Ready? Set? Go Bag?

What will you do when an emergency happens? Planning in advance for outages and disasters can help keep family members calm — and ready to tackle what’s next.

Living on the edge of a continent is a part of the charm of living close to the Pacific. But being far from a large population center may mean help won’t be available for weeks after a major disaster happens. And as we have learned in recent years, the Oregon Coast is not immune to the threat of earthquakes, tsunamis, and even wildfires.

Taking the time now to develop a simple emergency plan can provide a road map that could save lives when a disaster hits. The American Red Cross website is a great source of information about what to do in case household members are separated during an emergency, what to do if an evacuation is required, and for helping you plan for how you’ll communicate with loved ones elsewhere. The needs of each person and pet in a household need be factored into your plan.

“Earthquake preparedness also works for wildfire preparedness in terms of a ‘go bag’ in the car and shelter-in-place supplies at home for a quick evacuation,” points out Central Lincoln’s Senior Project Manager, Gail Malcolm, who guides Central Lincoln’s disaster planning.

A go bag — a backpack, or easily-carried survival kit — with needed medications, ID, food, water, and tools, could be crucial when an earthquake, tsunami, or wildfire occurs here. Take a free quiz and see a list of emergency supplies on the American Red Cross Survival Kit Supplies page. Instead of a three day or one week supply of food, coast experts recommend having 30 days of food and water set aside and in an accessible place. The Emergency Volunteer Corps of Nehalem Bay also offers excellent recommendations and tips.

Tips for Handling Outages

We hate outages — and we know you do, too. Serving an area nestled in a national forest and impacted by corrosive salt air certainly offers challenges. We work constantly to prevent outages, but sometimes trees, branches and other hazards land on our lines, poles, or transformers.

  • The first thing to do when an outage occurs is call us at 877-265-3211, and press 2 to report it.
  • Keep mobile phones plugged in regularly when at home, so if an outage occurs, your phone will be fully charged and available for use.
  • If you have internet connectivity during an outage, visit the Central Lincoln website to view the outage map and follow our Facebook Page for outage information and updates.
  • If you have a landline phone, make certain you have at least one phone that doesn’t need electricity or batteries to operate.
  • If there’s an appliance you must have running at all times, and you don’t have a generator, make arrangements to stay with family or friends who have a generator or live in a large city.
  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends keeping refrigerator and freezer doors closed during an outage to maintain cold temperatures. Food in a refrigerator shouldn’t spoil up to four hours if the fridge is kept closed. A full freezer will hold its temperature for nearly 48 if the door stays closed.

Visit our Storm and Disaster Preparedness page for links to additional resources and information.