Oregon weather can often be surprising, but you don’t have to let it catch you off-guard. Every new year here in the Beaver State seems to bring with it some sort of significant weather event, e.g. windstorms, rainstorms, snowstorms, ice storms, lighting storms, floods, drought, wildfires and even the occasional hurricane or tornado. Regardless of the type of weather on the horizon, we urge you to always keep in mind the Boy Scout motto: “Be Prepared.” Now, you may be asking yourself, “What does that look like in actual practice?” Well, it is really pretty simple and something that all of our members can easily do. Below, we have listed a few important items for you to think about.
- Watch the news and stay updated on what type of event is coming and when you can expect it.
- Communicate with staff and have a plan in place.
- Discuss your continuity of operations plans with staff.
- If you have backup generators, make sure they are ready and fueled up.
- Have sandbags filled and ready.
- Have a map for water and gas shut off valves and ready access to tools.
- Conduct inspections of the buildings inside and outside before the weather event happens.
- A quick inspection of trees near any buildings looking for potential branches that could fall on the buildings.
- If it is safe, conduct inspections of the buildings inside and outside periodically during the weather event.
- When it is safe, conduct inspections of the buildings inside and outside after the event.
- Make sure you are checking local emergency management websites.
- Plan and practice emergency evacuation procedures and routes, including reunification if appropriate.
- Develop a sound communications plan for contacting and updating both employees and patrons in the event of an emergency. This should include a phone/email/text tree which people in your organization use to quickly notify and update others as the crisis develops.
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There may be other things your specific district should consider while planning for substantial weather events, but we hope this list will provide you with a good starting point. If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact the Risk Management Department at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 800-285-5461.