Oregon Office of Emergency Management
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News Releases
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Oregon's Office of Emergency Management says it's a good time to prepare for flooding and adhere to basic flood safety (Photo) - 02/13/19

With recent wet weather and more rain on its way, now is a good time to prepare for floods, check your emergency supplies, and adhere to basic flood safety. Some simple tips include clearing out leaves or remaining ice/snow from storm drains and culverts to prevent localized flooding, and having an emergency kit with necessary supplies. Oregon Office of Emergency Management recommends being 2 Weeks Ready http://bit.ly/2dxylmA. 

Many flood-related fatalities are caused by vehicles driven into hazardous waters.  Six inches of moving water can knock over an adult and 12 inches can carry away a small vehicle. Remember “Turn Around, Don't Drown.”

  • Heavy rains reduce drivers' visibility. When driving, turn on your lights, increase following distance, slow down, and watch for bicyclists and pedestrians. Follow the Oregon Department of Transportation tips for driving in the rain: https://www.oregon.gov/odot/pages/winter-driving.aspx
  • Give yourself more time for heavy traffic. Keep a safe distance between you and the driver in front of you. Make sure your windshield wipers in are good working condition.  Obey the speed limit and drive slower in the rain. Turn on headlights. 
  • If you are in your vehicle and floodwater is blocking your evacuation route, go to a building on high ground. If your vehicle is trapped in rapidly moving water, stay in the vehicle. If water is rising inside the vehicle, seek refuge on the roof. 

A flood does not have to be a catastrophic event, and you do not have to live in a high-risk flood area to suffer flood damage. Around twenty percent of flood insurance claims occur in moderate-to-low risk areas. Property owners should remember to: 

  • Buy Flood Insurance. Most standard homeowner’s policies do not cover flood damage. Flood insurance is affordable, and important to protecting your investment. An average flood policy costs around $890 a year, and rates start at less than $516 a year for homes in moderate- to low-risk areas. 
  • Prepare Now. Review your insurance coverages. No flood insurance? Remember: It typically takes 30 days for a new flood insurance policy to go into effect, so get your policy now.
  • Plan Ahead. Plan evacuation routes. Keep important papers in a safe, waterproof place. Conduct a home inventory; itemize and take pictures of possessions and the inside and outside of your home. For more information about flood insurance, please call your insurance agent or contact the National Flood Insurance Program Call Center (NFIP) at 1-800-621-3362 for information about the NFIP or questions about an existing policy.  Visit the National Flood Insurance Program at www.fema.gov/national-flood-insurance-program to learn more about flood risk and flood insurance.

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Hospitality Education Model for Tsunami Safety gets Revamped (Photo) - 02/07/19

The hospitality industry in Oregon has an updated tool to help prepare employees, residents and visitors for a tsunami. It is available online at oregontsunami.org along with other resources including a hazard map viewer to find out what parts of the Oregon Coast are in the Tsunami Inundation Zone.

Oregon Office of Emergency Management Geologic Hazards Program Coordinator, Althea Rizzo, has helped coordinate the initiate on the Oregon Coast called Hospitality Begins with Safety that is funded by the National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program.

“This initiative helps the hospitality industry take care of residents and visitors during a disaster by showing things like what kind of safety measures they need to take and what kind of supplies they need,” Rizzo said. “We developed this module to help the hospitality industry on the Oregon Coast train staff on how to help keep residents and visitors safe if there is a distant or local tsunami on the Oregon Coast.”

The module provides basic information about what a tsunami is, how to be safe during a tsunami, and how to help keep others safe, and Rizzo says you don’t have to be in the hospitality industry to take this education module about tsunami safety.

“It’s really for anyone who is interested in learning a little bit more about tsunamis and how to be safe during tsunamis,” added Rizzo. “When you’re visiting the Oregon Coast come out and have a good time, but also know a few things about the ocean and how to be safe around the beach.”

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Weather Dashboard Launched for Oregon (Photo) - 01/31/19

For many, volatile weather conditions and media accessibility have made weather watching more important and entertaining than ever. Oregon’s Office of Emergency Management has created an online application called the Oregon Weather Dashboard to illustrate current and forecasted weather conditions, pulling information from the state’s four national Weather Service forecast offices.

The dashboard, developed by OEM GIS Program Coordinator Daniel Stoelb, pulls together in one easy-to-access site live Twitter information, high/low temperatures, wind speed, current weather watches and warnings, a 3-day precipitation forecast, flood gage forecasts, current snow depth, and wind conditions in Oregon.

“This new dashboard contains all relevant information for weather conditions here in Oregon,” said Stoelb. “It’s a great resource for the general public who can now see data related to weather conditions and forecasts in the same manner as emergency operations personnel.”

Stoelb’s goal in creating the dashboard was to get everything in one spot and allow users to toggle from one set of data or information to another. The dashboard uses Twitter feeds from four different National Weather Service forecast offices that cover Oregon.

The dashboard is in intended to inform the general public, says Stoelb, but can also be extremely helpful for emergency management community and other public-facing agencies.

The State of Oregon Weather Dashboard can be accessed via the OEM Website or by using the direct link: https://arcg.is/1nzn811.

 

PHOTO CAPTIONS

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This weather dashboard shows current weather watches for Oregon and surrounding areas. Oregon Office of Emergency Management GIS Coordinator Daniel Stoelb has created an online application called the Oregon Weather Dashboard to show a variety of weather conditions that the public can access.

(Graphic Courtesy of the Oregon Office of Emergency Management)

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This weather dashboard shows the 72-hour cummulative precipitation forecast. Oregon Office of Emergency Management GIS Coordinator Daniel Stoelb has created an online application called the Oregon Weather Dashboard to show a variety of weather conditions that the public can access.

(Graphic Courtesy of the Oregon Office of Emergency Management)

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This weather dashboard shows the 72-hour snowfall forecast. Oregon Office of Emergency Management GIS Coordinator Daniel Stoelb has created an online application called the Oregon Weather Dashboard to show a variety of weather conditions that the public can access.

(Graphic Courtesy of the Oregon Office of Emergency Management)

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This weather dashboard shows current and forecasted windspeed and direction from windy.com, an online weather source. Oregon Office of Emergency Management GIS Coordinator Daniel Stoelb has created an online application called the Oregon Weather Dashboard to show a variety of weather conditions that the public can access.

(Graphic Courtesy of the Oregon Office of Emergency Management)