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New Live Longer Lebanon branch focuses on emergency preparation

By Sarah Brown
Lebanon Local

Live Longer Lebanon has formed a new branch to its pro-community service function: an emergency management committee.
Wyatt King, lead for what the group calls “Prepare Lebanon,” launched a Facebook group to reach residents in the community. The move was timely; it took place just a couple weeks before the recent fires burned across the state.
During the fires, Prepare Lebanon posted updates and useful information for people in evacuation areas, which drew a big push of local followers to the page.
As a Red Cross volunteer, Linn County Commissioner Will Tucker understands the necessity to be prepared ahead of disaster.
Gas, propane, electricity, water, continuing food supply – these are some necessities that may not be available for weeks, he said. Even those who have a freezer full of meat need to question how long it will stay cold in a power outage.
People should also take their pets and other animals into consideration, he noted. In a sheltering situation, hotels and emergency shelters may likely have limitations on how animals can be taken in.
In some emergencies, Red Cross shelters, supplies and support could take days to become available, Tucker said.
“When we have this disaster, we’re all gonna be looking for resources, and we’re all gonna expect the government to solve it,” he said.
The government will solve it, eventually, but it won’t be nearly as fast as one would want, he added.
“People, I think, expect that when the earthquake hits, their windows break on their house and it’s rainy outside, I think they’re thinking they’re going to go someplace, and there’s going to be everything they need.”
Tucker helped manage the shelter at Linn County Fairgrounds during the recent fire outbreaks, and is being trained to teach a class called “Prepare,” focusing on fires, weather, and earthquake.

King wields a Trucker’s Friend survival tool while Jill Barnes watches how he demonstrates its use.

After the fires passed, King began posting videos in an “emergency prep push” to encourage folks to start preparing for various disasters that may hit Lebanon, including floods, fires, and earthquakes, and the resulting possible power and water outages.
“One of Lebanon’s biggest risks after the earthquake is the dam failing,” King said in his first video post, referencing the expected Cascadia subduction zone earthquake that is due.
His first video discussion included building a “bug out bag,” which is essentially a pre-packed bag filled with supplies that will get someone through three days to two weeks if power, food or water is inaccessible.
Everyone’s bug out bag will look different, as it should be geared toward which emergency each person wants to prepare for, and how much they want to store, he noted.
King also announced a video challenge for kids to win a pre-packed “pillowcase project” bag. The pillowcase project, through the American Red Cross, is best suited for a middle-of-the-night moment when one doesn’t have time to pack or grab an evacuation bag.
“It is just a kid-friendly get-out bag training program designed to get each person in your family set up with a get-out bag,” King said.
The second video included discussion about water tips and tricks.
“Water is one of the most essential parts of your emergency preparation supplies,” he said. “It is also one of the most difficult because it can take up a lot of space if you’re storing regular water on hand”
One person needs one gallon of water a day, which totals 14 gallons for a two-week supply per person. Options include storing (and rotating out for freshness) 14 gallons per person, keeping 4-ounce pre-packaged water in a bug out bag, using water tablet purifiers, and drinking water through a filter straw.
“Don’t just rely on purification and filtration, because you don’t know what water is going to be available, and everybody is going to have the same idea,” King said.
In other words, the canal, Santiam River and Cheadle Lake may be the only available options, and every non-prepper in the city is going to head there, he said.
The third video included discussion about various food supply options.
Meal, Ready-to-Eat (MRE) is a lightweight option for packing food that is commonly used by military servicemen and hikers, but can be expensive. Other food survival options include Survival Tabs, Mayday Calorie Food Bar, and freeze-dried food.
“We recommend having a variety of ways to store food, because each of them are going to have the pros and cons,” King said.
For those sequestered at home during an emergency, having a stockpile of canned food is a good way to stay fed, preferably also keeping foods such as peanut butter, tuna fish and rice, he said.
“One of the best things you can do for prepping your food supply is just to get more of

Wyatt King, at right, digs through his first aid kit and shows a supply of survival tabs, which he describes as “Starbursts that give you a ton of calories and nutrients.”

the shelf-stable food you already enjoy,” he said.
The fourth video included discussion about defense and medication.
“Defense is something that is easy to ignore for some people, because we just don’t want to have to go there,” King said. “Nobody wants to have to use force against somebody to protect themselves, or their property, their family, their pets, but it might happen.”
He recommended defense spray and baseball bats for those who do not want to own a gun, and also suggested keeping knives and a “Trucker’s Friend” all -purpose survival tool on hand. The Trucker’s Friend is an all-in-one hatchet, pry bar, hammer and wrench that can also be wielded like a bat.
Also, first-aid kits should be suited to each person’s expectations.
“Be very intentional about your setup. Don’t just rely on an Amazon kit. Don’t just go on one Google checklist and call it good,” he said. “Really dive into what your situation is, what your needs are going to be, and what might happen.”
For those on medication, King recommended getting prescriptions refilled early and talking to a doctor about options for an emergency.
And finally, practice for an emergency, perhaps by using one’s bug-out bag during a camping trip, he said.
“With all things, you want to be prepared for your specific situation and build up your prepping, not only in supplies, but in the skills that you have for what you are going to need for the disasters you are worried about,” he said.
Also, practice the earthquake mantra, “drop, cover, hold,” and connect with local services that can help in an emergency, he said.
“The more a community can work together to be ready for an emergency, the better we’ll all weather it together, because the absolute worst case scenario is the functional collapse of our little society and our community as everyone panics over an emergency.”
For more ideas and information, visit Facebook.com/PrepareLebanon and Opb.org/aftershock-story.