September is National Preparedness Month and Oregon’s Office of Emergency Management urges individuals, families, businesses and local organizations to take time during this timeframe – and throughout the year – to be “2 Weeks Ready.”
For many years, a 72-hour preparedness kit was the standard for disaster planning. This is a good start, and helpful in the event of short-term power outages or temporary evacuation. But as OEM Director Andrew Phelps points out, a large earthquake and tsunami will leave much of the area’s transportation routes destroyed and leave large areas of Oregon without resources for days or weeks.
“Having 2 weeks of food, water, and other emergency supplies is critical for individuals and families who may need to take care of themselves until formal response resources can reach them,” says Phelps.
There is no one correct way to put together two weeks’ worth of supplies since everyone has individual dietary and medical needs. If your family includes children, seniors or pets, you will have additional needs. Everyone’s kit will look different but for a basic starting point, visit the OEM website, Ready.gov, The American Red Cross and more. These sites offer a wide range of preparedness perspectives on the specific essentials to include in a kit.
Other 2 Weeks Ready resources include a series of animated one-minute videos, along with easy-to-read graphics and brochures. Each brochure offers helpful tips on what to do 2 minutes, 2 hours, 2 days and 2 weeks after a disaster.
In the aftermath of the September 11 event in 2001, steps have been taken by emergency management organizations across the country to encourage citizens to prepare for disasters and emergencies – natural or human-caused. National Preparedness Month was launched in 2004; program messages include make a plan, build a kit, be informed.
Oregon Governor Kate Brown issued a proclamation in support of National Preparedness Month and the
2 Weeks Ready concept.
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