Are You Ready? Step 3: Planning for the Long Haul

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Note: In honor of National Disaster Preparedness Month, we are publishing a daily series of stories about steps you can take to better prepare your household for when disaster strikes. The goal is to be ready for at least a two-week interruption of food, fuel, communication and service suppliers, which is what can be expected in a serious, regional disaster.

Imagine a natural disaster that could disrupt regional services for months, even years, and leave the community cut off from the outside world.

Major earthquakes have occurred along the Cascadia Subduction Zone off the coast of Oregon and Washington with regularity over the past 5,000 years, from 67 to 330 years apart with severest impacts reaching inland to the Cascade Range.

The last major quake occurred in 1700, so we are nearing the maximum time between quakes recorded so far.

If that were to happen, here are the disruptions we can expect:

  • Electricity, 1-3 months
  • Police and Fire overwhelmed, 2-4 months
  • Water and Sewer, 1 month to 1 year
  • Top highways disabled, 6-12 months
  • Health facilities disabled, 18 months

 

"This is why we talk about two weeks ready, if not longer," said Greg Walsh, City of Salem Emergency Manager.

Even during this months-long pandemic, people with a large emergency supply kit have the potential to better weather grocery store shortages and potential home quarantines.

So let's keep building our readiness kit!

Ready Step 3

In case of disaster, you may need to evacuate quickly. If this happens during the day when your family is at school and work, you might not be able to get home right away. Make a plan with your family to have alternate meeting locations, if meeting at home is not possible.

MAKE A PLAN:

  • Identify at least two places to meet after a disaster; one immediately outside the home, and a second location outside of the neighborhood.

Note: In honor of National Disaster Preparedness Month, we are publishing a daily series of stories about steps you can take to better prepare your household for when disaster strikes. The goal is to be ready for at least a two-week interruption of food, fuel, communication and service suppliers, which is what can be expected in a serious, regional disaster.

Imagine a natural disaster that could disrupt regional services for months, even years, and leave the community cut off from the outside world.

Major earthquakes have occurred along the Cascadia Subduction Zone off the coast of Oregon and Washington with regularity over the past 5,000 years, from 67 to 330 years apart with severest impacts reaching inland to the Cascade Range.

The last major quake occurred in 1700, so we are nearing the maximum time between quakes recorded so far.

If that were to happen, here are the disruptions we can expect:

  • Electricity, 1-3 months
  • Police and Fire overwhelmed, 2-4 months
  • Water and Sewer, 1 month to 1 year
  • Top highways disabled, 6-12 months
  • Health facilities disabled, 18 months

"This is why we talk about two weeks ready, if not longer," said Greg Walsh, City of Salem Emergency Manager.

Even during this months-long pandemic, people with a large emergency supply kit have the potential to better weather grocery store shortages and potential home quarantines.

So let's keep building our readiness kit!

Ready Step 3

In case of disaster, you may need to evacuate quickly. If this happens during the day when your family is at school and work, you might not be able to get home right away. Make a plan with your family to have alternate meeting locations, if meeting at home is not possible.

MAKE A PLAN:

  • Identify at least two places to meet after a disaster; one immediately outside the home, and a second location outside of the neighborhood.

BUILD A KIT:

Week by week, we are continuing to build up our readiness kit with more waer and food, as well as more necessities for a longer survival period.

Gather:

  • 2 gallons of water per person and pet
  • 6 cans of nonperishable food per person
  • 2 weeks of feminine hygiene products and/or incontinence products
  • Hand sanitizer

You have food and water for several days, tools in your kit, and a plan to help family members reconnect.

You're on your way!

Success Tip: Water can be purchased in larger containers such as 5- to 50-gallon containers) to consolidate storage space. However, be sure to have portable containers on hand in case you need to travel during an emergency.

Clean and sanitized containers can be filled with tap water if sealed and stored in a cool place. Water should be emptied and container resanitized and refilled every 6 months, or if it's climate controlled, every 9 to 12 months

Ready Step 1: Are You Ready for What's Coming?

Ready Step 2: The Right Tools Always Help

More Information and Resources

Week by week, we are continuing to build up our readiness kit with more waer and food, as well as more necessities for a longer survival period.

Gather:

  • 2 gallons of water per person and pet

  • 6 cans of nonperishable food per person

  • 2 weeks of feminine hygiene products and/or incontinence products

  • Hand sanitizer

    You have food and water for several days, tools in your kit, and a plan to help family members reconnect.

    You're on your way!

Success Tip: Water can be purchased in larger containers such as 5- to 50-gallon containers) to consolidate storage space. However, be sure to have portable containers on hand in case you need to travel during an emergency.

Clean and sanitized containers can be filled with tap water if sealed and stored in a cool place. Water should be emptied and the container resanitized and refilled every 6 months, or if it's climate controlled, every 9 to 12 months

Ready Step 1: Are You Ready for What's Coming?

Ready Step 2: The Right Tools Always Help

More Information and Resources