Emergency preparedness

Manzanita City Council proclaimed during a meeting Wednesday, Sept. 8, the month of September as Emergency Preparedness Month. According to the proclamation, Emergency Preparedness Month provides an opportunity for residents of Manzanita to be prepared for any kind of emergency.

The Emergency Volunteer Corps of Nehalem Bay (EVCNB) was created to promote a culture of preparedness for all the residents of Manzanita and the Nehalem Bay area, the proclamation states. Taking steps toward personal preparedness and ensuring households, school, businesses and community organizations are prepared for a disaster can reduce fatalities and economic devastation following a crisis.

Mayor Mike Scott read the proclamation. He stated the proclamation is something the city has done for many years.

“Continuing efforts to enhance preparedness in the Nehalem Bay region has proven invaluable to the area’s response to previously unexpected crises, including tornadoes and a pandemic,” Scott read from the proclamation.

All residents are urged to make preparedness a priority, Scott read. Scott proclaimed September 2021 Emergency Preparedness Month.

Council President Linda Kozlowski said the city has put aside $10,000 per year that is going towards mass care, taking care of individuals after a major emergency. The next council meeting will begin the process of getting support from the council. The city is also looking a temporary emergency operations center.

“Several years ago, we had the opportunity to work with an all-classical radio station in the city of Portland,” Kozlowski said. “They needed a place for a transformer on the coast and the City of Manzanita allowed them to put their transformer on city property.”

In exchange for that, the radio station agreed that Manzanita could use the broadcasting station to broadcast emergency information, Kozlowski added. Emergency Volunteer Corps of Nehalem Bay runs tests announcements on KQMI-FM (88.9) every first and third Wednesday of the month at 11 a.m.

“In spite of COVID and no in-person meetings, we have gained ground in our mission,” said Brad Hart, of EVCNB. “Since last year, we have added one cluster, covering much of the area south of Laneda. This makes for a total of five groups preparing their neighborhoods for emergencies in Manzanita and 11 throughout the Nehalem Bay region.”

The sale of emergency go-bags is now an online preorder and pickup. Over 100 bags have been sold through this process.

“The pandemic has and continues to have a tremendous impact in our communities,” Hart said. “Through our Medical Reserve Corps (MRC), Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) and other volunteers, EVCNB logged over 4,000 hours from January through June of this year, planning and delivering vaccinations in clinics throughout the county.”

Hart said in an emergency, it is important to be able to activate emergency teams. EVCNB is currently developing a custom app for alerts and activation of resources.

Preparation and drills are currently underway leading up to the Cascadia Rising exercise in June 2022. The exercise series will be a four-day exercise in which emergency operations centers will activate to coordinated simulated field response operations.

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