With the flip of a sign, Clatsop County residents can now tell emergency responders if they need help or if they are OK.
County agencies and businesses are partnering in September — National Preparedness Month — to start a new ‘OK/HELP’ sign program.
The signs — with “OK” written on one side, and “HELP” written on the other — are being offered for free to residents to use after an emergency.
A resident can put the sign in a front window to help emergency responders tasked with checking on residents door-to-door after an earthquake, tsunami or winter storm.
Clatsop County Emergency Manager Tiffany Brown said she ordered 5,000 signs that were delivered last week to various public and private entities. Already, she said, some places are running out of signs. Another 2,500 signs could be ordered soon.
The program is a simple way to empower the community in an emergency situation, Brown said.
“The OK/HELP sign program is part of our broader message that every citizen plays a role in emergency response and preparedness,” Brown said. “Immediately following a widespread event like an earthquake or severe winter storm, first responders will be in high demand and short supply. The signs can effectively mitigate injuries and loss of life by helping local agencies use what relatively few resources they have in an efficient manner.”
Clatsop County residents can find the signs at the following locations:
• Clatsop County offices — County manager’s office, child support office, public health, clerk and elections, assessment and taxation, animal shelter;
• Astoria — City Hall, Astoria Library, fire/police station, KMUN radio, Salon Verve and Hauer’s Lawn Care & Equipment;
• Warrenton/Hammond — City Hall, Warrenton Community Library, Costco, Medix, Les Schwab;
• Gearhart — City Hall, Gearhart Grocery;
• Seaside — City Hall, police department, Seaside Library, visitor center;
• Cannon Beach/Arch Cape — City Hall, police station, Cannon Beach Library, Cannon Beach fire station, Mariner Market;
• Knappa/Svensen — Knappa fire station.