Types of Emergencies to Consider Preparing For
A key step in preparedness is understanding what is likely to occur and what the potential impacts might be. The Beaverton area has been impacted by natural hazards in the past such as flooding, windstorms, severe winter storms, earthquakes, and ash-fall from volcanic eruption. Fortunately, only a few of these have been severe enough to be called a disaster. While wildfires or landslides have not significantly impacted Beaverton in the past, these hazards do exist and are likely to become even more prominent as the city continues to expand into undeveloped areas. Overall, the most probable natural hazards that are likely to impact the city are severe weather related; winter storms, wind storms, and flooding. The potentially most devastating natural hazard is the earthquake; both quakes from one of the fault lines in the Portland Metro area, and the large subduction zone earthquake that will originate off the Oregon Coast.
There are maps available to help you prepare in the event of a natural hazard.
It is important to know what actions you need to take to protect yourself, family, pets and property from the impacts of severe weather, including thunderstorms, tornadoes, high winds, heavy snow, and ice.
- Thunder and lightning: Heavy rain, tornadoes, lightning, strong winds, hail, and flash flooding can all occur during a thunder storm. The facts and information below will help you know what to do in the event of a thunder and lightning storm.
- Harsh winters: Winter can bring freezing-cold temperatures, snow, ice, and wind. The information below can help you stay safe and warm during a harsh, chilly winter.
- Windstorms and tornadoes: Most types of severe weather have the potential for generating dangerous winds any time of the year. Windstorms and tornadoes are a serious threat in most parts of the country; some storms in the Pacific Northwest have even spawned tornados.
All creeks and streams in Beaverton have the potential to flood, and any structures within their flood plains are at risk of flooding. In extreme cases, heavy rains can also cause flooding in areas away from creeks and streams. Twenty-five percent (25%) of flood related loss and damage typically occurs outside the potential flood areas designated by FEMA. Homeowners outside the FEMA designated flood areas are not required to carry flood insurance by their mortgage providers. See the Financial Preparedness section for additional information on insurance.
Use the resources below to access information about flood safety tips, current weather patterns, and proper sandbag construction.
Winter storms are deceptive killers since most of the deaths that occur are indirectly related to the actual storm.
- People die in traffic accidents on icy roads
- People die of heart attacks while shoveling snow
- People die of hypothermia from prolonged exposure to the cold
It is important to prepare for the coldness of winter before it strikes. There are steps you can take to prepare your family, home, and your vehicle. Click on the links for more information.
Are you prepared for when the big one hits? It is only a matter of time before the predicted earthquake happens. It is very important that we all do everything we can to prepare for it by learning what to do during an earthquake, making an emergency plan, preparing our homes, and stocking up on supplies, food, and other necessary items.
Publications 72-Hour Emergency Kit FEMA Earthquake Fact Sheet and Background Information Killer On the Loose: How to Reduce the Risk of Injuries and Damage Caused by Earthquakes (preparing our homes) When an Earthquake Strikes: Drop, Cover, and Hold On Will You Be Able to Find Your Family After a Disaster? (emergency plan information)
Websites U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Earthquake Hazards Program USGS Earthquakes for Kids USGS National Earthquake Information
In the event of a serious threat to public safety you may be asked to evacuate. If you are notified that you must evacuate through local media or directly by city officials, do so immediately.
To be prepared, you should always find out where designated shelters are in your area, know the evacuation plan for the areas you are in most, and keep maps and phone numbers for each potential evacuation location with you or in an easily accessible place at all times.
Things To Do If an Evacuation is Called
Things you should do if an emergency evacuation is called include:
- Calling a motel or hotel to ensure that they have a room available before your arrival
- Calling your out-of-area contact and letting them know when you are safe
- Leaving a note that says when you left and where you are going
- Locking your house
- Taking your "go bag"
- Using authorized routes
- Wearing appropriate clothing and sturdy shoes
To learn more about Beaverton's emergency evacuation routes, please contact the Emergency Management Department at 503-642-0383.
Heat Stroke & Heat Exhaustion
Heat stroke and heat exhaustion are the most common conditions directly associated with summer heat waves. However, hot weather can also place a dangerous strain on the heart, exacerbate respiratory impairments like asthma or emphysema and a range of other medical conditions, and also affect the ability to manage chronic diseases like diabetes and hypertension.
These medical risks present an opportunity for neighbors to check on their elderly or disabled friends and relatives during the hot weather. Since many people experiencing heat-related symptoms may be unaware that they are having a problem, it is critical to check on elderly and disabled folks living alone or who are socially isolated.
Learn more about how you can reduce the risk of heat-related illnesses.
Living in Beaverton we have Mount Hood and Mount St. Helens, both active volcanoes, as our neighbors. It is important to be informed about volcanoes and to know what you should do if one of them erupts. Please use the following websites as informational tools regarding local and worldwide volcanic activity:
- Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries - Earthquake Hazards in the Pacific Northwest
- Oregon State University - Volcano World
- US Geological Survey (USGS) Cascades Volcano Observatory
- Volcanic Ash: What It Can Do and How to Prevent Damage
- What to Do if a Volcano Erupts
A drought is an unusually long period of dry weather. Lack of rainfall over time can cause rivers, reservoirs, groundwater levels, and soil moisture to drop. Lack of water can result in the loss of crops, timber, livestock, fish, and shortages of water for our homes and businesses.
Preparing for terrorism is in many ways identical to preparing for other types of disasters. It’s still a good idea to:
- Assemble a 72-hour kit, containing food, water, clothing, a list of emergency shelter locations, and other needs for up to three days for you, your family, and your pets.
- Develop a disaster plan for you and your family, including procedures for contacting each other if separated during an emergency.
- Learn about hazardous materials and sheltering-in-place.
- Learn how (and whether) to shut off your utilities.
- Learn CPR, first aid, and how to use a fire extinguisher.
- Work with your neighbors to prepare your community.