Community Volunteer Day brings awareness about disaster preparedness

TALENT, Ore.– Organizations from across the valley gathered at the Talent Community Center on Saturday to raise awareness about disaster preparedness.

Over a dozen emergency agencies from Jackson County Search and Rescue to Ashland Fire and Rescue came out to the first ever Rogue Valley Community Volunteer Day.

Organizers said they started this as a way for the public to interact with emergency responders, learn how to better prepare themselves in case of an emergency and even sign-up to be a volunteer.

“We just want for our local community to know that there are resources available to them for them to be prepared,” said Terri Eubanks. “Give them some tips and some training as well on how they can be prepared.”

Eubanks, Ashland Fire and Rescue’s community preparedness coordinator, pointed out that disasters can strike at any time. She emphasized the threat of the Cascadia Subduction Zone, an area running along the Pacific Northwest that is known to cause earthquakes that could reach magnitudes of eight or nine. According to Eubanks, research shows the area is due for another eruption soon.

“We’re trying to prepare the community for the Cascadia event,” she said.

Jackson County Search and Rescue member Bud Clardy said the event could be devastating and it would be important for everyone to know what to do and how to work together.

“Your whole system breaks down because you lose electrical, your plumbing systems gone, your gas station will go down,” he said. “At that particular point that’s when we really have to unite and help each other out.”

While this first event saw a low turnout, organizers are hopeful about holding more events like these in the future. Their goal is to reach out to all the local communities of southern Oregon.

The next planned event is a Pancake Breakfast Benefit from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. in Phoenix on Saturday, May 12.

If you want more information you can call, 541-552-2226.

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