual reading this.

In the aftermath of a significant event our ability to begin the recovery period is dependent upon fast and efficient restoration of our critical infrastructure and resources.

  • Businesses need to open their doors so supplies and materials can be purchased, household food and sanitary stores can be replenished, and vehicles can refuel.
  • This, in turn, enables residents to return to their homes, and municipalities resume normal functions.
  • Next, we need schools to open so working parents can return to their jobs and our economy can begin to replenish itself.
  • Then our support networks will begin to come online. Faith centers, medical offices, daycares, financial institutions and public assistance offices are all crucial in the next steps that are necessary to move towards the successful restoration of our community.

None of those steps above are possible without the key individual players that make each one happen. The business owner who has a continuity of operations plan. The employee who has prepared themselves and their family to survive and quickly stabilize. The teacher who is able to be in their classroom the day that schools open their doors. And first responders who can immediately begin to restore the safety and security of our streets and neighborhoods, knowing that their own families are safe at home.

No matter the role you hold in our community, no matter how small a part you believe you play consider this; every citizen prepared to take care of his or herself becomes one less victim needing help from severely hampered and overwhelmed emergency services personnel after a disaster.

It may seem like a huge task, but if you do just a little bit each week, or even each month, before you know it you’ll have the confidence to weather almost any storm. The following pages of this disaster preparedness guide are full of great ideas on how to get started. While FEMA’s national standard is to prepare a 72 hour kit, in Oregon we recommend being 3 weeks ready in order to fully prepare for a Cascadia Earthquake event. For more information on better preparing yourself, your home, your business, your school or your community please visit the links and resources on the opposite page, contact your local police department, or take a CERT course sponsored by your local Community Emergency Response Team.

Stay safe out there!
~ Kimber Townsend
Polk CERT Program Coordinator

View or Download PDF: Preparing for Disasters in Polk County, Oregon