Tuesday, November 30, 2010

If the Power goes out!

Until power does return, here are some home safety tips:

 Use alternative heat sources safely.

 Do not burn anything inside without adequate ventilation.

 Never use gas ovens, gas ranges, barbecues, hibachi, and most portable or propane heaters for indoor heating. These units burn up oxygen, create deadly carbon monoxide, and are a likely cause of fire.

 Have firefighting materials on hand: dry powder, fire extinguisher, heavy tarp or blanket, and water.

 Use portable generators only as independent sources of power.

 Do not connect generators to your home’s main service panels.

 Make sure generators are used where there is good ventilation.

 Keep doors to refrigerators and freezers shut to conserve heat.

 Use foods that can spoil rapidly first.

 “If in doubt, throw it out”.

Lastly and most important, we ask that you please check on your neighbors to make sure they are being taken care of during this extensive power outage.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Tips for getting through till the power comes back on

The repair of the power grids has been difficult and power surges from appliances left on have hampered their success. Citizens are asked to shut off all unnecessary appliances in anticipation of power restoration. Until power does return, here are some home safety tips:

 Use alternative heat sources safely.

 Do not burn anything inside without adequate ventilation.

 Never use gas ovens, gas ranges, barbecues, hibachi, and most portable or propane heaters for indoor heating. These units burn up oxygen, create deadly carbon monoxide, and are a likely cause of fire.

 Have firefighting materials on hand: dry powder, fire extinguisher, heavy tarp or blanket, and water.

 Use portable generators only as independent sources of power.

 Do not connect generators to your home’s main service panels.

 Make sure generators are used where there is good ventilation.

 Keep doors to refrigerators and freezers shut to conserve heat.

 Use foods that can spoil rapidly first.

 “If in doubt, throw it out”.

Lastly and most important, we ask that you please check on your neighbors to make sure they are being taken care of during this extensive power outage.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


WASHINGTON- As our nation comes together to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and its United States Fire Administration (USFA) would like to remind all residents to Put a Freeze on all Fires.

According to data from the USFA, an estimated 2,000 Thanksgiving Day fires in residential buildings occur annually in the United States, resulting in an estimated average of five deaths, 25 injuries and $21 million in property loss each year. The leading cause of all Thanksgiving Day fires in residential buildings is cooking. In addition, these fires occur most frequently in the afternoon hours from noon to 4 p.m. And unfortunately, smoke alarms were not present in 20 percent of Thanksgiving Day fires that occurred in occupied residential buildings.

"Disasters can happen any time, any where, but some emergencies at home can be avoided by taking a few simple steps for safety," said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. "And don't forget this holiday season, while gathered around the table with family and friends, is a great time to talk about your family emergency plan, and what you would do in the case of a disaster."

FEMA and USFA have issued a special report examining the characteristics of Thanksgiving Day fires in residential buildings. The report, Thanksgiving Day Fires in Residential Buildings, was developed by USFA's National Fire Data Center and is further evidence of FEMA's commitment to sharing information with fire departments and first responders around the country to help them keep their communities safe during this holiday. Read the report for more information.

The USFA also suggests these safety cooking tips:

Make sure you have smoke alarms on every level of your home, outside each sleeping area, and in every bedroom. Test smoke alarms monthly and replace them if they are 10 years old or older.

Keep a close watch on your cooking. You should never leave cooking food unattended.
Keep oven food packaging and other combustibles away from burners and heat sources.
Heat cooking oil slowly and watch it closely; it can ignite quickly.

Don't wear loose sleeves while working over hot stove burners - they can melt, ignite or catch on handles of pots and pans spilling hot oil and other liquids.
Have a "kid-free zone" of at least three-feet around the stove and areas where hot foods or drinks are prepared or carried.

Keep a lid nearby to smother small grease fires. Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the stovetop. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cool.

"Thanksgiving marks the start of a very busy time for all firefighters," said Acting Fire Administrator Glenn Gaines. "Holiday decorations, heating, and increased indoor cooking all present just some of the causes of residential fires. Your place of residence should be the safest place of all. Protect it with working smoke alarms and know what to do if a fire should occur."

