Hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, tsunamis, or even a wind storm are all capable of disrupting lives.  Even local residents may find themselves searching for shelter, food, and medical needs.  Any one of us might be thrust into caring for others or being cared for!

Formally, it’s called Mass Care and includes:

  • Sheltering (including household pets)
  • Feeding
  • Distribution of emergency supplies
  • Family reunification services
  • Immediate health, emotional and spiritual health services
  • Access to information

Manzanita, Nehalem, and Wheeler all seek to be prepared to handle disasters requiring minimal outside help.

Even so, some disaster events are too large for local capabilities to handle, and require help from outside resources. The Emergency Volunteer Corps of Nehalem Bay (EVCNB) has identified three emergency incident levels  

  • Level 1: An emergency that is a localized incident.  Such incidents are within the capacity of the local governmental agency and first responders to handle.
  • Level 2: An emergency that overwhelms local resources, and requires assistance from neighboring counties and state agencies.
  • Level 3: A major emergency that overwhelms local, county and possibly state resources.  The incident may cover more than one geographical or municipal area.  The incident has the potential for significant loss of life, damage to property, the environment, or economy.
Level 1 emergencies are within the capacity of the local government agency and first responders to handle.

Mass Care planning for this type of event:

  • Sheltering (including household pets)

Three local facilities have been identified as potential primary shelters:

Cots, blankets for overnight stays are available at these locations.

In addition, two facilities have been identified as potential warming centers and secondary shelters:

These facilities can be opened as community shelters, or as Red Cross sponsored shelters.

  • Feeding

Snacks and hot drinks are available at these shelters and warming centers. Cooking facilities are also available, but stored food is only available at Covenant Community Church. For this level of emergency, local markets for meal supplies and restaurants would be available.

A limited number of American Red Cross trained volunteers are available to operate the shelters. However, because the shelters would be classed as community shelters, evacuees would be expected to participate on a self-help basis.

  • Distribution of emergency supplies

No emergency supplies, except for cots and blankets at the primary shelters, are currently stored in the Nehalem Bay area.

  • Family reunification services

For a Level 1 emergency, no family reunification services are planned. However, it is anticipated that telephones would be working and HAM and GMRS radios operated by EVCNB would be available.

  • Immediate health, emotional and spiritual health services
  • Access to information

Local radio station KQMI broadcasting on 88.9 FM will provide public service announcements during emergencies.

EVCNB has many trained HAM radio operators and an extensive network of GMRS “walkie talkie” operators that will provide emergency communications to the Incident command.

Level 2 emergencies overwhelm local resources and may require assistance from neighboring counties and state agencies.  Local response personnel are limited, and can quickly be exhausted if multiple shifts are needed.

  • Sheltering (including household pets)

Three local facilities have been identified as potential primary shelters:

Cots, blankets for overnight stays are available at these locations.

In addition, two facilities have been identified as potential warming centers and secondary shelters.

The above facilities have been registered with the American Red Cross and agreements are in place for them to be made available as shelters operated by Red Cross volunteers.

  • Feeding

For this level of emergency American Red Cross provides the food for people in shelters. It can be purchased at the local markets if they are open, or trucked in.

  • Distribution of emergency supplies

No emergency supplies, except for cots and blankets at the primary shelters, are currently stored in the Nehalem Bay area. Emergency supplies will need to be trucked in by American Red Cross.

  • Family reunification services

American Red Cross operates a family reunification service.

  • Immediate health, emotional and spiritual health services
  • Access to information

Local Radio station broadcasting on 88.9 FM will provide public service announcements during emergencies.  Also, the shelters will operate announcement boards.

EVCNB has many trained HAM radio operators and an extensive network of GMRS “walkie talkie” operators that will provide emergency communications to the Incident command.

Level 3 is a  major emergency that overwhelms local, county, and possibly state resources.  The incident has the potential for significant loss of life, damage to property, and the environment or economy.

The Oregon Coast is extremely vulnerable to the effects of a Cascadia Subduction Zone (CSZ) event, due to our proximity to the epicenter of the earthquake, exposure to inundation by tsunami, and vulnerable transportation links. Because of these vulnerabilities, our communities need to be able to immediately evacuate our population from the tsunami inundation zone to safe assembly sites, to shelter displaced individuals and pets, to provide needed basic medical services, since the nearest hospitals will not be accessible, and to communicate with each other when basic communication infrastructure has been destroyed.

While many survivors will be able to shelter in their homes, many people’s homes will be damaged or destroyed by the earthquake and tsunami. These survivors will need public sheltering in temporary encampments for an extended period. The entire area will need access to drinking water.

 

The EVCNB contracted with the Catholic Relief Services (CRS) to assist in planning for all possible emergencies in the Manzanita, Nehalem, and Wheeler areas.  The result of this joint effort resulted in the publication of a detailed report. A pdf copy of this report is available here.

CRS’s report is 76 pages long. A shorter, Executive Summary is available.

Additionally, Annexes accompanying this report may be found here.

A Points of Interest: Sheltering is always a prime concern when disaster strikes.  CRS has utilized in disaster areas around the world a simple tent constructed from materials generally available locally and at a low cost.  A video showing construction of just such a shelter it available here.

In April, 2017, a delegation from Portland, Oregon, traveled to Japan for a close up look at the recovery efforts implemented since their earthquake and tsunami in March of 2011.  The group compiled and published a video detailing their impressions.  View the video here.