Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Have a kit ready for support in aftermath of a disaster

May 6, 2009
What would you do for first 72 hours after an emergency?
We received an interesting phone call a few weeks ago following the column on what to do if you are at the beach and you feel an earthquake.
In the column I asked you to think through your initial reaction: what you would or would not do, where you would go, etc.
My goal in these scenarios is to get you to think and perhaps discuss with your families some basic behaviors that may keep you alive immediately following an event. Studies have shown that when we are scared our brains may shut down, especially if it is something we have never experienced or thought about before.
During the initial phase of an emergency, you will be responsible for yourself and your family. It could take hours or even weeks for emergency responders to get to you.
Local government emergency management agencies, fire fighters, police, hospitals, utilities, road crews and many more local folks will begin doing their jobs as quickly as possible but will also have families that experienced the disaster.
Instructions will be given over radio, TV and alarm systems when available. Shelters may be established, food and water provided and people directed to evacuation routes.
However, we must all be prepared to care for ourselves for at least 72 hours in case these first responders cannot get to us. It is our responsibility to have a 72-hour emergency kit that includes the basics of water, food, medicine, sanitary needs, radio, flashlight, and clothes, among other items.
A complete list of recommended items is posted on the Oregon Emergency Management Blog I have a 72-hour kit in my trunk, do you? Look over the list of items and if you have any questions or suggestions to add to your emergency kit, let us talk about it in the comments below.

Jennifer Bailey, formerly of FEMA, is the Public Affairs Coordinator of Oregon Emergency Management. She may be reached at (503) 378-2911, Ext. 22294 or Additional Facts - good kits can be found at several businesses - one good web site is
Please send questions about emergency preparedness to be answered in this column to Other information may be found at www.oregon. gov/omd/oem or


Anonymous said...

What kind of hand radio or NOAA radio is best? Where is the best place to buy one?

Jennifer Bailey said...

I have a regular radio that is also a flashlight that you crank by hand. I got it at Fred Meyer. I also have a NOAA hand held radio that I like really well made by Midland. I'm sure there are a lot of good brands out there and it would be difficult for me to recommend one over another. Thank you for planning ahead.