September is Emergency Preparedness Month

Cyndi GentryHere in Wasco County, we know a bad winter storm or a wildfire can knock out power and make travel incredibly difficult. It’s important to prepare for these events, and make sure your entire family knows the plan.

According to's Plan page, the best way to start is to answer these questions with the entire family:

  • How will I receive emergency alerts and warnings?
  • What is my shelter plan?
  • What is my evacuation route?
  • What is my family/household communication plan?
  • Do I need to update my emergency preparedness kit?

Although the website is a fantastic resource, let’s face it— building an emergency preparedness kit is not cheap, and everyone is feeling the financial pinch right now.

So, what can you do? Start by making a list of needed items and prioritizing what you don’t have. Try to buy just one item every or every other shopping trip. Can you buy one six-pack of water bottles for the car this month and one set of spare batteries for the flashlight next month? Every step you take now will help when you need it.

Another great resource is the Get Ready The Dalles event on Saturday, September 17, from 10 A.M. to 1 P.M. at Mid-Columbia Fire & Rescue, 1400 West 8th Street. The attendee list includes the Red Cross, Columbia Gorge Safe Kids, and the Wasco County Sheriff’s Office.

Here’s another tip: Did you know that while major disasters can result in an inability to get through on a phone call, a text requires less bandwidth and will be sent as soon as a small data window opens, provided the towers are operating? Using texts also helps free up call availability for emergency responders.

Stay safe and be prepared,

Cyndi Gentry
Corporate Services Director