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Business and Community Leaders Pack Salem Convention Center to Prepare for “The Big One”

Thursday, December 10, 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Elizabeth Peters
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More than 200 of the region’s leaders in business and the public sector filled the Salem Convention Center December 9 to get an idea of what would happen in the first two weeks following a major disaster.



When the Shaking Stops: The 336-Hour Challenge was a first-of-its-kind event to prepare employers in the region for what many are calling Oregon’s greatest natural threat – a massive quake that experts are saying is long overdue for the Pacific Northwest coastline. Experts agree that a major quake could keep 25,000 commuters in this region from getting home for two weeks, due to road and bridge damage.


“Timeframe for recovery on some critical services, such as drinking water, highways, and healthcare facilities is up to 18 months,” said Ed Flick, Marion County Emergency Manager. “With that combined drain on these services, businesses and individuals simply cannot rely solely on the government to provide aid immediately. We all must be prepared for self reliance initially.”


Amid hands-on exhibits and displays of readiness equipment and supplies, the session was part a series series designed to bring the region's businesses together on a plan to prepare—individually and collectively.  The series is produced by Strategic Economic Development Corporation, the lead economic development organization for Marion, Polk and Yamhill Counties. Its purpose is to give businesses in the region the ability to recover quickly after a disaster.


“If the ‘big one’ brings the devastation the experts are talking about, then businesses will not only need to have a plan for their own recovery, but will also play a critical role in helping the community recover,” said Chad Freeman, SEDCOR President.


The series, titled "Cascadia: Oregon's Greatest Natural Threat" began September 9 and will conclude in March with an in-depth look at the risks and safeguards across our critical lifelines—energy, transportation, communications and water:


March 9, 2016 from 12 noon – 1:30 p.m.

“Secure Our Lifelines” lunch and presentation

Broadway Commons, 1300 Broadway St. NE, Salem Ore.

Cost: $20


Freeman praised SEDCOR’s partners, who have played a critical role in bringing resources together for the series. “No other group is pulling Mid-Willamette Valley businesses together for this level of preparedness,” said Freeman. “We could not possibly do something like this without our valued partners, Marion County, the City of Salem, American Red Cross and the Oregon Office of Emergency Management.”


For more information and downloads from the series, visit the “Cascadia Threat” section of SEDCOR’s web site, under “Events and Programs.” 


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