Coos Bay Fire and Rescue

Coos Bay Fire and Rescue.

COOS BAY — September is national Emergency Preparedness month and the Coos Bay Fire Department hopes to educate on how to prep for a Cascadia event.

One thing the State of Oregon and the Coos Bay Fire Department is stressing is that members of the community need to have two weeks worth of supplies saved up in case of an emergency. That includes food, water and shelter.

“In the past we’ve always said be prepared to be on your own for three days,” Coos Bay Fire Chief Mark Anderson said. “That works great for a downed power line, or some smaller events, but when we’re talking about Cascadia, or a larger disaster it takes a lot longer than that to recover.”

Anderson noted that two weeks ready looks different for each home and family.

“Essentially you should have food, water and shelter and then anything else you need to be comfortable for up to two weeks,” Anderson said.  

Anderson said one of the things people often forget when preparing for disasters is to make sure their children know what the family plan is.

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“You should be getting kids involved and letting them know what to expect to some degree and also communicate a meet up location if you get separated. Always have a backup plan,” Anderson said.

At the end of the month, the Fire Department, along with Northwest Natural and the American Red Cross, will hold its annual Get Ready Coos Bay event from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28.

The event allows members of the public to talk with emergency responders about how to better prepare for emergency events like the Cascadia earthquake.

“It’s an open house for people to come and talk with us. If they don’t want to talk to us then they can talk to the power company about what happens when there’s a power line down. Or if they want to talk to groups like Furry Friends about what to do with pets in emergencies,” Anderson said.

The City of Coos Bay has been stocking up for years in order to provide relief to people in the event of a disaster. However, that doesn’t mean citizens should avoid preparing for the Cascadia event. The city is only gathering enough supplies to serve 10 percent of the population.

“For those folks that are either displaced from a tsunami and can’t go back to where there resources are, or visitors who don’t have resources with them, or even somebody who didn’t prepare well, the city does have agreements with some of the schools and churches for emergency shelter ... We currently have containers set at Marshfield and Sunset Bay Middle School with cots and blankets and meals for 200 people for two weeks. We plan to add more containers in more locations until we have enough for 10 percent of our population,” Anderson said.

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Nicholas A. Johnson can be reached at 541-266-6049, or by email at nicholas.johnson@theworldlink.com.