In the Community: Red Cross Cascades Region

NW Natural nonprofit Programs of Focus 2017-2019


Responding to emergencies, helping people prepare

When disaster strikes, a Red Cross team is usually one of the first on the scene. While responding during a disaster is an important part of what the nonprofit does, helping people prepare is just as important. When individuals, organizations and communities are prepared for emergencies, lives are saved and recovery can begin faster.

For the Red Cross Cascades Region – which serves Oregon and Southwest Washington – preparedness means being ready for earthquakes, tsunamis, wild fires and home fires. To respond to any of those disasters, the organization has trained approximately 2,500 volunteers to help set up emergency shelters, distribute food and water, and manage blood supplies.

Red Cross volunteers share the “prepare” message at a community event in Happy Valley, Oregon.
Red Cross volunteers share the “prepare” message at a community event in Happy Valley, Oregon.

Every September for the last six years, NW Natural has teamed up with the Red Cross Cascades Region to host Get Ready events around the region. The free events include safety demonstrations, materials from local preparedness groups and activities for kids. See the 2017 Get Ready events schedule.

In 2016, the Red Cross also launched its “Prepare Out Loud” initiative. Created to help people prepare for a Cascadia subduction zone earthquake, the outreach program teaches families and individuals how to take simple steps to prepare for a disaster and share how they’re preparing with others.

“We want to replace the apocalyptic quality of an emergency with knowledge and a sense of empowerment,” said Natalie Carlberg, chief development officer for the Cascades Region. “Being prepared saves lives. If you’re prepared for a big disaster, you’re basically prepared for anything.”

More than 5,000 people have participated in the Prepare Out Loud program since it began last year. “We teach people about what to do before, during and immediately after an emergency event,” Carlberg said. “Prepare Out Load helps people have a plan – and having a plan is a powerful thing."

Red Cross Cascades Region is one of NW Natural’s five nonprofit Programs of Focus for 2017-2019. The organization will receive $35,000 per year for three years from our Corporate Philanthropy Fund, plus in-kind resources and volunteer support from NW Natural employees.

» For resources to help you prepare for a natural disaster or emergency, Visit Red Cross Cascades Region.