One thing is for sure. And that is . . . nothing is for sure. We must be prepared for unexpected challenges. With all the natural beauty we are surrounded by, we are also more likely to experience Mother Nature’s fickle (or fiery) side as well. In our region, this could be an earthquake, tsunami, flood or fire.
Staying connected to accurate information and to each other is critical during times like this. Between the COVID-19 pandemic, recent wildfires and other challenges, day-to-day life can start to feel unmanageable. The more equipped we feel to access the best information, the better we can respond in a crisis. And while word of mouth and social media information travel very fast in our rural community, it’s a good idea to have trusted sources of accurate information to rely on.
Advance planning and communication can make a big difference in the heat of the moment. Here are a few information sources that can help you plan.
• Emergency Preparedness: Follow, or consider joining, local emergency preparedness organizations.
In North County - Emergency Volunteer Corps of Nehalem Bay: https://evcnb.org/
In South County - South County Emergency Volunteer Corps: https://southcountyevc.org/
• Public Safety Alerts: If you haven’t already, it’s a good idea to sign up for public safety alerts from both Nixle and Tillamook 911. These keep you up-to-date with relevant information on issues such as road closures, traffic accidents and extreme weather events. Alerts in Spanish or English are received as a text message on your mobile device or for the latest updates you can log onto their website: https://local.nixle.com/tillamook-county-emergency-management/.
A similar service is available through Tillamook County 911 with alerts via text and or phone. You can sign up at http://www.tillamook911.com/.
• Local News: For the latest local, on-line news, visit https://www.tillamookheadlightherald.com/ or https://www.tillamookcountypioneer.net/. If you don’t have access to or use the internet, consider having a family member or friend you can go to for information. You can also tune into KTIL radio at 95.9 FM, which often airs community news at a quarter to the hour (i.e. 7:45 AM).
• Social Media: If you use Facebook, there are many important pages you may want to “Like” and “Follow.” It may even be worth setting up a basic or “shadow” account in order to follow key community pages. Some of these include:
• Tillamook County Sherriff office on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tillamookcountysheriff/
• Tillamook Headlight Herald: https://www.facebook.com/tillamookheadlightherald/
• Tillamook County Pioneer: https://www.facebook.com/tillamookcountypioneer/
• Tillamook County Community Health Centers: https://www.facebook.com/TillamookCHC/
• Adventist Health Tillamook: https://www.facebook.com/AHTillamook/
• Rinehart Clinic: https://www.facebook.com/RinehartClinic/
• Latinos del Condado de Tillamook: https://www.facebook.com/Latinos-del-Condado-de-Tillamook-100161874965397/
• Tillamook County Wellness: https://www.facebook.com/TillamookCountyWellness/
• Pike Road Fire: Specific information regarding the local Pike Road fire can be accessed at this Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/pikroadfirecommunityawareness/.
• Air Quality: Air quality is a major concern during these wildfires and can worsen respiratory issues like asthma and COPD. The CDC has helpful information on this topic in English and Spanish on their wildfire page at https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/covid-19/wildfire_smoke_covid-19.html and the state of Oregon shares more information on this topic here: http://oregonsmoke.blogspot.com/?m=1.
Where do you get your information? If it is from somewhere not listed here, we’d like to hear about it. Our coalition and community partners are working hard to make it easier to get and share information during a crisis. Please email us at email@example.com and tell us your preferred way of getting up-to-date information that matters most to you.
For more local health and wellness information, visit tillamookcountywellness.org or follow Tillamook County Wellness on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.