Portland Follow-up Activity

Posted on: October 12th, 2012 by Jessica Unger | Portland, OR

On Friday, October 12, 2012, Portland Alliance for Response, with generous support from Heritage Preservation and the National Endowment for the Humanities, held an all-day forum, “Water, Wind, Weather: Preparing for the Next Catastrophic Storm.” This forum was Portland’s second follow-up activity since their kick-off forum in February 2011.


The event brought staff from museums, archives, libraries, and other cultural heritage institutions together with first responders, emergency managers, meteorologists, and public utilities staff. Participants learned about:


• Historic weather events and emerging climate trends for the greater Portland area
• How local meteorologists and first responders communicate with each other
• How cultural heritage institutions can work with their local utilities to prepare for, respond to, and recover from a major storm
• Protocols to protect critical electronic records and systems during power outages
• The role social media can play in communicating with the public


The forum ended with participants breaking into small groups for a table-top drill. Portland Alliance for Response steering committee members facilitated discussions on how institutions could prepare for and respond to a severe storm, including a major power outage. The groups reconvened and created a list of action items to take back to their institutions.


Participants found the sessions on climate change, social media, electronic records, working with local public utilities, and the table-top drill to be most useful. The action items that most participants committed to implementing included inviting first responders to tour their institutions, identifying critical electronic records, documenting local weather information channels, and conducting a phone drill.


Additional support for the forum was provided by Reed College and the Oregon Library Association Preservation Roundtable.



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