Oregon Lawmakers choose to safeguard themselves over schools



It is only by chance that I write this article today. I try my best to keep up on stories that happen within Oregon, but I am only one man, and there’s so much that happens. Sometimes luck plays a role in the stories I come across. Like today… I was sitting at Wingstop waiting for my food, when I saw a Willamette Week newspaper, and decided to pick it up.

I scanned the front-page headlines:

  • The Making of a YouTube Star

  • Pot’s Biggest Backers

  • Swimming At the Dock

  • Touring New Booze Carts

Nothing on the front grabbed my attention, so I flipped through. On page 7, I paused and started reading, “On Shaky Ground”, an article on how Oregon legislators choose to protect their own office building over reinforcing old, outdated schools. Now this is an article that interests me.

Click here for the link to the article.

To my complete disgust, I learned that, “Seven years ago, the state identified 275 public school buildings that, without safety upgrades, were sure to collapse when the next big earthquake shakes Oregon…and another 754 with a better than 10 percent chance of pancaking.” This is out of 2000 school buildings evaluated. Continue reading

Reynolds High School Shooting



By now you have heard about the shooting at Reynolds High School around 8:00 am June 10, 2014.  I will have links to stories and articles about the event.  I want to focus on some the issues we can all learn from.

School Emergency Plan:  Did Reynolds High School have a written plan about active shooters?  It appeared that the meeting place was thought about as a quick solution.  Was that plan talked about with fellow parents? It is difficult to communicate emergency information that is not known before hand.

Does your school have a written emergency plan?

Situation awareness: Being aware of your environment, not just in emergencies, but on a daily bases. I am not talking about being paranoid or judging people. I am talking about taking responsibility for your own protection. Here is a classical example of not being aware:

11 a.m.: Eleventh-grader “………” was seated in the school cafeteria with friends Tuesday morning when they were told the school was going into a lock down.
“We thought it was fake because we never heard of anything like this, ” …… said. “Every one thought it was a joke.”
But then he said they heard screaming and were led to a secure counselor’s office to wait out the lockdown. http://www.oregonlive.com/gresham/index.ssf/2014/06/reynolds_high_shooting_police_1.html

Most often schools will announce to students when a drill takes place. For example: The Great Shakeout is in October at 10:00 am. If you hear an announcement that was NOT planned ahead of time, then take it very serious! That young person could have died by his lack of response.

Don’t become a victim: Follow the schools instructions during times of crisis. During earthquakes go under the desk, and during shooting follow teachers announcements, just to name a few.

BUT, you are ultimately responsible for your own safety and life. If the shooter was going to break through the classroom, don’t hide in the open. Jump out the window and make a run for it. Hide in the corner and attack like your life depends on it, because it flipping does!! You have to decide what is your best chance at survival. You are not a brainless human being, don’t act like one.

Without even knowing any details about the shooter, I can assume a few things. He was a loner. People might even say he was a nice kid. But search his Facebook page, and you may gain insight into his troubled mind. People might have said he was a little off. The time to be passive about your life is over. If someone “jokes” about shooting up the school, take that very serious. Report that to the principle, talk with your parents about your concerns, and report that to the local police. Again, this is one of those areas where a little common sense goes a long ways. Just because someone dresses in black cloths, does not mean they are violent.

I want to point out another example:
A junior named Polina, who declined to give last name also planned to arrive to school late, but her brother, Danil, was inside Reynolds. She exchanged text messages with him. He wrote: “Happened in the gym. u could hear shots from outsdode, 2 minutes later lockdown.”

I understand parents and students have a need/desire to find out what is happening, but an active shooter event is NOT that time.

Students: You must keep your wits about you. Every second counts when your living a nightmare. You could be so focused on the text, you do not see the shooter or hear the person coming. When our adrenalin kicks in, our senses zero in and are not as open to the environment. So, instead of focusing on footsteps, your focused on social media or texting parents.

Parents: Don’t be angry with what I am about to say. If you believe there still is an active shooter in the school, DO NOT TEXT OR CALL YOUR CHILD. When my phone gets a text a very loud whistle notifies me. When I get a call, I can hear it from 20 feet or more. God forbid your child is hiding and all of sudden a loud whistle comes from their location. That mistake could cost them their lives.
Students and Parents talk with each other. Talk about your fears, concerns, and family plans.

