Why should one prepare for emergencies in Columbia County? What types of things could happen here? Well.....
* We have had three presidentially-declared disasters in the past three years due to winter storms, sometimes stranding people at home for days or forcing them to evacuate;
* We have a major highway transportation route coming through our county via U.S. 30, which carry a lot of trucks hauling potentially hazardous chemicals;
* We have industrial plants either located in or near our county that produce or use massive amounts of potentially hazardous chemicals;
* We live alongside a major international shipping route called the Columbia River, carrying cargo from ports halfway around the world;
* We have a rail line in the county that can carry potentially hazardous chemicals;
* We are near a major international airport (Portland International Airport) and have many large jets flying overhead at almost all hours of the day;
* We are vulnerable to wildfires due to the amount of forested lands we have;
* We are near a major fault zone called the Cascadia Subduction Zone, which can cause massive earthquakes that will equal that of a 9.0 magnitude earthquake;
* We have had and can still have landslides at various parts of the county.
These are just a few of the possibilities. This is not meant to scare you but instead to make you aware of the fact that we do have things that have and can hurt us if and when things don't go right. Failing to plan is planning to fail, so make sure you know what to do during any emergency. Just a few moments of preparedness can save your life or the life of someone you work or live with. Go to http://www.ready.gov to get started!