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Hillsdale NET Emergency Preparedness, Part 2: Start Building Your Cache

[Posted March 12, 2021]

Contributed by Robin Jensen and Patrick Pangburn for Hillsdale NET

This is the second in a series of articles brought to you by the Hillsdale Neighborhood Emergency Team (NET) and the Hillsdale News. To read Part 1, click here.

The articles will help you prepare your family and our community for a major natural disaster, as well as share information on Hillsdale NET and what it does. We hope you will stay tuned over the coming months and that you find the content helpful and informative.


Before we get to the second installment in the series, a few words about February's power outage:

Now that we’ve had a few weeks to get over the impact of our snow and ice storm and accompanying power outages, it’s a great time to assess how we did. Short term power outages are a useful test of our preparedness for more serious disasters as well as a reminder to get our emergency supplies in order.

How well prepared was your household? While it’s fresh in your mind, make lists of what you did right and what you’d change. How did you keep warm? Were you able to cook? What do you wish you’d had on hand? Many people found that headlamps were useful to keep their hands free as they moved around the house. Some made use of an outdoor gas grill for cooking. Share ideas with your friends and neighbors. Consider organizing a few of your closest neighbors to plan for emergencies together.

We would like to know what worked well for you and where you fell short. Please share your list with us at


Part 2: Building your cache

Cache (pronounced like cash): To place or store something in a hidden or secure place for safety or concealment.

As you and your family prepare for disasters you will store some water, food, tools, supplies and equipment. This is your cache. You may have multiple caches including for immediate life safety, supplies for extended home confinement, supplies for evacuation, a vehicle kit or a kit for your workplace.

Your home cache should be stocked with what you need to shelter in place at home for an extended time. Portlanders may be without power, city water, heat, grocery stores, pharmacies and gas stations after a disaster. You decide what you should cache for at least one week and more as you can afford and have storage space.

Your cache should be stored in part of your home where it will be safe and accessible. An ideal location is in an interior corner with two exterior walls. Be certain your cache is protected from falling heavy shelving or overhead heavy objects.

Now that you’ve gathered some supplies from your home (see Part 1 of the series) and you have started a shopping list, you are ready to look around your home for the items on list #2.

Emergency supply list #2:

Emergency supplies
Be sure to write down what you are missing and add items to your cache when you have the time and resources.

paper towels

box of heavy-duty garbage bags

plastic sheeting

plastic utensils, plastic or paper plates, bowls, cups

cash in small denominations

toiletries for each household member

toilet paper/tissues

hand sanitizer

multipurpose knife

copies of important documents

pen and paper

extra medication

extra pet food

extra clothing

extra pair of eyeglasses/readers

Watch for more articles here on your cache as well as on water and food storage, medications and management of human waste. These will provide additional information that will be useful as you build your cache.

To learn more about the NET program or sign up for NET training, visit the Portland Bureau of Emergency Management NET website.  There are also many auxiliary volunteer opportunities available with our Hillsdale NET team. Email to find out how you can help.


How did you fare in the February power outage? Did you discover ways to improve your emergency preparedness? Let us know


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