Deep-fried turkey has quickly grown in popularity but safety experts are concerned that backyard chefs may be sacrificing fire safety for good taste. If you absolutely must use a turkey fryer, please use the following tips:

Turkey fryers should always be used outdoors a safe distance from buildings and any other flammable materials.

Never use turkey fryers in a garage or on a wooden deck.

Make sure the fryers are used on a flat surface to reduce accidental tipping.
Never leave the fryer unattended. Most units do not have thermostat controls. If you do not watch the fryer carefully, the oil will continue to heat until it catches fire.

Never let children or pets near the fryer even if it is not in use. The oil inside the cooking pot can remain dangerously hot hours after use.

To avoid oil spillover, do not overfill the fryer.

Use well-insulated potholders or oven mitts when touching pot or lid handles. If possible, wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from oil splatter.

Make sure the turkey is completely thawed and be careful with marinades. Oil and water do not mix, and water causes oil to spill over causing a fire or even an explosion hazard.

The National Turkey Federation (NTF) recommends thawing the turkey in the refrigerator approximately 24 hours for every five pounds in weight.
Keep an all-purpose fire extinguisher nearby.

Never use water to extinguish a grease fire. If the fire is manageable, use your all-purpose fire extinguisher. If the fire increases, immediately call the fire department for help.

FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

Vernonia Schools Groundbreaking Celebration

To all who have helped us reach this big milestone, come join us at the GROUNDBREAKING On December 2!

**10am Groundbreaking at the new school site, with Governor Kulongoski and the leadership team
**11am Student Assembly in the Washington Grade School gym
**11:30am Appreciation Reception hosted by Oregon Solutions in the Vernonia High School gym

We will celebrate the many recent developments that led to this exciting event, including the $1 million challenge grant by the Ford Family Foundation (see www.vernoniaschools.org) as well as financial and in-kind contributions by many other partners. See details in the electronic invitation attached below--and feel free to forward to your colleagues who have been involved. We hope to see you there!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Counties prep for 2-1-1 help line

By Alex Paul, Albany Democrat-Herald | Posted: Monday, November 22, 2010 9:00 am

By next summer, residents of Linn, Benton and Lincoln counties will be able to make a single phone call to learn how they can seek help with health care, transportation, food pantries and other needs.

A 2-1-1 phone program is expected to be up and running by then, according to Greg Roe, executive director of United Way of Linn County, and Jennifer Moore, executive director of United Way in Benton and Lincoln counties.

Two-one-one operates much like the well-known 911 for emergencies, they say. It has been operating in the Portland area and in seven Oregon counties with great success. The goal is to have 2-1-1 in effect in every county in the state by 2013.

Calls are answered Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. The service received more than 260,000 calls last year.

There have been more than 5,000 calls from people in Linn, Benton and Lincoln counties to the Portland 2-1-1 program in the last year, according to Roe.

“People have heard about it and are looking for help where they can find it,” he said.

Moore said data is being compiled at a “hub” in Lincoln County. Once that work is done, the data manager will begin work in Benton and then Linn County.

“We are developing relationships and updating information for entire counties, not just with specific towns,” Moore said. “When someone from one of the three counties calls 2-1-1, the operator will be able to tell them not only where the nearest resource is available to them, but also, what materials are needed to qualify for help, hours of operation, and in some cases, how many vouchers are available at a given time so they aren’t wasting their time.”

Information compiled locally will be available through the 2-1-1 center in Portland. The goal is to make all information available statewide.

Also, the information will be available on-line for anyone with Internet access, Roe and Moore said.

Linn, Benton and Lincoln counties already share many services, and sharing one data manager helps reduce overhead costs, they added.

“There is a lot of need right now in all of the counties,” Moore said.

United Way in each of the counties will pay a share of the local program’s start-up cost, projected to be about $115,000.

Roe and Moore will soon start visiting local civic organizations to provide information about the 2-1-1 project and to seek monetary support.

Moore added that developing assistance referral data base systems in in each county’s 10-year plan to end homelessness.

“People’s needs change all of the time, so we will have to be able to change with them,” Roe said. “Right now, adult dental care is an issue since so many people have lost their insurance coverage.”