I hope I have been able to help you. I am sorry for the loss of the student and sad no one could help the shooter with his issues. I ask everyone to spend just a moment or two and keep the families in your heart.


Multnomah Co. Mental Health & Addiction Services

Twitter: #RHShooting

Facebook: Reynolds High School

PreparePDX past podcast

This podcast was just after the Clackamas Shooter event. I also have links to great resources at the bottom.

News agencies reporting:




Wellness, Preparedness, Safety and Security



Visit more than 20 community organizations providing reliable information on how to stay healthy, live more securely at home, enjoy life in your community, prepare you and your neighborhood in the aftermath of a disaster.  A resilient community is a strong community.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

10am – 2pm

Milwaukie Center

5440 SE Kellogg Creek Drive


Participating Organizations:

 Wellness and Well-Being

  • Clackamas Injury and Rehabilitation – free massage and acupuncture
  • Nurses –  free blood pressure check
  • OSU Extension – food preservation
  • Milwaukie Community Gardens
  • William Behrndt D.M.D.
  • Senator Jeff Merkley’s Constituent Services team

 Safety and Security

  • Clackamas Fire District One -

Fire safety/Emergency Preparedness

  • Milwaukie Police Department

Take your children’s photo in uniform

  • OHSU’s ThinkFirst
  • American Medical Response child car safety seat demonstrations
  • Elders in Action
  • Domestic Violence Program info
  • Milwaukie K-9 Program
  • Protection One
  • Clackamas County Traffic Safety   Commission
  • Clackamas County  Sheriff’s Office
  • Young Marines
  • American Legion Post #180 – learn about the visiting Vietnam Veteran Memorial Wall project in 2015
  • FTC brochures – Identity theft, computer and elder fraud, protecting children who use computers



America’s PrepareAthon: Wild Fires



FEMA_PrepareAthon Poster_Wildfire Artwork-500

Today is a nation wide effort to help people become more prepared.  There are several issues and ways people can help.  I have choose to focus on wild fires. There are many links within the article that will take you to a different page, I recommend you right click on them and then select “open link in a new tap.” This will make reading the article a lot smoother.  The below information comes from the official website: America’s PrepareAthon!


Before a wildfire strikes your area:

  • Know your sources of information
  • Prepare your home and workplace
  • Develop an emergency communications plan
  • Know what to do when a wildfire approaches

For more detailed information, download How to Prepare for a Wildfire, a hazard-specific guide, which provides information on the basics of each hazard, how to protect yourself and your property, and what steps to take now.

As more and more people make their homes in woodland settings, homeowners face the increasing danger of wildfire. Usually, lightning or an accident can trigger these events and often they begin unnoticed. Fires spread quickly igniting brush, trees, and homes. Homes that survive almost always do so because the homeowners were prepared. Before a wildfire strikes your area, be prepared to evacuate threatened areas on short notice; reduce sources of fuel near your property by ensuring it is well irrigated and free of highly flammable vegetation and landscaping; and review your homeowners or renters insurance policy.


Be Smart. Know Your Hazard

Wildfires can occur anywhere and can destroy homes, businesses, infrastructure, natural resources, and agriculture. For more information, download the How to Prepare for a Wildfire guide, which provides the basics of wildfires, explains how to protect yourself and your property, and details the steps to take now so that you can act quickly when you, your home, or your business is in danger.

Wildfire Basics

  • WHAT: A wildfire is an unplanned, unwanted fire burning in a natural area, such as a forest, grassland, or prairie. As building development expands into these areas, homes and businesses may be situated in or near areas susceptible to wildfires. This is called the wildland urban interface.
  • WHEN: Wildfires can occur at any time throughout the year, but the potential is always higher during periods with little or no rainfall, which make brush, grass, and trees dry and burn more easily. High winds can also contribute to spreading the fire. Your community may have a designated wildfire season when the risk is particularly high.
  • WHERE: Wildfires can occur anywhere in the country. They can start in remote wilderness areas, in national parks, or even in your back yard. Wildfires can start from natural causes, such as lightning, but most are caused by humans, either accidentally—from cigarettes, campfires, or outdoor burning—or intentionally.

