State officials offer resources to help reduce safety risks in emergencies
The Oregon Office of Emergency Management is sharing safety tips and resources to help Oregonians reduce risk.
“We want to help ensure folks have the resources and information needed to do what they can to keep themselves, their families and communities safe,” said OEM Deputy Director Matt Marheine. “We can all do our part to make sure the memories made throughout the holidays are memorable for the right reasons.”
For example, OEM is asking that people save 911 for life-threatening emergencies only and has provided contact information for assistance with weather-related problems:
For non-emergency assistance, dial *677 from a mobile phone or call 800-442-0776 in the state’s northern counties and 800-442-2068 in southern counties. If you are unsure what Oregon State Police dispatch to dial, call either one and they will assist.
Dial or text 211 or visit 211info.org for health and social service assistance and general information.
Dial 511 or visit tripcheck.com for travel updates.
Text-to-911 helps those who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have limited speech capabilities, as well as anyone unable to talk due to an emergency, and should only be used for emergencies.
Be 2 Weeks Ready
Individuals should proactively prepare to be self-sufficient for at least two weeks during an emergency or disaster. Being 2 Weeks Ready means having a plan and enough supplies for you and your household to survive on your own for a full two weeks should an emergency — like a severe ice storm — occur. Visit oregon.gov to learn more.
Stay informed – the more information you have, the better you can prepare
Monitor the weather forecast for watches, warnings or advisories at weather.gov.
Sign up for local emergency alerts at oralert.gov.
Limit exposure and know where to find warming centers
Many counties across the state are setting up warming shelters – locations vary depending on the jurisdiction.
Dial 211 or visit 211info.org/em-shelters to find warming centers listed by county and updated as information is shared.
When necessary to be outdoors, limit exposure time and wear warm layers. Know the signs to prevent frostbite and hypothermia.
Travel safely – know before you go
Check weather and road conditions in advance at tripcheck.com or call 511.
Share your travel route before you travel and be sure to pack water, food, warm clothes and an emergency kit.
Be patient and allow for extra travel time – review winter weather travel tips from ODOT.
Be aware of power hazards — heat the home safely
Carbon monoxide kills: Never use a generator, grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal-burning devices inside a home, garage, basement, crawlspace or any partially enclosed area. Locate the unit away from doors, windows and vents that could allow carbon monoxide to come indoors.
The primary hazards to avoid when using alternate sources for electricity, heating or cooking are carbon monoxide poisoning, electric shock and fire.
Communicating during outages
Snow, ice and wind can damage cell towers, making for challenging communications via mobile phones and the Internet; use a battery-operated radio to listen to public broadcast stations for updates.
Outages may be widespread and power may not be back up for some time; check in on family and neighbors to ask who needs assistance and get them the help they need.
Be aware of flood and landslide warnings
Snow and ice accumulation can trigger debris flows and landslides in steep terrain, and the risk is higher in wildfire burn areas. Be alert when driving; embankments along roadsides may fail, sending drought-stricken trees and debris onto the road.
Protect pets – as members of the family, emergency plans should include actions to keep pets safe
Keep pets inside when the temperature drops. If they are outdoors for any reason, make sure they’re protected by a dry, draft-free shelter and routinely check the water dish to make sure the water is fresh and unfrozen.
Remove common poisons like antifreeze and de-icing salt.
Additional winter weather safety tips and resources compiled by OEM:
Oregon Office of Emergency Management: https://www.oregon.gov/oem/hazardsprep/Pages/Individual-Preparedness.aspx
American Red Cross Winter Weather Checklist: https://www.redcross.org/content/dam/redcross/atg/PDF_s/Preparedness___Disaster_Recovery/Disaster_Preparedness/Winter_Storm/WinterStorms.pdf
Oregon Department of Transportation: https://www.oregon.gov/odot/pages/winter-driving.aspx
Humane Society - Protect Pets in Winter: https://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/Preparedness/Prepare/Pages/PrepareForWinterStorms.aspx
Oregon Health Authority – Preparing for Winter Storms: https://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/Preparedness/Prepare/Pages/PrepareForWinterStorms.aspx