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September is National Preparedness Month, Benton County urges preparedness as disasters become more frequent

[TEXT]: Be informed, have a plan, make a kit. [GRAPHIC]: a black cloud and yellow thunder, a red house with a blizzard of snow covering it, an orange wildfire burning down green trees, a yellow radio, map, and and emergency list list, a white house is flooded with blue water, a navy blue go bag is packed with essential survival items, a white house sits above cracked ground as an earthquake shakes it, and a blue tsunami rises high above a town as it rolls in from the ocean. [SOURCE]: Oregon Emergency Management.

September 11, 2023

With the surge in wildfires, floods, extreme heat, powerful winds, and winter storms, the importance of readiness has never been more evident. These natural occurrences, intensified by the ongoing effects of climate change, underscore the urgency of emergency preparedness. In observance of National Preparedness Month this September, the Benton County community is urged to empower themselves with the knowledge and resources to effectively confront emergencies and disasters.

The Benton County Board of Commissioners (BoC) has issued an official proclamation for National Preparedness Month.

“Residents, businesses, and visitors of Benton County, Oregon, are encouraged to proactively plan for disasters and motivate their families and friends to do the same. This includes participating in neighborhood preparedness initiatives, registering their contact information with the local emergency notification system, Linn-Benton Alert, and engaging in annual readiness events,” said Bryan Lee, Benton County Emergency Manager, while reading the proclamation at the Benton County BoC meeting on September 5.

Benton County urges community members to participate in preparedness by developing an emergency plan and assembling an emergency kit with food, water, and supplies, capable of supporting every household member, including pets, for a minimum of two weeks following a significant disaster.

Here are some valuable tips:

Stay Informed

  • Visit the Linn Benton-Alert notification system to enroll in or update your contact information for receiving local emergency alerts in Benton County or elsewhere in Oregon.
  • Enable Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) on your mobile device.
  • Acquaint yourself with Oregon’s evacuation levels and be familiar with evacuation routes in your vicinity.
  • Follow the Benton County and Benton County Sheriff’s Office website and follow their social media platforms to stay updated during rapidly unfolding emergencies.

Develop a Plan

  • Develop a comprehensive emergency plan encompassing sheltering, evacuating, communicating, and reuniting.
  • Consider the needs of pets and livestock.
  • Initiate discussions with neighbors regarding resource sharing and identifying individuals who may require additional assistance.

Build an Emergency Kit

  • Assemble a two-week supply of food, water, and essential items for each person and pet, including medications, flashlights, spare batteries, phone chargers, and more. For a detailed list of recommended emergency kit items, consult or the American Red Cross.
  • Duplicate critical documents necessary for post-disaster recovery by scanning or photographing this information and storing it securely, either in a password-protected online repository or on a flash drive enclosed in a waterproof container, which should be kept alongside your emergency kit.
  • Keep your supplies in a portable backpack, bucket, or bag that can be used at home or taken with you in an emergency. Remember, each kit should be tailored to individual needs and preferences.

The Benton County Board of Commissioners is collaborating with the Benton County Sheriff’s Office to disseminate information during National Preparedness Month. For additional information about National Preparedness Month and access to further resources, please visit the Benton County Sheriff’s Office emergency management page.

Benton County is an Equal Opportunity-Affirmative Action employer and does not discriminate on the basis of disability in admission or access to our programs, services, activities, hiring and employment practices. This document is available in alternative formats and languages upon request. Please contact Cory Grogan at 541-745-4468 or

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