Is Your Family Prepared for Disaster?

      September is National Preparedness Month, a time when the American Red Cross encourages all households to create a family disaster plan. More than two-thirds of Oregon and southwest Washington residents believe that it is very important to be prepared for an emergency or natural disaster, according to a recent survey conducted by the Oregon Red Cross.

      While many people have taken steps toward readiness including having a preparedness kit at home, an emergency kit in their vehicle and a household evacuation plan, there are still significant gaps in the numbers of those who are prepared and those who aren't, says Maree Wacker, Oregon Red Cross chief executive officer. More than 65 percent of those surveyed have not received first aid or CPR training, and have not participated in any disaster preparedness activities. Yet, nearly 80 percent of respondents have experienced an emergency or disaster situation one to five times.

      Larry Betcher, LCSW, from Providence Behavioral Health and Oregon Red Cross Preparedness Specialist, Tyler Grant, joined us to explain the importance of planning for a disaster and to shed light on how different people react under distress.

      Several events are on the calendar to help community members develop a family disaster plan and promote preparedness activities. To learn about other preparedness resources, go to click here. For even more information head to the Family Matters section of

      Sept. 13 - Red Cross blood drive, 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., 3131 N. Vancouver Ave., Portland
      Sept 15 - Sisters Country Preparedness Fair, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sisters Elementary School, Sisters
      Sept. 15 - NW Natural "Get Ready" barbecue, 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Salem Riverfront Park, Salem
      Sept. 17 - Together We Prepare presentation, 6-7 p.m., Bend Deschutes Library, Bend
      Sept. 17 - Red Cross blood drive, 1-6 p.m., 1174 Progress Dr., Medford
      Sept. 18 - Red Cross blood drive, 1:30-7 p.m. 475 Cottage St., Salem
      Sept. 25 - Together We Prepare presentation, 6-7 p.m., Oregon Trail Chapter, 3131 N. Vancouver Ave., Portland
      Sept. 28 - NW Natural "Get Ready" barbecue, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Eleanor Hackleman Park, Albany