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Take Action During National Preparedness Month

September 02, 2020

Emergency supplies and checklist laid out on a table

As our nation continues to respond to COVID-19, there is no better time to take action. During September's National Preparedness Month, Eugene Water & Electric Board encourages customers to be "prepared, not scared" in the event of a natural disaster or other emergency.

There's always the possibility that a severe storm or other natural disaster could affect us here in the Pacific Northwest. Should a major event occur, like a Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake, experts predict it could take months to get public services fully up and running.

Since electricity and water could be unavailable for an extended period, we encourage our customers to be prepared to be on their own for a minimum of two weeks. That means storing 14 days of water, food, medicine and other supplies. For a family of four, that's 56 gallons of water.

In addition to preparing for weather disasters, earthquake, wildfire, and other emergencies, we recommend adding pandemic precautions to your emergency plans.

Pandemic Emergency Kit

When developing a COVID-19 plan, it's smart to keep extra masks in homes, offices and vehicles just as you would store non-perishable food, bottled water and a first aid kit. Your pandemic emergency kit should also include:

  • A supply of over-the-counter medicines, such as fever reducers and pain relievers
  • Medical supplies including thermometers and plastic gloves
  • Disinfectants, such as soap, alcohol-based hand sanitizer, or a solution of chlorine bleach and water

And consider including more food and essentials in your emergency kit, in case the pandemic makes it unsafe or difficult to get to the store in a disaster.

Start small, start today

Since some supplies may be hard to get, and availability will worsen in a disaster, it's smart to start gathering supplies now, and continue adding to your kit over time.

To help customers, EWEB earlier this year re-launched our Pledge to Prepare program-a 12-month guide to getting two-weeks ready. Since 2019, more than 2,000 people have joined the program. Each month, EWEB sends participants a new set of tasks aimed at incrementally building a two-week emergency supply kit.

The idea is to start small with a basic three-day kit, and then build it slowly over time.

EWEB has received dozens of photos from participants eager to share their progress on planning and preparing for an emergency.  And some who joined at the beginning of the year have accomplished all the recommended steps and are now nearly finished with their two-week kits.

Although the 2020 Pledge to Prepare has been up and running for eight months, it's not too late to join.

We're heading into winter storm season, and as we've seen in the last few years, severe weather can lead to multi-day power outages. National Preparedness Month is the perfect time to begin building a kit, because you can get all the basics ready before winter, and then build on that momentum going into the new year.  Join the Pledge to Prepare and get started on your two-week emergency kit.