Tillamook County abounds in natural wonders, but also in potential disasters. We must take steps to better prepare ourselves for those disasters.
I have worked closely with the Oregon Department of Forestry in implementing their “Defensible Fire Space” program, and enabling significant quantities of yard debris to be composted, rather than subjected to burn risks.
I have spearheaded the county’s efforts to develop a Disaster Debris Plan, preparing communities throughout Tillamook County with collection locations that can be used following a major earthquake.
Following the Manzanita tornado in 2016, I worked with DEQ to make sure that over 290 tons of woody debris was not simply burned, but collected and composted.
As a city councilor in Bay City, I have worked to organize efforts to prepare citizens and organizations for emergencies, based on the model that has been successful for the Emergency Volunteer Corps of Nehalem Bay (EVC).
One of the obstacles we face is the ability to communicate with each other following a significant disaster. Cell phones have become the norm, but cell phone service is overloaded on busy summer holidays, not to speak of following a disaster. We need to invest in radios and emergency communications throughout the county, so that we can coordinate our activities in times of needs.