When disaster strikes, these neighbors will be ready to help

When a major disaster strikes, it could be days, even a week before “official” governmental aid reaches you. See how some neighbors learn to protect their families ‚Äì and perhaps help save YOUR life ‚Ķ

Carol Moseley and Peter Deyoe show-and-tell class members how to be better prepared to help themselves, their household, and their neighbors, after a disaster.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Perhaps you’ve seen the listing in our Community Calendar for C-NET training sessions, and were curious to learn more.

A couple of weeks ago, we stopped in on a training session at the East Portland Community Center to get a first-hand look at why citizens take this free, valuable series of classes.

“Today, we’re holding the first of a two-part workshop to prepare citizens to deal with a disaster,” says With Peter Deyoe, Team Leader of Hazel Park NET Team. “NET stands for ‘Neighborhood Emergency Team’.”

Deyoe tells us of the many kinds of disasters that could befall citizens in Portland — such as earthquakes, terrorist events, or a disease pandemic.

Don’t count on rapid outside help
There are ways people can be prepared for disaster, regardless of the specific threat, he continues. “The object is to reduce the impact of the disaster by being prepared.”

NET training, he explains, goes on the assumption that, for the first week, individuals should be prepared to “go it alone” in a severe disaster. So, families, households and individuals should be prepared.

Many of the survival supplies are not exotic; and packed in Mylar foil, they’ll stay ready-to-use for years.

“We encourage people to first take care of themselves, and then their households. After that, they can be of assistance to friends and family members.”

Camping at home
Deyoe outlines how people can be ready to “go camping” at home. In the class, the leaders outline several disaster scenarios. “The key is to develop a ‘new mind-set’ of being prepared, instead of being afraid.”

Helping with the class is NET volunteer Carol Moseley, an area resident and a “ham radio” operator. She shows the group practical ways to prepare their household. “People don’t have to spend a lot of money to prepare; just think about it,” she said.

Moseley illustrates her point by showing essential foods and supplies, pointing out what she calls “indispensable items” to have ready for a disaster. She also gave food, water, and waste disposal pointers.

Checklists east preparation
The presenters go over checklists of common medical scenarios and first aid supplies to have on hand. “Make sure you have the wrench or key to shut off your natural gas lines,” instructs Deyoe.

The second part of the two-part class is typically offered the following week. “We hold these classes on a regular basis. Join us, and be prepared,” Deyoe recommends.

Find out more
While it isn’t easy to find, follow this link to the City of Portland web site for more for more information: www.portlandonline.com/oem/index.cfm?c=dbggh

© 2007 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News Service

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