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Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue offers emergency preparedness tips

People should take action now to be ready for natural disasters or other major events


Take action today to prepare for emergencies

Experts have long warned that it is only a matter of time before a major earthquake hits Oregon. It’s vital that you have a personal disaster plan because it may be days or weeks before basic services are restored.

There are many steps you can take before a disaster strikes, and Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue encourages you to take some time to create an emergency plan for you and your loved ones:

Communication

Your first concern during a disaster is likely to be the safety of your family members, who may be impacted. Advanced preparations can help you locate and check on your family more quickly during an emergency.

Take time to discuss how you will connect with each other and select an out-of-state contact person who your family members can call and relay information to in the event local phone lines are not working.

Financial security

Ensure your financial readiness by having your important financial, personal and property documents available after an emergency. Make digital and hard copies of these documents and send them to a trusted counsel, friend or family member who lives outside of the area. Also, keep copies of that paperwork in your emergency kit in the event you need to be able to access them quickly.

Write down your insurance policy numbers and your agent’s phone number, and put them in your wallet. You don’t want to be forced to search for that information when you need it.

Medical precautions

Work with your doctor to ensure you have a supply of necessary medications. Don't forget to include special plans if someone is reliant on home oxygen, powered medical equipment or durable medical supplies. Pack extra batteries and chargers along with assistance devices such as glasses, hearing aids, catheters, augmentative communication devices, canes and walkers.

Fill out a Medical Emergency Card for your emergency kit that includes your history, prescription names, dosage, frequency and contact information for your doctor and pharmacist.

If you have medications in your emergency kit already, be sure to check them often and replace outdated prescriptions.

Evacuation plan

For people with mobility issues, build a support network. Establish solid relationships with others in your community who can assist you during an emergency. Talk to this trusted group of supporters about your functional abilities and limitations, and include them in your emergency planning process. Map out an evacuation route and a safe area of refuge with your support network.

Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue can provide you with helpful forms and valuable information to help you in your planning. Visit our website at www.tvfr.com and click on the Safety & Education tab at the top of the page for downloadable information on emergency preparedness and more.

Prepare now for peace of mind later.

Stefan Myers is a public information officer for Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue.