New Help/OK Signs Available In Lincoln County

Through a tsunami outreach and public education grant with the National Weather Service, Lincoln County Emergency Management designed and printed 10,000 community emergency assistance signs (Help/Ok signs) for distribution as part of the National Preparedness Month promotion.

The design was modeled after a program initiated in Clatsop County through their Emergency Management program in 2016. Tiffany Brown, Clatsop Emergency Manager said “We were able to provide the signs to our communities through our public safety, governmental agencies and local businesses. Community members saw the immediate value of having a standardized way to indicate to emergency responders if their household or business was “okay” or in need of “help” and picked them up as soon as they were available.

The signs are most valuable when a significant disruptive event has occurred rendering first responders in high demand, yet warranting a widespread welfare check of citizens. By putting the sign in a prominent front window to indicate their status, community members can help save time for those tasked with checking on residents door-to-door. A sign that says ‘OK’ allows responders to move efficiently through neighborhoods using precious time to tend to those bearing a ‘HELP’ placard.

The Lincoln County’s final version was modified to include educational information for tsunami preparedness and wildfire evacuation steps: Ready, Set, Go. Lincoln County Emergency Manager, Jenny Demaris added, “Our new Help/Ok signs will serve as a valuable communication tool for the public and emergency responders during emergency evacuations or request to shelter in place. By placing this sign in a prominent window the resident or business owner is giving critical information to the status of the occupants of that building. Many of our Oregon Counties, due to wildfire this summer, have experienced the need for residential evacuations. These signs provide the statewide Ready, Set, Go evacuation definitions which could save time and confusion during evacuations notices.

Sheriff Landers commented “The signs are a useful way for public safety to identify who needs assistance immediately; however, emergency responders will still go door to door to communicate evacuation notices and identify those who need assistance. The combination of our local emergency alert system (EAS), emergency notification systems (Lincoln Alerts) and signage at the residential/business location improves our ability to move quickly and save lives”.

It is anticipated community members could utilize these signs to communicate to emergency responders for several hazardous situations:
* Earthquake (minor to catastrophic)
* Hazardous materials accident or natural gas leak
* Law Enforcement incident
* Local or distant tsunami evacuation
* Severe winter weather and flooding
* Wildfire evacuations

The Help/Ok signs can be picked up at local public safety, city, county, or tribal offices beginning Tuesday, September 5, 2017. The signs are offered at no cost to the public while supplies last; they will also be available at the Lincoln County Emergency Readiness Fair (details below):
* County Offices: County Courthouse, Emergency Management
* Lincoln City: City Hall, Fire/Police Stations
* Lincoln Beach/Gleneden Beach/Depoe Bay: Depoe Bay Fire District, Depoe Bay City Hall
* Newport: City Hall and Fire Departments
* Toledo: City Hall, Fire and Police Station
* Siletz: City Hall, Fire Station and Tribal Administrative Offices
* Seal Rock: Fire Station
* Waldport: City Hall and Fire Station
* Yachats: City Hall and Fire Station

Get Ready Lincoln County, Emergency Readiness Fair:
Saturday, September 16, 2017
11:00 am – 2:00 pm, City of Newport
Lincoln County Commons (Fairgrounds)
633 NE 3rd St., Newport, Oregon, 97365

Information provided by LCSO