03-28-2020  8:19 pm   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Vote by May 19: Oregon’s Primary Election Continues as Planned

Oregon’s vote-by-mail system keeps May Primary on schedule

A Black Woman Is Leading The Charge To Create A Vaccine For The Coronavirus

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Make a Mask & Support a Whole Community

Cascadia will be coordinating a mask donation project for community members who are willing to get out their sewing machines and create homemade masks

Federal Coronavirus Stimulus Package Covers 7 Major Areas

Oregon State Senator James I. Manning Jr. has provided a summary of what the Federal Coronavirus Stimulus Package looks like

NEWS BRIEFS

Waterfront Blues Festival Cancelled for 2020

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OHSU Hotline to Answer COVID-19 Questions

Patients who call the hospital will have the option to be routed directly to the new hotline ...

Seattle Seahawks field to host military hospital amid virus

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Gov. launches 'Stay Home, Save Lives' ad campaign amid virus

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon Gov. Kate Brown launched a statewide public awareness campaign Saturday with Portland-based ad agency Wieden+Kennedy, the Oregon Health Authority and others to inform Oregonians about the importance of staying home to save lives during the COVID-19...

The Latest: 2 Madison Square Garden boxing cards called off

The Latest on the coronavirus outbreak's affect on sports around the globe (all times EDT):10 p.m.Two boxing cards at Madison Square Garden have been called off because of the coronavirus outbreak.A few hours after announcing the fights would proceed without crowds, promoter Bob Arum said Thursday...

Former AD, All-American center Dick Tamburo dies at 90

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Dick Tamburo, an athletic director at three major schools and an All-American center at Michigan State, has died. He was 90.Michigan State announced that Tamburo died Monday.A native of New Kensington, Pennsylvania, Tamburo served as the athletic director at Texas...

OPINION

The ACA Has Never Been More Critical

Today I'm honoring the 10th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act being signed into law. ...

NAACP/Black Community: A Model for Resiliency

As America enters perhaps the most uncertain period in modern history, we will all be tested in new and unpredictable ways. ...

What the Government Can Do Now to Lessen the Impact of COVID-19

Dr. Roger Stark says during this pandemic the administration must give states more flexibility ...

The Homelessness Crisis – We Are Better Than This

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AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Joseph Lowery, civil rights leader and MLK aide, dies at 98

ATLANTA (AP) — The Rev. Joseph E. Lowery fought to end segregation, lived to see the election of the country’s first black president and echoed the call for “justice to roll down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream” in America.For more than four decades...

Civil rights leader, MLK aide Joseph Lowery dies at 98

ATLANTA (AP) — The Rev. Joseph E. Lowery, a veteran civil rights leader who helped the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and fought against racial discrimination, died Friday, a family statement said. He was 98.A charismatic and fiery preacher,...

The Latest: Singapore penalizing social distancing violators

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ENTERTAINMENT

Review: In 'Uncorked,' a full-bodied coming-of-age tale

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Country singer Joe Diffie tests positive for coronavirus

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Stars of 'Contagion' reunite for a PSA

NEW YORK (AP) — The stars of the 2011 virus thriller “Contagion” — a prescient film these days — have reunited for a series of public service announcements to warn about COVID-19.Matt Damon, Laurence Fishburne, Kate Winslet and Jennifer Ehle have teamed up with...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Canadian PM's wife has recovered from coronavirus illness

TORONTO (AP) — Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's wife said Saturday that she has recovered from...

North Korea test fires missiles amid worries about outbreak

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea on Sunday fired two suspected ballistic missiles into the sea, South...

Locked up: No masks, sanitizer as virus spreads behind bars

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Virus prevention measures turn violent in parts of Africa

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The week that was: Stories from the coronavirus saga

The world changed remarkably this past week — yet again, just as it did the week before, as the coronavirus...

Brazil’s Bolsonaro makes life-or-death coronavirus gamble

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Even as coronavirus cases mount in Latin America’s largest nation, Brazilian...

McMenamins
Helen Silvis of The Skanner

Imagine the chaos if a tremendous earthquake suddenly struck the Northwest tonight. What if the quake and its aftershocks were  powerful enough to rip up streets, destroy bridges and buildings and knock out power and water supplies in Portland or Seattle?
It would be devastating for some. But because our local emergency services teams have spent years preparing for a disaster, they would have everything under control in a few hours. Right?
Wrong. The harsh truth is that you will have to take care of yourself and your family for at least three days following a disaster. This holds true for natural disasters such as earthquakes, winter storms or flu epidemics, and also for man-made disasters such as a radiation leak or terrorist attack.
"Before the National Guard or FEMA arrive it's going to take time — it's going to take days," says Linda Swift, emergency preparedness manager with the Oregon Trail Chapter of the Red Cross.  "We always say make a 72-hour kit, but if it was a week that would be better.
"You're going to have to survive for a minimum of three days and possibly more. You won't see the police department or the fire department. Our fire department might be destroyed. People need to realize those things will not be there for them."
Emergency staffers at the state, county and city levels all agree that every one of us needs to prepare for at least 72-hours without government assistance.

