If you live or work in the Eliot neighborhood, you should consider preparing for emergencies that can affect the neighborhood. The biggest risks for the area are earthquakes and pollution, both of which you can take easy steps to prepare for. Eliot also has some neighborhood-specific emergency resources worth knowing about.
The crucial danger in Eliot (as well as the rest of Portland) is the chance of an earthquake.
While there’s no way to prevent an earthquake, we can and should prepare for such a disaster. As a matter of practice, it’s a good idea to make sure heavy items are secure in your home: bookcases, for instance, should be screwed to walls in order to prevent them falling during an earthquake and heavy items should be stored on low shelves.
Creating a home emergency kit is also worthwhile. The most important items to have in an emergency kit are:
These items are so important, in fact, that some emergency response experts recommend keeping them, along with a durable pair of shoes under your bed. If something happens while you’re sleeping, these are the items you want within arm’s reach.
In the event of an earthquake causing serious damage to Portland’s infrastructure, the biggest problem is likely to be water. Experts recommend storing around 200 gallons of water per person in your household, in addition to food and other emergency supplies.
After earthquakes, stay put if your location is safe. If not, consider setting up a location where your family knows to meet after a disaster. In Eliot, the following could be good meeting points:
Harriet Tubman Middle School
Lillis Albina City Park
If you work on the other side of the river, you may want to arrange with a neighbor to check in on pets or to help members of your household if you aren’t able to return home quickly. You should also consider keeping some basic emergency supplies in your car, as well.
Pollution and Smoke
Because of our location, the Eliot neighborhood faces high levels of pollution, especially during wildfire season. While we are generally safe from wildfires, the smoke generated by fires last summer made Portland’s air quality terrible. During this coming summer, we should expect wildfires again in Oregon, along with the corresponding air pollution.
During low air quality days, inside air filters are crucial. Respirator masks are also useful, especially if you need to spend time outside. Consider buying these items now –last summer, many Portland stores sold out of respirator masks — at the same time that stores in San Francisco and other West Coast cities also sold out.
Air respirators can come in handy for non-seasonal emergencies, as well, including hazardous waste. Hazardous waste is also a key risk for Eliot, due to the traffic on both Interstate 5 and the Willamette River.
Eliot’s Emergency Responders
Neighborhood Emergency Team (NET): Boise, Eliot, and Humboldt neighborhoods field one NET team. NET team members are volunteers from the community who the city trains to respond to emergencies. NET members staff emergency warming and cooling centers, go door to door during natural disasters and are able to provide emergency assistance to their families and immediate neighbor. Our NET team is currently short-staffed (with only around 15 members for all three neighborhoods) and recruiting new members. Our NET team’s staging area during emergencies is located at Unthank Park.
Basic Earthquake Emergency Communication Node (BEECN): In the event of an emergency, there are radio communication centers set up throughout Portland. These centers, known as BEECNs, coordinate emergency response like medical care if other communication networks go down. The BEECN program is also looking for volunteers. Our nearest BEECN point is at Jefferson High School.
Additional Resources in Eliot
Microcosm Publishing (2752 N Williams Ave) carries several books and zines related to emergency preparedness. In particular, check out Preparedness Now: An Emergency Survival Guide by Anton Edwards and When There Is No Doctor: Preventive and Emergency Home Healthcare in Challenging Times by Gerard S. Doyle, MD.
Ace Hardware (228 NE Broadway St) carries a variety of emergency supplies, including flashlights and batteries.