Stay Informed

Know what's happening around you.

Have several ways of getting information. Know what technology might be available and how to use is. Know what to do if you don't have access to that technology.

Check on Each Other

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Talk to your neighbors.

After a major disaster, most information is shared in person. Look around, talk to each other, and see who needs help.

Who will need the most help?

Think about your neighbors who may have a hard time getting out of their homes on their own. Check on your local school, daycare, or assisted living facility to see if they need help.

If you see something dangerous or a person in need, help if you can. If it's not safe to help, try to find someone who can. Write down what you see so you don't forget important details.

Pay Attention

Eagle Creek Fire press conference. Credit: Multnomah County

Watch and listen.

Watch local news on your television and listen to the radio, if possible. Pay attention to relevant signage on roads and at community meeting spots.

Use Technology

Credit Portland Bureau of Emergency Management

Get PublicAlerts.

Sign up now to receive emergency alerts anywhere in the greater Portland metropolitan area (Clackamas, Clark, Columbia, Multnomah, and Washington Counties). If something happens near you, you’ll receive a message by email, phone, or text message. You can also go directly to the Current Alerts page to get live updates, info about missing persons, and info about ways you can help.

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Text and save battery life.

Avoid making voice calls when possible. Texting uses less battery and is more likely to get through when mobile networks are busy. If local text messages fail, try your out-of-area emergency contacts.

If the power goes out, save battery power. Use your phone only when necessary. Change your phone settings to low power mode (or put it in airplane mode). Keep a back-up power source on hand to recharge your phone so you can stay connected even during an extended power outage. Consider getting a solar charger.

Credit American Red Cross

Connect through social media.

Follow your local Emergency Management office on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. Add PublicAlerts to your Twitter feed. During an emergency, post about what's happening in your area. Use #PublicAlerts to add your posts to the crowd-sourced emergency feed. Use NextDoor.com to share local information and resources with those in your neighborhood.

Update your status.

Let your friends and family know you're safe. Provide an update on your personal social media accounts. If a disaster is large enough, reunification tools such as Facebook Safety Check and Red Cross Safe & Well will allow you to provide your status and location.

Credit American Red Cross

Tune in with an AM/FM radio.

If you’re in the Portland region, tune into 91.5 KOPB-FM or 101.1 KXL-FM for information about what’s happening around town. Solar, hand-crank radios provide extra power options. But store extra batteries too, and keep them separate so they don't ruin the radio if they leak. If you have a NOAA Weather Radio, get familiar with it now so you know how to use it during an emergency.

Credit Ernest Jones, Portland Bureau of Emergency Management

Check out amateur radio.

Amateur radio (or HAM radio) will work even when modern communication devices fail. It often plays an important role during disasters. If you’re interested in getting your amateur radio license, visit the Amateur Radio Emergency Service website. To get involved in your local radio community, check out your County's program: Clackamas County, Clark County, Columbia County, Multnomah County, Washington County.

If You're in Portland

Credit Ernest Jones, Portland Bureau of Emergency Management

In Portland, go to a BEECN.

If you live, work, or travel to Portland, get to know the location of BEECN sites (Basic Earthquake Emergency Communication Nodes). In Portland, BEECNs are a place to get information and request emergency assistance when phones and computers aren’t working. Volunteers will staff them within 24-48 hours of a major disaster. These currently only exist in Portland.