Know the Risk

Do you want to have a better understanding of the wildfire risk you and your community face? Below is a map of the United States and the frequency of wildfires greater or equal to 300 acres in your county since 1994.

Map Information: This area is a map of the continental US, Puerto Rico, and Hawaii including states boundaries. It is entitled “Wildfire Activity by County 1994-2013”

It includes data from the USGS Federal Fire Occurrence Database, including U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs, and Bureau of Land Management. This map displays the frequency of wildfires by county at three levels. In the first category, for counties that have had wildfires greater or equal to 300 acres, from 1994-2013, it displays the frequency of these wildfires for three levels of frequency; second, it displays the counties where the largest wildfires were less than 300 acres; and third, it displays the counties where no wildfires were reported.
In the first category of wildfires greater than 300 acres, the highest frequency of reported wildfires (101-1,308) occurred mainly in the states of Alaska, northern Washington, eastern Oregon, northern and southern California, central and southern Idaho, western Montano, northern Colorado, northern Nevada, northern Arizona, southern New Mexico, and southern Florida. The second highest frequency of wildfires (21-100) occurred in the same Western states, but more evenly distributed, with the addition of most of Wyoming and a few counties within North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas, Mississippi, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, and Hawaii. The third highest frequency of wildfires (1-20) occurred primarily in the states already described with additional parts of Wisconsin, Michigan, Louisiana, Alabama, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia and eastern Maine.
In the second category of the states that include wildfires of less than 300 acres, the map identifies counties within almost every state but primarily counties in Northern, Southern and Mid-Atlantic states plus a few counties within Puerto Rico.
In the third category of the counties with no recorded wildfires, the map identifies central Texas, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, northern Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, southern Michigan, Ohio, central Kentucky, central Tennessee, southern Alabama, southern Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and most of New England.
Federal Emergency Management Agency
ORR Mapping and Analysis Center, Washington, D.C., March 13, 2014. Sources: ESRI, USGS.

Additional Resources

For more information on protecting yourself from a wildfire and protecting your property and belongings, download these helpful resources:

  • Be Smart-Know Your Alerts and Warnings: The factsheet provides a brief summary of the various alerts and warnings available from Federal, state, local governments as well as the private sector that you can sign up for to stay informed and be ready to take action to be safe.
  • Be Smart-Protect Critical Documents and Valuables: The checklist helps you to take an inventory of your household documents (e.g., financial and medical records), contacts, and valuables.

Take Part. Your Day of Action

 Everyone has a role to play in preparing for a disaster. America’s PrepareAthon! provides Playbooks and resources to help organizations from across the community implement successful preparedness activities that will enhance the resilience of individuals, organizations and the whole community. Many individuals within an organization can lead this effort; you may be a manager, employee, teacher, or volunteer.

Select the community sector below that best represents your organization and you will find a Playbook that explains the benefits of participating and suggests simple drills and exercises. Also included are step-by-step guides and resources to make implementation easy.

Prepare. Promotional Materials

Research shows there is a strong relationship between talking about preparedness and taking action. America’s PrepareAthon provides easy-to-use branding and promotional materials available to download and use in implementing and promoting your day of action. You are encouraged to create your own PrepareAthon! using the provided Logo Usage Guidelines.

Please review the America’s PrepareAthon! Resource Catalog to see all the print and digital materials available for download. Also provided are a Media Guide to help with outreach to media, including fill-in-the-blank templates, and a Communications Toolkit filled with social media tips, tools and templates.

  • Resource Catalog - This Resource Catalog provides an overview and examples of the easy-to-use information resources, branding materials, and promotional materials that are available to download and use in implementing and promoting a day of action.
  • Communications Toolkit - This guide provides key messaging as well as social media tips and tools that can be used to promote and support America’s PrepareAthon! activities.
  • Media Event Planning Guide - This guide provides media planning and outreach guidelines, and includes fill-in-the-blank templates.
  • Be Smart. Take Part. Prepare Your Organization for Disaster - This brochure presents organizations with a brief overview of America’s PrepareAthon! and explains how they can participate to build resiliency in their organizations.
  • Promotional Package – Wildfire
Powered by GovDelivery.