To learn more about the 2-1-1 program, or to have a United Way representative speak to your civic group, contact Roe at 541-926-5432 or Moore at 541-757-7717.


Posted: November 18th, 2010 11:04 AM
Photo/sound file: http://www.flashalertnewswire.net/images/news/2010-11/1002/40013/ThanksgivCluck.jpeg

With the holidays upon us, thousands of Oregonians will take to the roads to spend time with family and friends. Oregon State Police (OSP) and Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) remind travelers to be prepared for winter road conditions, buckle up and drive alert so everyone can arrive safely at their destinations. Police officers throughout Oregon and around the country will be busy sending the message to "Click It or Ticket" to save lives and prevent injuries on our roads.

"No one wants to start the holidays off down the wrong road by causing a collision or getting a ticket," said Captain Mike Dingeman, director of the OSP Patrol Services Division. "Save a life and save your money. Drive carefully, alert and sober, and buckle up every time on the road, day or night."

The longest holiday period of the year, the Thanksgiving holiday period covers 102 hours starting Wednesday, November 24, at 6:00 p.m., and running through 11:59 p.m., Sunday, November 28. Oregon is joining traffic enforcement efforts nationwide to reduce crashes, injuries and deaths on Oregon roads during the holiday period's special "Click It or Ticket" enforcement mobilization.

Some of the special enforcement efforts planned during the holiday period include:

* OSP, Malheur County Sheriff's Office, Idaho State Police, and Nevada Highway Patrol will target major routes, including Highway 95 between Interstate 84 and Interstate 80, on November 26 and 27 for expected increased traffic traveling to and from the Friday night Boise State / Nevada football game. (Media contacts listed at end of this news release)
* OSP troopers from the Coos Bay Area Command office will focus enforcement efforts on Highway 38 and Highway 42 for increased traffic traveling to and from the southern Oregon coast.
* OSP, Klamath County Sheriff's Office, Klamath Falls Police Department, and the Klamath County DUII Task Force will be participating in a multi-agency DUII enforcement effort on Friday and Saturday nights.

During last year's Thanksgiving holiday period in Oregon, two people died in two separate traffic crashes. Since 1970, over 230 people have died on Oregon roads during this holiday period.

"Sadly, the holidays, which for many are the happiest time of the year, is also one of the deadliest and tragic," said Dingeman.

The 2008 Thanksgiving holiday was no different around the country as 1,120 passenger vehicle occupants were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) statistics show that more than half of those killed were not wearing safety belts at the time of the crash. According to ODOT, over half of Oregon's motor vehicle occupant fatalities were also not using safety belts at the time of their crashes.

While seat belt use is at a record high of 83 percent nationally and 97 percent in Oregon, millions of people nationwide still fail to buckle up when they get in a motor vehicle despite laws requiring belt use in forty-nine states. Oregon continues to be in the top three states nationally for highest rates of safety restraint usage and for child seat use for children under age four, but booster seat use among four to eight year olds is a paltry 62 percent.

"Parents seem unconvinced of the benefits of booster use over adult safety belts for young children," said Carla Levinski, ODOT's Occupant Protection Program Manager. She offered the following tests for determining if a child is ready to use an adult safety belt system instead of a booster:

* Can the child sit on the vehicle seat so his/her whole back is touching the seatback?
* Do the child's knees bend comfortably at the edge of the seat?
* Does the belt cross the shoulder between the neck and arm?
* Is the lap belt touching the tops of the legs?
* Can the child sit like this for the whole trip?

Levinski reminds adults that Oregon law requires seat belts to be used properly, meaning wearing both lap and shoulder belts as intended. "Even though your Thanksgiving dinner may tempt you to do otherwise, remember that an unbelted occupant surviving ejection during a crash is only one in four," she said.

