September is National Preparedness Month: Are You Ready For An Emergency?

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At the Oregon Department of Energy, we’re involved in emergency preparedness planning year round. This includes planning for disasters in our state and/or possible disruptions to our fuel systems. We know how important it is to be ready for tough times.

September is National Preparedness Month and we encourage you to make sure you’re ready in case of an emergency. The West has witnessed another catastrophic wildfire summer, and the hurricane season is just beginning. And sudden events, such as a Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake or even a severe winter storm, can affect resources we all rely on, including electricity, roads, cell phones, and other basic services.

Here are nine ways to help ensure you and your family are prepared before an emergency hits:

  1. Build an emergency kit at home, including water, food, and medical supplies – enough for each person for 72 hours (and don’t forget the pets!).
  2. You may not have power after an emergency. Purchase a radio and a flashlight or lantern that can be re-charged by hand or by solar power instead of batteries. You can also stock your emergency kit with hand- or solar-powered cell phone chargers.
  3. Make an Emergency Communication Plan with your family in case you are not together when disaster strikes.
  4. Have emergency supplies in your car in case you’re on the road.
  5. Find out how your workplace is preparing, and know what to do if you’re on the job when an emergency happens.
  6. Visit to learn more about emergency preparedness, how to build emergency kits, help your community respond, and more.
  7. Research how to turn off your home’s utilities if there’s a risk of a gas leak or electrical fire. Follow your utility’s recommendations to access shut-offs safely.
  8. Download the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s app to get alerts, safety tips, and more.
  9. Learn what to do before, during, and after an earthquake.

Learn more about ODOE’s emergency preparedness work on our website:

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Global X, via Creative Commons