Oregon is a state that taps into our spirit for adventure. Expansive mountains and coastlines provide endless opportunities for hiking, our rivers lend themselves to exploration by kayak or canoe, Oregonians love to camp under the stars, and we could spend the remainder of our lives seeking out the infinite nooks and crannies of this great big beautiful wilderness.
It's also important to remember that this same diverse wilderness can equate to potential environmental risks. 2011's earthquake in Japan illustrated just how suddenly disaster can strike (debris from the resulting tsunami continues to wash up on our coastline), and served as a much-needed reminder that everyone should plan ahead in case of emergency. Not to panic...but to be prepared.
The Red Cross have provided a great place to start, with access to a digital copy of their emergency preparedness handbook. Set aside some time to go over this with your family, and those in your care, so that everyone has a better idea of what to do and where to go should a disaster occur. The Portland Bureau of Emergency Management (PBEM) also have excellent resources on their site, including details on the types of emergency Oregon is susceptible to, and ways in which you can become an emergency volunteer in your community, such as the NET (Neighborhood Emergency Team).
The universally shared hope is that no-one would experience a devastating event during their lifetime, but history has proven that this is not always the case. Emergency responders are often overwhelmed during a significant disaster, and it could take days - or weeks - before help arrives. Being aware, informed, and ready to respond can significantly increase you and your family's chance of survival should the unthinkable occur.