Stay Informed

Have several ways of getting information. Know what technology might be available and how to use it. Know what to do if you don't have access to that technology.

Talk, Look & Listen


One neighbor helps another neighbor down steps in front of a house. Both are older white women.


Talk to Your Neighbors

During a major disaster, most information is shared in person. Look around, talk to each other, and see who needs help. Use safety precautions during a pandemic, including face coverings and physical distance. 

Who Will Need the Most Help?

Think about your neighbors. Who might need some help? Check on your local school, daycare, or assisted living facility to see if they need help. If you see something dangerous or a person in need, help if you can. If it's not safe to help, try to find someone who can. Write down what you see so you don't forget important details. 

Watch and Listen

Watch local news on your television and listen to the radio, if possible. Pay attention to relevant signage on roads and at community meeting spots.

Use Technology


Message on cell phone screen. It says: "Emergency Alert NWS: Tornado Warning in this area til 7:00 PM PDT. Take shelter now. Check media.


Man using and charging phone. He is holding a blue cell phone and appears to be typing. The phone is plugged into a portable battery, which is on his lap.


Red emergency radio sits on a Red Cross branded blanket. Next to the phone are charging cables, and adapter, and extra batteries.
Photo credit: American Red Cross



Get PublicAlerts

Sign up now to receive emergency alerts anywhere in the greater Portland metropolitan area. If something happens near you, this will allow emergency manager to send you a message by email, phone, or text message. You can also go directly to the Current Alerts page to get live updates about road and school closures, power outages, etc..

Text When Possible

Avoid making voice calls when possible. Texting uses less battery and is more likely to get through when mobile networks are busy. If local text messages fail, try your out-of-area emergency contacts.

Save Battery Life

If the power goes out, save battery power. Use your phone only when necessary. Change your phone settings to low power mode (or put it in airplane mode). Keep a back-up power source on hand to recharge your phone so you can stay connected even during an extended power outage. Consider getting a solar charger.

Connect Through Social Media

Follow your local Emergency Management office on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. Add PublicAlerts to your Twitter feed. During an emergency, post about what's happening in your area. Use #PublicAlerts to add your posts to the crowd-sourced emergency feed. Use NextDoor to share local information and resources with those in your neighborhood.

Update Your Status

Let your friends and family know you're safe. Update your social media accounts. Provide your status and location, and check up on loved ones.

Tune In With an AM/FM Radio

If you’re in the Portland region, tune into 91.5 KOPB-FM or 101.1 KXL-FM for information about what’s happening around town. Solar, hand-crank radios provide extra power options. But store extra batteries too, and keep them separate so they don't ruin the radio if they leak. 

If you have a NOAA Weather Radio, get familiar with it now so you know how to use it during an emergency. During an emergency, tune in to NOAA channel 7 / 162.550MHz. 

Check Out Amateur Radio

Amateur radio (or HAM radio) will work even when modern communication devices fail. It often plays an important role during disasters. If you’re interested in getting your amateur radio license, visit the Amateur Radio Emergency Service website. To get involved in your local radio community, check out your County's program: Clackamas County, Clark County, Columbia County, Multnomah County, Washington County.

If You're in Portland


Volunteers in yellow safety vests stand around a BEECN box under a red pop-up tent that says "Emergency Information" on it.
Photo credit: Ernest Jones, Portland Bureau of Emergency Management



In Portland, Go to a BEECN

If you live, work, or travel to Portland, get to know the location of BEECN sites (Basic Earthquake Emergency Communication Nodes). BEECNs are a place to get information and request emergency assistance when phones and computers aren’t working. Volunteers will staff them within 24-48 hours of a major disaster. These currently only exist in Portland.