The Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program (CSEPP) is looking to identify area residents with special needs who may need assistance in the event of an emergency.

CSEPP has delivered a Special Needs Survey to all Echo, Stanfield, Hermiston, Umatilla, Irrigon and Boardman residences to gather emergency planning information. CSEPP officials are hopeful that residents in west Umatilla and north Morrow counties will respond to the survey to help identify special needs citizens who require extra assistance during emergency situations. They are requesting the survey be completed and returned by Nov. 15.

"We want to know who in our communities might need assistance with sheltering in place, evacuation or other protective measures necessary during a serious emergency situation," says Casey Beard, director of Morrow County Emergency Management. According to Beard, "this survey will identify which households have house-bound, hearing or sight impaired people, or occupants with other physical or mental challenges that would prevent them from helping themselves during an emergency."

Information gathered will help both counties develop emergency plans for those people, especially during a CSEPP incident.

Residents in the six cities, which encompass the Immediate Response Zone (IRZ) for CSEPP, should look for the survey this week. CSEPP asks that residents return their survey as quickly as possible in the postage paid envelope provided.

For more information regarding the survey, call Dawn Blalack, Umatilla County Emergency Management at (541) 966-3706 or Maureen Roxbury, Morrow County Emergency Management at (541) 922-5262. CSEPP's Hispanic Community Liaison, Maria Duron, can help answer questions for the Spanish speaking community members at (541) 561-5630.

If anyone has questions about sheltering in place, assembling a shelter kit, or other issues, please contact Jodi Smith, Umatilla County Public Information Officer at (541) 966-3703 or Maureen Roxbury, Morrow County Public Information Officer at (541) 922-5262 or check out www.csepp.net.

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