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Portland Works On New Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan


The city of Portland kicked off an effort Monday to develop a new natural hazard mitigation plan over the next 18 months.

The City of Portland wants to be prepared for everything from an earthquake to a wildfire or volcano.

The City of Portland wants to be prepared for everything from an earthquake to a wildfire or volcano.

Oregon Department of Geology And Mineral Industries

The plan covers everything from earthquakes to landslides to wildfires.

Dan Douthit, a spokesperson for the Portland Bureau of Emergency Management, said the city is required to update its plan every five years.

“We knew five years ago that there was an earthquake danger, and that’s still the case today,” he said. “But I think something that’s changed is now there’s even more attention being focused on some of the natural hazards.”

Since Portland’s last plan was put in place, major earthquakes rattled Japan and New Zealand in 2011.

Carmen Merlo, Director of the Portland Bureau of Emergency Management.

Carmen Merlo, Director of the Portland Bureau of Emergency Management.

Alan Sylvestre/OPB

“We’re hoping to use lessons learned from Christchurch, New Zealand, from the Japan earthquake and tsunami, and elsewhere to better improve the ways in which we can reduce the hazards here,” Douthit said.

There’s some money to develop the plan, but none to specifically fix any problems.

Douthit said instead, city bureaus will deal with mitigation measures as they’re working on upgrades. For example, if the water bureau needs a new pipe, the agency make sure it can withstand a local earthquake when it is installed.

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