‘Quake-Safe’ fair offered in outer East Portland

See the interesting and informative event that Pleasant Valley neighbors called Quake-it Forward

New NET member Judy Matsumoto, and established volunteer Amy Provenzola, both from the Pleasant Valley neighborhood, show off their “NET Packs” at the outer East Portland earthquake-preparedness event.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Active Pleasant Valley neighborhood volunteers – most of them live on hillsides – planned a large-scale event for folks in the mid-County area to help residents learn how to prepare for earthquakes and natural emergencies.

“We didn’t get the grant we’d hoped for, so we scaled it back, and Leach Botanical Garden was wonderful in providing space for us,” commented Pleasant Valley Neighborhood Board Member and volunteer Dale Shetler at the August 6 fair.

Dale Shetler welcomes guest to Quake-it Forward.

“We are calling this Quake-it Forward,” Shetler said. “We have three community event members who are interested in – in fact have passion for –  getting people organized with the earthquake awareness program, and they were the ones who were instrumental in putting this on.”

Some 50 people came and circulated through the open house, listening to educational talks given by experts.

“Our program involves Multnomah County and Neighborhood Emergency Teams (NET),” Shetler told East Portland News. “We have the Humane Society here, a nurse here, an attorney who answered legal questions and who advocated keeping your documents online for safety and accessibility.”

Multnomah County Emergency Management Coordinator Steve Bullock tells how to prepare for “the big one” – predicted to be coming soon.

One of those spearheading the “quake fair” was Judy Matsumoto, a Pleasant Valley neighbor who woks as a language pathologist at Woodstock Elementary School.

“I graduated from NET in June,” Matsumoto said proudly. “Then, I immediately just decided, ‘hey, I can get more people in Pleasant Valley involved in safety efforts’.”

With only three NET members in their neighborhood, they don’t have enough volunteers to make a “full team” for what she said is one of Portland’s geographically-largest neighborhoods.

Pleasant Valley NET member Amy Provenzola remarks that having a multi-tool, like the one she’s holding, it’s easy to turn off gas and water.

“I take time to volunteer as a NET member, because we have some elderly people on our street – and so, felt it was important to learn about this,” explained Matsumoto. “And, because I work in a school, I thought it was important for me to have good information about how to handle emergencies, such as earthquakes.”

Emergency supplies and products were on display, and NET members shared practical emergency tips with those who attended.

Casey Wallace from Arbor Lodge, and Melissa Hemphill of Montavilla, join new NET members Judy Matsumoto, and Nancy Lapp of Brentwood Darlington, in urging neighbors to join NET.

“To encourage people to join NET, I tell them it’s a lot of fun,” Matsumoto said. “You learn a lot of great information. More importantly, you could save a life – or you could save many lives.”

To learn more about Neighborhood Emergency Teams, organized by the Portland Bureau of Emergency Management, see their official webpage: CLICK HERE.

© 2016 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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