As we face wildfires and smoke threats – and sadly with many of our communities already ravaged by wildfires – I want to remind you to be ready to evacuate if the order is given and ensure your staff and volunteers are ready as well. Keep them and your nonprofits as safe and ready as possible! Most importantly – Stay Calm. Your family, team, and the community needs your leadership now more than ever. I know that this is going to be tough on the heels of the months of COVID-19 stress, but try to fight the urge to give into this additional stressor. You can do this!
Here are some helpful steps and resources to use and stay updated:
Keep track of wildfires near you. Sign up for emergency notifications. Most counties in Oregon have a network that you can sign up to receive alerts in case you need to evacuate. The Oregon Federal Executive Board has a complete listing of notification sign-ups by county. OregonLive has a good explanation of how to receive emergency government alerts for your area on your cell phone.
Have an established phone tree within your organization to keep each other aware of changes in your team’s situation. Because so many of us are working from home we may not be in direct communication as frequently. Be sure to check in with all team members once a day to see if anything has changed for them. Make sure everyone understands to prioritize getting to safety if an evacuation order is called, but once in a safe location, to alert your organization on the changes in their status and location.
Various county and regional COADs and community builders have set up resource pages, many of them using the Supporting Resilient Communities Inc. system. These pages are designed to coordinate response efforts, avoid duplications, and share information.