SPRINGFIELD — Are you ‘Two Weeks Ready’? A group of Springfield elementary school students are now, thanks to an intensive course geared toward preparing them for natural disasters.
Twenty-five students at the Academy of Arts and Academics (A3) practiced first aid, emergency navigation, and shelter building as part of an intensive course focused on wilderness and emergency management. They also learned about the Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake, and completed the Oregon Department of Emergency Management’s (OEM) Go-Kit Passport — a mini-booklet that provides a way to track family information, home evacuation plans, medical contacts, prescription needs, and other critical information needed during a major disaster.
“Earthquakes and tsunamis are common in Oregon and I feel like I understand them more now,” says Lydia Roebuck-Ebener, a student participant. “I learned how to survive in the wilderness if I got lost or hurt, how to read a map, and how to be ‘2 Weeks Ready.’”
When the next Cascadia subduction zone earthquake strikes the Pacific Northwest, Oregon will face the greatest challenge of our lifetimes. Oregon’s buildings, transportation network, utilities, and population are underprepared for such an event.
To protect Oregon’s communities and economy, Governor Kate Brown released a Resilience Plan to improve Oregonians’ readiness for the Cascadia Earthquake and Tsunami. It works in concert with several initiatives from OEM to educate and prepare Oregonians for disasters.
It’s never too soon to learn about earthquake preparedness and how to be smart and safe during disasters. These students are living proof.
“I enrolled in this class so that I could learn more about improvised and planned survival. I am prepared for small quakes and educated about larger quakes now… survival skills and being prepared are important to everybody living in Oregon,” says Gabe Sabrowski.
Every student in the class received a preparedness certificate from Governor Brown for completing the Go-Kit Passports. The Oregon Office of Emergency Management has an array of preparedness materials to help people plan for disasters, which are available through local county emergency management offices.