Mt Hood Emergency Expo 2014 is coming!!!

Friday May 2nd 11:30 am to 7:00 pm
Saturday May 4th, 9:30 am to 6:00 pm

This FREE expo will have over 60 speakers and displays to help you BE PREPARED. Won't you join us?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


Emergency Preparedness Expo draws 2,000-plus to Boring
Community event provides education about disaster planning
By Evan Jensen

When Boring resident Kathy Bigelow heard the news about a 6.8-magnitude earthquake in Japan, on March 14, just a few weeks ago, she was worried. Images of last year's devastating 9.0-magnitude earthquake that destroyed three of the country's nuclear power plants, claimed the lives of 20,000 people, and caused an estimated $309 billion in damages flashed through her mind.

“My son is in Yokohama, Japan,” Bigelow said. “He was able to call me about five minutes after the earthquake. He said they were evacuated as a precaution, but everyone was fine. He knew it was coming even before it hit, because he has an app on his cell phone that alerted him.”

Bigelow has never experienced a massive earthquake or severe natural disaster in her lifetime, but she knows it's important to be prepared. That's why she joined 2,000-plus people at the Emergency Preparedness Expo in Boring on March 16-17. The event, organized by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, featured two days of presentations about emergency preparedness, food storage, and disaster management.

“We really appreciate all the public agencies, emergency responders, local businesses, and volunteers who worked together to host this event,” said Crismon Lewis, president of the Mount Hood Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ. “It's important to prepare for the unexpected. We don't know when a natural disaster will occur, but being prepared makes it a lot easier to weather the storm when something happens.”

When the 9.0-magnitude earthquake struck Japan last year, no one thought tsunami waves would penetrate the 19-foot seawall in Fukushima. But the tsunami hammered the coastline with 47-foot waves that carried away homes, buildings, cars, and people. And earthquake specialist James Roddey, who is also the communications director for the American Red Cross Oregon Chapters, says it's only a matter of time before an earthquake and tsunami of that size will occur in the Pacific Northwest.

Stake President Crismon Lewis (right) visits with James Roddey,
                                  keynote speaker at the Expo.

“We're living in an era where storms have become billion-dollar disasters,” Roddey said during a presentation at the Emergency Preparedness Expo. “Storms are getting bigger. The weather is changing, and all the natural disasters we hear about have become the new normal. These kinds of events stretch the resources of the federal government and the ability to respond to one natural disaster after another. What that boils down to is personal responsibility. Now is a good time to sit down with your families and get the ball rolling. Make a plan to take care of your family and find out how you can help your neighbors in case of an emergency.”

Local businesses, emergency responders, and volunteers did just that at the Emergency Expo. Visitors had the chance to learn about preparing a 72-hour kit, food storage, and water purification. Other vendors provided tips and information about first aid, gardening, pet care preparedness, ham radio communications, cooking, and heat, light, and fuel options, when the power goes out.

Boring resident Charles Rattray spent the two-day expo showing people how to prepare a 72-hour kit in case of an emergency. He and his wife both have well-stocked roll-away suitcases ready to go if they needed to leave home in a hurry. These 72-hour kits contain the essentials you might expect like clothes, food, water, flashlight, and a sleeping bag.

Charles Rattray shares his views of 72-hour kits with Evan Jensen.

“But there's other things you should have in your 72-hour kit people don't think of,” Rattray said, who spent his career in the U.S. Army as an emergency responder trained to help provide disaster relief. “One of the things that's really important to keep in a kit like this is copies of all your important documents like your birth certificate, insurance policies, medical records, and those kinds of things. If you were evacuated, or your house is destroyed, you'll need those documents to prove who you are and get the help you need once things settle down.”

Leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have counseled church members for decades to store a year's supply of food, stay out of debt, and be prepared for the unexpected like a natural disaster. But church leaders based in Salt Lake City, Utah, also know that even being prepared isn't always enough. In 2010 the Church provided relief to people affected by 119 disasters in 58 countries.

Bigelow isn't a member of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but she has volunteered to help people with their family history and genealogy for years. And even though her husband is a veteran of managing disasters (Lt. Pat Bigelow is the fire prevention officer for the Boring Fire District), she knows they can do more to prepare for an earthquake, fire, and the unexpected.

“This event was pretty amazing,” Bigelow said. “I came here because I wanted to find out more about how to be better prepared in case of an emergency. I'm going to put together the supplies I need for a three-day kit in case I ever need to leave the house in a hurry.”

Be Prepared
Find out more about how to be prepared at http://emergencypreparednessexpo2012.blogspot.com/ . The site includes, tips, information, how-to guides, and helpful checklists to help you prepare for an emergency.

Coming soon on this blog - video presenations of the workshops.

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