You can never be too prepared, Portland

September marks National Preparedness Month

Does your family know what to do if an emergency strikes? Are your meeting points known; phone numbers listed and easily accessible; medical kits and nonperishables stored properly? While there has been plenty of chatter about the New Yorker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning article “The Really Big One” — in which Kathryn Schulz wrote about the Cascadia subduction zone and the potential for a significant earthquake in the Pacific Northwest — smaller, more common emergencies often take Portland families by surprise.

September marks National Preparedness Month, a time to coordinate with family, neighbors and friends to ensure you are ready to respond to an emergency (fires, earthquakes, floods or even snowstorms, such as the fabled 2017 Portland “snowpocalypse”). Whether it’s a national disaster or a life-changing incident, you can never be too prepared.

Basic emergency planning can save the lives of family and friends, and is especially important with children. Doctors and nurses at The Portland Clinic are in a constant state of preparedness, and encourage all of our neighbors to consider scheduling a planning session with their family. Mapping out important information and basic steps for reacting to a disaster, fire, power outage or storm is a simple and effective way to ensure safety during unexpected events.

The National Fire Protection Association has compiled a list of safety tips and recommendations for creating a supply kit in case of an emergency. It is very important to:

  • Preemptively discuss what to do in an emergency situation and follow all official instructions if disaster strikes
  • Know the necessary routes to safely escape from work and your home; establish meeting points in anticipation of family separation during an emergency
  • Update plans as needed — at least every six months
  • Supply kits should include, but are not limited to: water, ready-to-eat food, batteries, first aid kits, can opener, warm clothes, a tool kit, matches, candles and important documents

Join the conversation on National Preparedness Month for more tips throughout the month of September by using #NatlPrep and #PlanAhead on Twitter, and let us know what you’re doing to prepare your family for an emergency.

If you have any concerns about first aid, nutrition or preparation tactics, doctors and nurses at The Portland Clinic can be reached at 503-223-3113 or by visiting Please note, medical advice can only be delivered to current patients.