Emergency aid supply trailers made ready, in outer East Portland

Look, and you’ll see emergency managers four counties – as they check out their new supply rigs in Parkrose …

Volunteers from six area counties load emergency supplies into new cargo trailers – each one packed with enough supplies to shelter 100 people.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Volunteers from the American Red Cross Willamette Chapter in Clackamas, Clark, Columbia, Multnomah, and Washington Counties looked both eager and intense as they counted supplies and organized rations in the Portland Fire & Rescue’s mid-County Station 2 training lot.

Helping organize the activity on May 16 was Patty Rueter, Emergency Planner, City of Portland Bureau of Emergency Management.

City of Portland Bureau of Emergency Management Emergency Planner Patty Rueter calls a supply vendor, to ask about one of the products being distributed.

“Today, we are loading up six trailers purchased with proceeds from a federal Urban Areas Security Initiative grant for the region,” Rueter began.  “One trailer is going to go to each county and the City of Portland.”

The modest-sized cargo trailers – each could be towed by an SUV – aren’t like house trailers, Rueter explained. Instead, each contains supplies that will help shelter 100 people, providing them cots, blankets, emergency medical supplies, and even animal “crates” for pets.

This trio of Red Cross volunteers say they find that work goes more quickly when they help each other.

“The Red Cross is in charge of sheltering sites,” Rueter told East Portland News. “They coordinate the sheltering locations for emergencies. Once they have inspected the site to make sure it meets the needs of the population in that area, they will bring relief supplies in the trailers to the site.”

The cargo trailers are distributed region-wide, Rueter said, because “We want our region to be able to work together, no matter where an incident occurs. We want to be able to manage the population that is impacted.”

Renate Rudolph, Columbia County’s Emergency Management Coordinator, takes inventory of supplies to assure that their trailer is fully stocked.

“These six new emergency shelter trailers to add to the region’s ability to respond to a major disaster,” Rueter concluded.

On the cover: Curtis Peetz, Response Specialist with American Red Cross loads an emergency response cargo trailer.

© 2012 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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