Life in Portland Blog

Emergency Preparedness Workshop Follow Up


Thanks to all who showed up for our Emergency Preparedness Workshop with guest speaker Carmen Merlo, Director of Emergency Management with the City of Portland. The information she presented was truly invaluable, especially in light of the devastation caused by superstorm Sandy on the east coast.


If you weren’t able to make it, or you didn’t take notes, don’t worry we’ve got you covered! Below are some checklists to help keep you and your family safe in the event of an emergency. We have also uploaded a copy of Carmen’s presentation slide show for you to keep on hand or share with your friends, family, and colleagues. Emergency Slide Show: Part 1 & Part 2.

1) Make an Emergency Plan
2) Make an Emergency Kit
3) Stay Informed
4) Structural Mitigation
5) Recommended Mitigation Contractors
6) Non-Structural Mitigation

This was such a wonderful workshop that we will be inviting Carmen Merlo back for another workshop this spring! If you have any more questions please feel free to contact us and we will do our best to help.

Make an Emergency Plan
- Learn to use a fire extinguisher, shut off utilities.
- Select a safe place to meet family.
- Identify out-of-the area contact to call.
- Provide family members with current list of important contact numbers.
- Determine where you would stay if your home can not be occupied.
- Determine how you would get home if roads/ bridges were compromised.
- Talk to your insurance agent about coverage.


Make an Emergency Kit
- Make copies of important documents.
- Water (min 1 gallon / person or pet per day).
- Canned, packaged or non-perishable food (remember pets).
- Blankets or sleeping bags, tent.
- Portable or hand cranked radio with extra batteries.
- Sturdy shoes, gloves, hat, goggles, filter face mask.
- Warm clothing, extra socks, rain gear.
- Flashlight.
- First aid supplies, medications, spare eyeglasses/contacts.
- Tools (wrench, can-opener, eating utensils, matches).
- Plastic bags, toilet paper, plastic bucket.
- Emergency cash.
- Toiletries and personal care items (soap, toothbrush/paste).


Stay Informed
- Learn about hazards in your area through Enter your address, click on “maps” and then “hazards”.
- Learn first aid and CPR through your local Red Cross.
- Volunteer through Red Cross or join your Neighborhood Emergency Team for a free six week training program.
- Listen to the radio for emergency updates.
- Sign up for public alerts.

Structural Mitigation
- Damaged or inadequate foundation
- Unbraced cripple wall
- Soft first stories – garage door, hillside house built on stilts
- Unenforced masonry / inadequately braced chimneys
City’s Bureau of Development Services Seismic Strengthening Program


Recommended Mitigation Contractors
NW Seismic: Michael Wieber

Earthquake Tech: Steve Gemmell
David Leech, Inc: David Leech


Non-Structural Mitigation
- Correctly strapped water heater
- Emergency gas shut-off valve
- Anchor bookcases and other tall furniture to the walls
- Install latches on all cabinet doors
- Secure collectibles with museum putty