VIDEO

Are You Prepared?

"There is that expectation that government will take care of me in an emergency," said Bob Grist, a senior planner with Multnomah County Emergency and Disaster Management. "You can just walk down to the corner and get food and water. It doesn't get there by magic. It takes time to get that kind of assistance effort organized. In Portland supplies may have to come from Eugene, from Medford — from outside the area. You're talking about a logistical nightmare."
Emergency planners at state and local levels say government and first responders will be working hard to save lives, secure neighborhoods and restore services. But in any major disaster, emergency responders would quickly be maxed out dealing with the most immediate problems.
In fact, past research on disasters shows that 80 percent of rescues are performed by untrained private citizens, said Lawrence Behmer, who coordinates the City of Portland's Neighborhood Emergency Teams program, known as NET. Sometimes, however, because these ordinary heroes don't know the safest way to proceed, they risk their own lives unnecessarily. That's why Portland offers free NET training in how to save lives in a disaster.  The program, (known in Seattle as SDART, Seattle Disaster Aid and Response Teams, and nationally as the CERT, Community Emergency Response Team) seeks to boost emergency response capacity throughout the country by teaching volunteers basic search and rescue and first aid skills.
"The idea is that in a massive disaster citizens are the first responders," Behmer told The Skanner. "It can take a while for the fire department to get to you — they are going to be in the most dangerous areas.
"Net volunteers learn to work as a team to elevate debris and pull a victim to safety."

Unprepared and Out of Luck
Public awareness campaigns such as the Red Cross's "Together We Prepare," King County's  "Basic, Better, Best" or the national "Ready" campaign urge every household to make a disaster plan and put together a 72-hour emergency kit containing at minimum a gallon of water a day for each person, enough food for three days, a flashlight, a first aid kit and a radio. So far, however, the volume on that message has been low, so low that a majority of us have tuned it out.
Cynthia Thomas-Johnson, who runs a foster care agency, said she thought about making a disaster plan after the Katrina disaster.
"I thought about putting an emergency kit together, but I guess I'm one of those people who think it will never happen," she said. "I know what goes in it, but I just haven't got one in place."
Thomas-Johnson has plenty of company. A national survey by the American Public Health Association in 2007 found that almost half of us have no emergency plan or supplies.
Asked about how well they would cope with a public health crisis, 27 percent of those surveyed said they felt prepared. However further questions revealed that only about half of them — 14 percent — had put aside the recommended three-day supply of water, food, medicines and a first-aid kit. The reasons?  About 38 percent of us say we simply would rather not think about what would happen in a public health crisis. And 44 percent of Americans say they don't believe in worrying about things that may or may not happen in the future.

 
 

Before the National Guard or FEMA arrive it's going to take time — it's going to take days...We always say make a 72-hour kit, but if it was a week that would be better.

Linda Swift said that in reality emergencies happen all the time. The Red Cross responds to an emergency about once every 12 hours, where at least one family has suddenly become homeless. Most of these small disasters are fires.
But emergencies that affect whole communities are not rare either, Swift points out. Severe storms last January caused flooding and landslides all over the Northwest. In the worst affected areas, such as the Oregon coast, telephone communications were knocked out so the 911 system was useless.
In Vernonia, Ore., it took days for rescuers to reach many victims.
The floods showed how many people lack basic survival supplies. People with serious medical problems realized they had no back up generator to power their medical equipment, Swift said. Relatives from all over the country flooded the Red Cross with calls.
"We had to explain that no-one was getting in or out and we had no way of contacting their relatives," Swift said. "It was very hard."
Swift recognizes that putting out extra money for emergency supplies is a hardship for many low-income families.
"Water is going to be a critical issue," she said. "Perhaps you turn on the tap and nothing comes out or it is contaminated.
"What we try to do is encourage people to just one time a month start to put water aside. Wash your own containers, fill them and put them aside. Water bottles don't have to be new. We recommend a gallon a day per person."

For more information on preparedness click on our disaster button on our home page.

LINKED STORIES
Prepare, Survive a Disaster
When Disaster Strikes It's Up to You
72-hour Emergency Kits and Family Plans
Wanted: Heroes
What Do You Do When All the Lights Go Out
Disasters Are Not Rare, FEMA Count 69 a year
Multnomah County Info and Trainings
image of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
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