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By The Skanner News | The Skanner News
Published: 24 June 2009

State Emergency Management Using Social Media for Warnings, Preparedness

Salem, OR – Oregon Emergency Management (OEM) has reorganized its public affairs approach and has begun using new media resources that are available online to get important messages out to the public.
OEM is the state agency responsible for coordinating and facilitating emergency planning, preparedness, mitigation, response, and recovery activities.
During an emergency such as flood, earthquake, snowstorm, etc the Oregon Public Affairs Team from OEM provides important messages to the public by working with various types of media.  Between disasters, OEM's messages focus on individual preparedness and responsibility.
"Newspaper, radio and television have always been the best way to pass on information during and after a disaster," said Jennifer Bailey, OEM Public Affairs Coordinator. "The support or this type of media has no doubt assisted OEM in saving lives and helping people to be prepared and will continue to do so."
Even so, to keep up with the changing times, OEM has created a blog (http://oem-oregon.blogspot.com) and a twitter account (http://twitter.com/baileyjn) for those who prefer to get their news in a different way. OEM believes that in order to reach the majority of Oregonians, they must use every means at their disposal. 
Currently the blog and twitter are posting preparedness information and other items of interest. During a disaster, emergency information and updates will be posted regularly.
"We invite anyone who uses this type of media to join us," Bailey said. "The use of this almost instantaneous form of communicating should be a big help in getting important messages out."

Vancouver Police Seek Volunteer Citizen Informants

The Vancouver Police Department is currently recruiting for citizens who want to become extra "eyes and ears" for the department and join the Neighbors On Watch (NOW) volunteer patrol program.
NOW is a high-visibility, non-confrontational, crime prevention and detection program. Applicants must be over age 21, reside in the city limits of Vancouver, pass a series of background checks and interviews, and graduate from the NOW Training Academy before becoming patrollers. Training topics include observation skills, police radio communication and etiquette, patrol procedures, rules of conduct, personal safety, information gathering and incident reporting. Applications for the next training academy must be received by July 23, 2009.
The Neighbors On Watch volunteers patrol neighborhoods, apartment complexes, parking lots, and other areas that need special attention and work in partnership with the Vancouver Police Department. Patrollers wear clothing that identifies them as a police volunteer with the NOW program.
For more information on the NOW program visit the Vancouver Police Department at www.vanpolice.org  or contact Volunteer Coordinator Kelly Mott at (360) 487-7467.

Killingsworth Post Office May Be Named After MLK
Congressman Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., introduced legislation last week that would designate the U.S. Post Office at 630 NE Killingsworth Ave. as the "Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Post Office."
Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., has introduced a companion bill in the Senate. Every member of the Oregon delegation has endorsed the bill.
The bill is a result of a community effort led by local letter carriers Jamie Partridge and Isham Harris. In 2007, Mr. Partridge and Mr. Harris collected employee signatures supporting this naming, as well as letters of support from the Piedmont and Concordia Neighborhood Associations, and the Sabin Community Association.
"Dr. Martin Luther King is one of America's most important figures, and I would be proud to name a post office in his honor," Blumenauer said. "The dedication of carriers Jamie Partridge and Isham Harris to renaming this post office shows the impact Dr. King continues to have on our Portland community. With the support of every member of the Oregon delegation, I am confident we can finish the great work that Isham and Jamie began."

Leaders Discuss Health Impacts of Recession

Leaders from throughout Southwest Washington will participate in a forum focused on the health impacts of the economic crisis on low-income people and people of color. Initiated and sponsored by Washington State University Vancouver's Center for Social and Environmental Justice (CSEJ), the forum will be held Saturday, June 27 from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Vancouver Community Library located at 1007 E. Mill Plain Boulevard. This event is free and open to the public.
The forum aims to spur further research into the impacts of the crisis by educating the community about policy initiatives and organize strategies for addressing the crisis.
The forum will include open mic time to ensure the people most affected by the economic crisis have an opportunity to speak about its impacts.

Students Launch Boys & Girls Club Website

Washington State University Vancouver students from the Digital Technology and Culture (DTC) Program launched a new website for the Boys & Girls Club of Southwest Washington on June 16. The website was produced during the Senior Seminar in spring 2009, and was designed to provide the public with general information about the organization and to develop interest and support from the community. 
Students involved in the production of the website include Ben Hook, project manager;  Andrew Espana, lead designer; Christie Hougham and Melissa Vik, content strategists; and Jeremy Harget, programmer. Kyle Ralston produced the video for the Teen Club.
Visit the new site at http://www.mybgc.org/
The DTC Program's Senior Seminar enhances students' preparation for either professional jobs or graduate school by providing a learning environment where they can apply the theory and practice they've learned in their classes. Students work in teams to produce digital media for non-profit organizations in Southwest Washington.

Rep. Tina Kotek to Host Town Hall Forum
State Rep. Tina Kotek, D-N/NE Portland, will host a Town Hall forum on Wednesday, July 15 to discuss the accomplishments of the 2009 legislative session and hear from constituents about district issues. Rep. Kotek served as co-chair of the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Human Services and was a member of the Health Care and Full Ways and Means Committees.
The public event will be held Wednesday, July 15 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Kenton Firehouse, 2209 N. Schofield St. 

Free Grant Writing Workshop

A Designing Projects for Successful Grants Workshop will be offered in Portland, July 1 from 1:00 p.m. to 3 p.m. The workshop will be at the Washington County Historical Society and Museum - 17677 NW Springville Rd.
The workshop is free to all who are interested. It will cover how to plan your project and write about it for a successful grant application. We will emphasize the Oregon Heritage Grants, the Oregon Museums Grants and the Historic Cemeteries Grant offered by Heritage Programs of Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, but the information can be applied to any grant.
Contact: Kuri Gill, Historic Cemeteries Program and CLG Coordinator at Kuri.Gill@state.or.us or (503) 986-0685 for more information.

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