Wildfire safety precautions, resources for PCC community affected by evacuations
As wildfires rage near the Portland Community College District and the homes of its employees and students, PCC is closely monitoring the situation.
Currently, all PCC facilities are safe, but fires continue to burn around portions of the college’s service areas. Many in the community live in or have families in areas that are under evacuation orders or warnings, with more than 50 PCC employees currently affected. In addition, there are employees, students, and alumni who are on the front lines, fighting these fires.
On Sept. 9, Gov. Kate Brown requested that all university and community college firefighting programs release students and staff from training so they can provide support the effort to combat the Oregon wildfires. PCC’s Fire Protection Technology Program heeded the call and has sent more than 60 students, staff and faculty to help weary firefighting crews and to support operations.
“We are concerned about the health and safety of our communities most impacted by these unprecedented events,” said Eric Blumenthal, vice President of Finance and Administration. “Our hearts go out to all those who are being impacted, across the Pacific Northwest especially given the already stressful times in which we’re living.”
While PCC continues in remote operations, college leadership understands that those affected, whether by the fires, air quality concerns, or by related power and internet interruptions, may need additional flexibility and support at this time. If necessary, PCC will establish an Emergency Operations Center, virtually or otherwise. This Emergency Operations Team will be apprised of any conditions by local authorities that would warrant the consideration of closing down any facilities or changing operational plans.
In the meantime, the following are some key web links for faculty, staff and students to use in case they are affected by the wildfires or have family who have been impacted.
- Sign up for PCC Alerts to receive text message alerts straight to your phone. Log into MyPCC and click the “Sign up for PCC Alerts” link in the MyPCC Home tab’s Quick Links channel.
- Wildfire maps and details on what to do if you have to evacuate: wildfire.oregon.gov
- Public Alerts emergency notification system to get latest evacuation notices: publicalerts.org/signup
- List of emergency shelters provided by KOIN.com.
- Changes to operations or closures of a PCC campus: alert.pcc.edu
- Community resources for students, who are in need of assistance: pcc.edu/coronavirus/information-for-students/resources/
- Access PCC’s Employee Assistance Program for help if affected by the fires: pcc.edu/hr/benefits/eap/
- Air Quality Monitoring: airnow.gov
- Multnomah County Weather & Evacuations webpage.
- American Red Cross emergency preparedness website.