From creating a plan and stocking shelves to donating blood, agencies across the country are encouraging people to take simple steps to prepare for emergencies in September during National Preparedness Month.

Sponsored by the Ready Campaign, the 2010 NPM marks the seventh annual event, and the theme for this year is working together to take concrete actions toward emergency preparedness. 

In Oregon, the most likely disasters and emergencies include floods, wildfires, extreme weather events and earthquakes. In Umatilla and Morrow counties, as well as Benton County in Washington, CSEPP and emergency management departments are gathering stories of people who have experienced emergencies, what happened and what they would do differently. Although officials said they are just beginning to review those, the submitted tales range from locals in unexpected situations to people who lived through hurricanes on the Atlantic coast.

“We’re just now getting those put together,” Umatilla County Emergency Management public information officer Jodi Florence said Wednesday. “For National Preparedness Month, the biggest thing people in this area need to remember right now is that it’s still fire season. People need to be aware when they’re outdoors and still be cautious when doing campfires.”

On the state level, the Oregon Red Cross and Oregon Public Health Emergency Preparedness are hosting a “just1thing” social media contest. Oregonians who tweet one thing they’re doing to get prepared to RedCrossPDX (www.twitter.com/

RedCrossPDX) will have a chance to win Red Cross emergency supplies, valued at $100 per kit.

While any preparedness ideas are accepted through the month, a special theme and corresponding prize will also be featured each week: Sept. 1-10, children; Sept. 13-17, families; Sept. 20-14, workplace; Sept. 27-30, pets.

For more information, visit www.oregonredcross.org/just1thing.

“National Preparedness Month is a nationwide effort to encourage all of us to take simple steps to prepare for emergencies in our homes, businesses and communities,” Mike Harryman, Oregon Public Health Emergency Preparedness Manager, said in a press release. “Since social media tools are increasingly used to respond to disasters, why not also use them to get prepared?” 

For more information and activities about National Preparedness Month in Oregon and how to make an emergency kit, visit www.oregon.

gov/DHS/ph/preparedness/index.shtml.

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