The heat of summer is here across the state, and with extreme temperatures and dry conditions comes increased risks. Oregon’s Office of Emergency Management offers a few simple tips to help Oregonians keep cool, stay safe and prevent wildfires as we all navigate the continued impacts of COVID-19.
- Staying home to prevent the spread of COVID? Keep windows and blinds closed to stay cool indoors and make sure to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
- When you need to be outdoors, stay close to home, bring a water bottle with you and limit activity to early in the day or later in the evening when temperatures are cooler.
- Heading out to cool off in the water? Plan ahead, know the risks and don’t forget those life jackets.
- Be sure to wear face coverings when you cannot maintain a distance of at least six feet from others. Switch to a cotton bandana or scarf if your normal face covering is too heavy or thick to wear in the heat.
- Check on family members and neighbors, especially the elderly, those who live alone or who may need special assistance. Remember, you can visit in person as long as you stay at least six feet away, but a call, text or video-chat works as well and reduces the risk of COVID exposure.
- It’s everyone’s responsibility to help prevent human-caused wildfires. Know your local fire restrictions and always pack a water source and a shovel. If you make a campfire, be sure it’s dead out before leaving. To learn about restrictions and wildfire activities at home, at work and when you are out and about, visit www.KeepOregonGreen.org/prevent-wildfires.
Above all, know your risks and be prepared for them. OEM’s 2 Weeks Ready initiative offers a real way each of us can help ourselves and our communities prepare for the next emergency.
2 Weeks Ready encourages Oregonians to prepare to be on their own for a minimum of two weeks. This empowers individuals and communities to count on themselves and each other, especially in the aftermath of a major disaster such as a wildfire or earthquake. It’s also a great way to mitigate the effects of events such as heat waves, power outages, and even COVID-19 as people may need to isolate at home for as long as 14 days.
“It’s all about knowing the risk so you can plan ahead to reduce that risk,” says OEM Director Andrew Phelps. “Disasters don’t wait for us to be ready, and they can be due to any number of hazards. Preparing for disaster can be overwhelming but 2 Weeks Ready is an achievable goal. You don’t have to get there today, but you do need to start now.”
OEM has created a short video to show Oregonians the basics of a 2 Weeks Ready kit, including face coverings and hand sanitizer. Everyone’s kit will look different so be sure to customize for you and your family.
For more information on preparedness resources, visit www.oregon.gov/oem.