Emergency Preparedness

In the event of a citywide or regional emergency such as a severe winter storm, flood or major earthquake, households in HAND need to be prepared to be on their own for at least a week, and preferably two or more.

The City of Portland’s Bureau of Emergency Management (PBEM), the Oregon Office of Emergency Management (OEM), and the federal Ready Campaign offer resources to help individuals, families, and neighborhoods prepare. Click on the links of these organizations to explore all the different agencies offer. The most important information to know as Portland citizens follows below. 

Know About the PDX PublicAlerts System

PublicAlerts connects residents in the Portland region to real-time emergency information. PublicAlerts is administered by the Portland Bureau of Emergency Management on behalf of the region.  PublicAlerts informs the community on alerts and service disruptions, helps residents sign up for community emergency notification systems through their county of residence, and provides resources on how to be prepared for any emergency and join community emergency response teams (CERT) and neighborhood emergency teams (NET).

Through PublicAlerts, you can:

Be informed: View active alerts on an interactive map and a list of curated tweets.

Sign up to get emergency community notifications for your areas

Be prepared: Learn how to prepare your family and the community for unexpected events.

Get involved: Learn about– and join– your Neighborhood Emergency Team.

Know the HAND BEECN Site

A Basic Earthquake Emergency Communication Node or BEECN (“beacon”) is a place to go in Portland after a major earthquake to ask for emergency assistance if phone service is down, or report severe damage or injury. A complete map of BEECN sites and their addresses is available here  Watch the video below to learn more.


Know About the HAND Neighborhood Emergency Team (NET)

Volunteer neighborhood rescuers will likely be first on-the-scene when firefighters and police are slowed by impassable streets or overwhelmed by calls for help.

Neighborhood Emergency Teams (NETs) are Portland residents trained by PBEM and Portland Fire & Rescue to provide emergency disaster assistance within their own neighborhoods. NET members are trained to save lives and property until professional responders can arrive. These volunteers are specially trained to help others without putting themselves in harm’s way. NET members are:

  1. Prepared to be self-sufficient for two weeks during any emergency.
  2. Able to provide emergency assistance to their family and immediate neighbors.
  3. Able to work within an emergency response team to save lives and property in their neighborhood.
  4. Able to guide untrained volunteers who want to help others during a disaster.

Learn how to become a NET member here.  Note: You do not need to be a fully credentialed NET to participate in your team; please email the NET Coordinator for details.

Know More About “The Big One” and What Comes After

Read Without Warning!, the Dark Horse Comics tale of an earthquake at Cascadia High.  The comic book is the result of collaboration between the Cascadia Region Earthquake Workgroup (CREW), OEM, and Dark Horse Comics. Without Warning is a story about a girl who lives on the Oregon Coast and is trying to reunite with her family after a major Cascadia Earthquake.  It is a 12 page full color comic addressing what can happen in the aftermath of major earthquake and tsunami. Printed copies are available through the Oregon Office of Emergency Management.

Below, Evelyn Roeloffs of USGS explains the science behind subduction quakes and the likelihood of the next 9.0 magnitude event.

Stay In Touch with HAND

via our listserve for updates on upcoming trainings or important information by emailing us at: handboard@googlegroups.com.