This summer’s fires that required evacuations so close to home are a stark reminder of our vulnerability here in Southern Oregon. With fires still smoldering into fall and anticipation of winter weather, this is time to check our plans for evacuation and sheltering in place. Even those of us who are tuned into Disaster Planning and Preparedness appreciate reminders to check our plans and supplies. Jacksonville’s most obvious threat is wildfire and the warning of the Cascadia Earthquake Event looms. Each scenario is unique but being ready for any event requires being informed, having a plan, communicating, and following through.

Fortunately, there is an abundance of information to help us plan for these events. Our government has many sources. To find a source that works for you, look at several. is our local information site. has easy-to-follow advice and checklists. is an extensive site to find disaster preparedness information and education. is another good site. If you do not have Internet access at home, the Jacksonville Library has computers and librarians to help you find the information you need. The Jacksonville Fire Department has a good selection of printed material in their front office to share with you, too. Many of the items you will need, you already have around your home. A checklist, some thought, and organizing your supplies is a good start.

If your place of employment or place of worship has disaster preparedness plan or a team, consider becoming involved. If you want to learn more and to be able to help your friends and neighbors with confidence, consider training and joining Jacksonville CERT. Inquire at and on Facebook/Jacksonville CERT-Oregon.

Gayle Lewis is a Jacksonville CERT Team Member.