Preparing for the worst
From personal safety to the impending Cascadia Subduction Zone slated for a magnitude 9-plus earthquake any time now, the Wilsonville Community Preparedness Fair is coming to help residents keep themselves and their families safe.
A collaboration between The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Wilsonville and the City of Wilsonville, the fair will host 20-25 vendors and emergency response agencies. Visitors will have the chance to learn about water storage and purification, survival cooking, self-defense and how to construct a 72-hour survival kit.
"The City itself has an emergency preparedness fair amongst its employees," Miriam Pinoli, the public affairs representative for the LDS church in Wilsonville. "But this isn't really something that they've done for the whole community before."
Pinoli said that the LDS church has a long history of practicing emergency preparedness and is pleased to offer their collective knowledge.
"Our church has done these fairs in Lake Oswego and West Linn, and I worked together with those people," Pinoli said. "So we wanted to reach out to the Wilsonville community and offer this fair while working with the City.
"It's important for people to feel prepared and empowered in case these kinds of things happen."
The fair will also feature two presentations by local preparedness experts. Althea Rizzo, the Geological Hazards Program coordinator for Oregon Emergency Management (OEM), will be speaking about the Cascadia Subduction Zone, the predicted earthquake and other natural dangers associated with it.
Although the fair will cover a variety of serious disasters, Pinoli says that the fair is family-friendly and hopes that parents to bring their children to enjoy a number child-specific activities.
"TVF&R will have their fire engine there for the kids to explore and they will be talking to the kids specifically about (fire dangers)," Pinoli said. "We're also going to have an ambulance there, again, for the kids to explore."
Guest speaker Tyra Baird, co-founder of the organization Preparedness Mama, will also give a presentation called "Being your Child's First Responder," focusing on fostering children's resilience and healing after a disaster.
"Firemen can look scary to children if they're in their uniform, so I think that it's important that the kids know that they can feel safe with them and that these people can be trusted in an emergency."
Even for those who are on the fence about attending the event, Pinoli encourages them to check it out, get a free lunch in the process and learn some basics.
"We'll have different examples of 72-hour kits available so that people can at the very, very least grab a list of items that they can stick in a backpack or their car, just in case," Pinoli said.
Contact Wilsonville Spokesman reporter Claire Green at 503-636-1281 ext. 113 or