Portland officials discuss preparing for severe weather and disasters

Published: Mar. 8, 2023 at 6:36 PM PST
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PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) - The City of Portland is taking some new steps today to try to prepare for extreme weather events and disasters.

The goal is to get the city ready to help in emergencies and better coordinate with community-based organizations.

What usually happens during a severe weather event from what we’ve seen the last two years is that the city will call a state of emergency beforehand.

When that happens, it’s basically all hands-on deck in the bureaus. However, it’s not just the local government preparing the community -- some non-profits are too.

The problem they run into is that there is no centralized body to turn to for direction and no one to call if they need more manpower for example.

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So the Portland Bureau of Emergency Management is trying to bring those community-based groups into the conversation of preparation.

“They’re trust members of those communities. They speak the language the people speak. They also know the specific needs of the communities that local agencies may not have access to,” says Regina Ingabire of PBEM. “So our plan here is to how to know what is happening on the ground and the form of connections, planning, and response that can serve the most people we can in those severe weather events.”

The Portland Bureau of Emergency Management also hopes this new coordination will help community-based organizations call on each other for help when needed.