Train, Volunteer, Connect

You’ve begun to prepare yourself, your family, and the neighbors on your block. Now consider training, volunteering, and staying connected to others who are preparing for an emergency.


NET volunteers are trained by the Portland Bureau of Emergency Management (PBEM) and Portland Fire & Rescue to provide emergency disaster assistance within their neighborhoods. Volunteers are trained to save lives and property. Anyone who lives or works in Portland can take NET training, which includes light search and rescue, basic disaster medicine and triage, radio communications, fire suppression, disaster psychology, and trauma intervention. After completing basic training, NET members receive access to free advanced training and practice opportunities, including drills at Portland Fire & Rescue’s Scenario Village facility.

Not ready to join the NET program? You can still participate in team meetings and connect with your NET’s team leaders to ask questions. Your community needs your participation!


After a disaster strikes, most rescues are performed by everyday people. There simply aren’t enough professional emergency responders to go around.


The Basic Earthquake Emergency Communication Node program (BEECN) will help with the problem of post-quake communication. Within 24-48 hours of a major quake, each BEECN will be a place to get information and request emergency assistance. BEECNs will be staffed by neighborhood volunteers with access to two-way radios.

At minimum, print a BEECN map and become familiar with the nodes closest to your home, workplace, and anywhere else you spend a lot of time. Also consider volunteering to staff a BEECN. This is an incredibly effective yet low-commitment way to get involved in earthquake planning for your neighborhood. If you have a HAM radio license or feel comfortable using FRS/GMRS radios (walkie talkies), we really need your help. This program is coordinated by the Portland Bureau of Emergency Management (PBEM).


Are you a healthcare professional with skills that would be vital after a disaster? Consider joining the Multnomah County Medical Reserve Corp (MRC). The MRC is a voluntary unit, made up of local licensed healthcare professionals, who will be called on to assist in the response to a large-scale heath or medical emergency. Anyone with a health or medical license that is in good standing may apply. This includes alternative care professionals.


Neighborhood Emergency Team volunteers are top notch, but there aren’t nearly enough of them to perform the life-saving rescues that will be needed after a Cascadia earthquake. And in the days, weeks, and months that follow the big quake, we’ll need as many people as possible to have water, food, and other supplies stored. Don’t prepare in a vacuum. Talk to your neighbors and engage your community. Help us spread the word about PortlandPrepares by printing flyers and posting them on bulletin boards in your neighborhood.


After an earthquake, our roads are going to be in pretty bad shape, and cargo bikes could be one of the best modes of transportation. The Disaster Relief Trials (DRT) is a disaster response exercise that simulates post-earthquake critical supply runs using cargo bikes, demonstrating their versatility and power. Volunteers are needed to help run the event. It takes place every October, and information is usually posted on the website around August.


The PortlandPrepares blog covers topics related to earthquake preparedness, from kit-making tips and tricks, to interviews with local emergency management gurus, to lessons learned from NET training exercises. Enter your info in the box at the bottom of this page to begin receiving our blog posts via email. Have some info/advice you’d like to share with our community? Consider writing a guest blog post.

The PortlandPrepares Facebook Group allows NETs and community members to share tips and tricks, information about upcoming events, and insight about anything and everything related to earthquake preparedness.

The PortlandNET Team Leadership Google Group is an email forum for sharing information regarding NET operations, equipment and supplies, radio communications, and anything else pertinent to the work of neighborhood emergency teams. Anyone interested in NET leadership is welcome to join the discussion, regardless of status as a Team Leader or Assistant Team Leader.

Share This