Portland Disaster Plan

To avoid having Fairbanks done a dozens times, I am doing Portland, Oregon where I grew up.

a. Was it easy or difficult to find your community’s plan? Describe how long it took, or in the extreme case, that you never actually found it online.



It took about 7 seconds to find the disaster plans for Portland. I typed “Disaster Plan Portland” and the first page of the google search brought up relevant links for the area.

b. Describe one thing you think shows your community is well-prepared in case of a disaster

Flooding. Localized  flooding can still occur on creeks in the Portland area.  However large scale floods like the Vanport 1948 flood  do not occur in the metro area anymore. Vanport was a suburb of Portland that literally got wiped off the map by flooding. (It doesn’t even exist anymore) This event caused the Flood Control Act of 1950 to be passed which built dams on the Columbia River, and created flood plans. The Portland area now has levy’s and flood walls along it’s urban areas that border the river. Although minor flooding can still occur, it isn’t a “disaster”.

c. Describe one way you think an improvement could be made to your community’s plan.

Infrastructure retrofitting. The chance of having more than half the bridges in Portland be cross-able after a major earthquake is almost zero to none.  Many would collapse and many more would be damaged. The bridges in the area need serious retrofitting, but issues always arise of the cost being too high to maintain them properly to be ready for an earthquake.

d. Answer the following question: Do you feel better or worse about how well your community is prepared after reading it’s plan?

Better, because I know that people have their careers dedicated to keeping us safe in emergencies in Portland. However, serious changes need to occur to fund replacing or retrofitting ageing infrastructure.


Leave a Reply