Portland Oregon is one of the coolest prepared cities in the Pacific Northwest. They continue to find fun and innovative approaches to make themselves and their community a safer place to live.
A bicycle friendly city, they are the creators of the Disaster Relief Trials, which is an event designed for cyclists of all levels, where through a series of challenges the participants showcase how bikes can be used to respond to a major disaster (such as an earthquake) to transport food, water and supplies to support their communities. This event is a homegrown, community driven practice, showcasing how bikes can and will support Portland in emergencies and disasters. That’s smart, healthy, practical, and cool.
But there’s more. Leaders at the Portland Bureau of Emergency Management, the Oregon Office of Emergency Management, and Clean Energy Works dreamed up a pilot project for how to use a FEMA grant to seismically retrofit 30 homes throughout Portland. Through a Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) grant of about $100,000, they will be improving the stability and safety of these homes. Leading by example and helping homeowners and neighborhoods be ready for the next big one.
This pilot project shows that community-driven mitigation strategies can have a strong benefit to cost ratio (1:3) and, more importantly, do not require millions of dollars to get done! It’s about the partnerships and finding ways to stretch grant dollars further.
Portland is setting the example for what it means to have a whole community approach to preparedness and public safety. They are focusing on making neighborhoods, communities, their city and state more resilient, one innovative idea at a time.
And that’s why we think Portland is so cool.
Editor's Note: FEMA is providing this information about third party events as a reference. FEMA does not endorse any non-government organizations, entities, or services.