OSP, Oregon State Sheriff's Association, Oregon Association Chiefs of Police, and ODOT remind travelers to use TripCheck.com (or call 5-1-1) for the latest road conditions, paying close attention to your travel routes while keeping up on unexpected weather / road conditions, and follow these important safety tips:

Getting Ready for the Trip

* Plan ahead to give yourself plenty of extra time to get to your destination.
* Stay informed about weather conditions, potential traffic hazards and highway closures.
* Check road conditions by visiting www.TripCheck.com or calling 5-1-1
* Make sure your vehicle is ready for winter driving starting with good tires, a good battery, and a full tank of gas.
* Carry an emergency kit and chains or traction tires, especially if traveling over mountain passes.
* Snacks and bottled water also are a good idea for long trips, especially with children.
* Carry a map in case weather or road conditions force you to take a detour. Keep family members or friends aware of any significant changes in your planned route before you take the unplanned route.
* Get plenty of rest before you leave on any trip.
* Clear snow, ice or frost from windows and headlights before you leave.
* Make sure everyone is using safety restraints and secure any cargo.
* Always have a designated driver for any holiday activities that include alcohol.

On the Road:

* Drive according to conditions. If it's wet, icy, snowy or foggy, slow down and increase your following distance behind other vehicles to at least a four-second distance. Keep in mind that conditions may not be perfect to drive at the posted speed.
* Use headlights even in daylight to help other drivers see you.
* Don't use cruise control in wet, icy, snowy or foggy conditions.
* Be patient with all the other traffic on the highways.
* Watch out for pedestrians now that the days are shorter and darker, and remember they're often in dark clothing.
* If you get tired or drowsy, stop and rest during your trip or get a rested and sober licensed driver behind the wheel.
* There are still many construction zones on our highways, and even though work will be inactive over the holiday weekend there may be equipment, detours, and incomplete changes in the roadway. Stay alert and slow down because all work zone speed limits still apply and fines increase in these areas.
* Don't drink and drive or get into a vehicle with a driver who has been drinking.

Report any possible intoxicated driver or dangerous driver to the Oregon State Police at 1-800-24DRUNK (1-800-243-7865) or call 9-1-1.

Note to Media: Questions regarding local OSP patrol efforts and ride-along requests should be directed to your local OSP office.

More information, including links to Spanish versions of NHTSA's marketing materials, is available at:


Winter travel safety information and links on ODOT's TripCheck.com and at:


Media contacts regarding the Highway 95 interagency patrol efforts mentioned above:
Oregon State Police - Sergeant Jason Reese (541-889-6469)
Idaho State Police - Sergeant Scott Dye (208-860-6286)
Nevada Highway Patrol - Trooper Chuck Allen (775-689-4680)
Malheur County Sheriff's Office - Sergeant Rich Harriman (541-473-5126)

### www.oregon.gov/OSP ###

Contact Info: Lieutenant Gregg Hastings
Oregon State Police
Public Information Officer
Office: (503) 731-3020 ext. 247
Pager: (503) 323-3195

Shelley Snow
ODOT Public Affairs
Office: (503) 986-3438

Monday, November 8, 2010


-But Flood damage Doesn’t Have To-

SEATTLE—The month of November traditionally signals the beginning of flood season here in the Pacific Northwest. But just as you don’t need to live in a mapped floodplain to need flood insurance, you don’t need to live in a mapped floodplain to benefit from simple and affordable flood damage mitigation measures. According to FEMA Regional Administrator Ken Murphy, it is safer, cheaper and ultimately much easier to limit future destruction than repair it.

“There are a number of low-cost actions that homeowners can take now to better protect or lessen the impact of heavy rain or future flooding,” said Murphy. “Many steps homeowners can take are simple, and can be accomplished in a few hours to a few days."

It is important to check with local building officials about standards and building codes as they vary according to jurisdictions. In addition, some mitigation measures may require hiring a contractor. Here are a few suggestions to keep your home safe when floodwaters come knocking:

Relocate or elevate water heaters, furnaces and major appliances. Elevate water heaters, furnaces and appliances, such as washers and dryers, especially if they are located in a basement. Place them on a pressure-treated wood or masonry base at least 12 inches above the previous high-water mark of a home's projected flood elevation.
Elevate or relocate electrical systems. Electrical panel boxes, circuit breakers, wall switches and wall outlets should be at least 12 inches above your home's projected flood elevation. Some basement or first-floor electrical systems may even be moved to a higher floor.

