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Official: When disaster strikes, you are your biggest resource

In many disaster situations, it could be two weeks before there’s any resources available, officials said.

Posted: Jul 24, 2018 7:00 PM
Updated: Jul 24, 2018 8:43 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- When disaster strikes, your biggest resource is yourself, your family and neighbors, an official with Eugene Emergency Management said.

KEZI News 9 News spoke with Patence Winningham, who said the number of people in Eugene and Springfield far exceeds the number of first responders.

An earthquake emergency document provided by Eugene Risk Services states that distribution centers and shelters are set in place after a quake. Winningham said they do have distribution sites already designated. She said these were set in place a few years ago.

They’re located in heavily-populated areas that are easy to get to. However, she said they do not release this information to the public because if they were to have to move the location, they don’t want to cause confusion in the community.

Winningham said at the end of the day, your family and your neighbors will be the people to rely on. She used one neighborhood in Eugene to explain just how important it is to look out for yourself and others.

"Southeast Neighbors is an example I use all the time,” Winningham said. “There's 15,000 people in that neighborhood with one fire station with four or five first responders at any given time. Add an earthquake scenario to that and ask yourself who is coming to save me.”

In many disaster situations, it could be two weeks before there’s any resources available, officials said. They recommend planning for that. Many neighborhood associations are currently writing their own disaster plans specific to their neighborhoods, Winningham said.

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