Interior and exterior floodwalls. To keep water away from indoor furnaces, utilities and appliances, build a watertight masonry wall around them.
Anchor fuel tanks. Indoor and outdoor fuel tanks should be anchored by non-corrosive metal straps or pressure-treated wood to prevent them from turning over or floating away.

Repair leaks and cracks immediately. Leaky roofs and foundation cracks let water into a home more readily. This weakens a structure and provides an ideal habitat for mold. If wet spots appear on the ceiling or cracks appear in a foundation, fix them immediately.

Clean gutters and drains. If gutters and drainage systems are blocked by leaves or debris, water can overflow and quickly flood a home or yard. Check all gutters and drainage systems regularly for leaves and nests. Also double-check storm drains on your street, as leaves and debris can block them, causing water to collect.
Install a backflow valve, check valve, drain plug or standpipe. These measures ensure sewage only flows one way – outside. Consult with a professional to remain code compliant.

FEMA’s How-To Series offers free information and publications for property owners and contractors about construction techniques and measures to reduce flood loss or damages. The series is available at www.FEMA.gov or by calling 1-800-480-2520. These include: Repairing Your Flood Damaged Home, Above the Flood: Elevating Your Floodprone House, Selecting Appropriate Mitigation Measures for Floodprone Structures, Design Guidelines for Flood Damage Reduction, Answers to Questions About Substantially Damaged Buildings and more.

Finances need not be a stumbling block to homeowners who have flood insurance. Policyholders may qualify for Increased Cost of Compliance coverage for substantially damaged properties, which helps pay to bring the home into compliance with local floodplain development requirements. Loans and help with insurance payments may also be available.

For information on the National Flood Insurance Program call 1-800-CALL-FLOOD ext. 304 or visit FEMA's Web site at www.floodsmart.gov. For more information on flood proofing your home, you can order the Homeowner's Guide to Retrofitting, Publication 312, by calling FEMA at 1-800-480-2520.

For more information, call 1-800-427-4661, or visit: www.floodsmart.gov.

Friday, November 5, 2010


Daylight Saving Time is a Good Opportunity to Make Sure Your Families Are Prepared for Emergencies

WASHINGTON-With Daylight Saving Time coming to an end, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is encouraging Americans to take advantage of the November 7 time change as a reminder to make sure their families are prepared for a possible emergency. A few simple steps like checking smoke alarms, developing a family communications plan, and putting an emergency kit together can go a long way toward keeping families safe.

"As we all get ready to turn our clocks back this Sunday, it's important for families to use this opportunity to get ready for possible emergencies," said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. "As a nation, we can only be as prepared as our public - the most important member of our emergency management team. I encourage everyone, as we fall back an hour, to also take a few simple steps to prepare their homes and loved ones for emergencies, including checking their smoke alarms and putting together an emergency kit."

Information on preparing for emergencies can be found at www.Ready.gov. Steps include developing a communications plan to ensure family members know how to get in touch with each other during an emergency, putting together an emergency kit, and staying informed of potential risks. It's important to remember that an emergency could be a large-scale catastrophic disaster, or a smaller-scale event like a car accident or house fire.

In addition to visiting Ready.gov, the United States Fire Administration is encouraging families to ensure their homes are equipped with working smoke alarms. A working smoke alarm significantly increases your chances of surviving a deadly home fire so it's important to test alarms regularly and keep them properly maintained. This includes checking the manufacture/expiration date on the label, replacing the batteries, and cleaning dust away from the slots so that smoke can enter freely.

For more information about home smoke alarms and fire sprinklers, please visit: www.usfa.dhs.gov/smokealarms.

These news stories and other Individual & Community Preparedness news can be found on our website at www.citizencorps.gov.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Emergency communications drill set for Saturday

The Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) will be conducting their semi-annual emergency communications drill at the Marion County Public Works at 8 a.m. Nov. 6.

ARES is a national organization of ham radio operators who provide communications assistance to state and county emergency officials when the standard means of communication have been disrupted.
The November drill will involve all Oregon counties communicating with the Oregon Office of Emergency Management and with each other. The emphasis of this drill will be using the new email over the air technology.

Read more: http://www.statesmanjournal.com/article/20101101/UPDATE/101101041/-1/update#ixzz148geR9AB