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Disaster Strikes: Will Your Emergency Kit Be Ready?
City of Hillsboro Building Department staff lead their industry in emergency preparedness
Hillsboro Building Department staff are mindful of emergency preparedness.
An earthquake, a flood, or a wind event: Prepared or not, disasters like these will happen.
City of Hillsboro Building Department staff are highlighting how emergency preparedness will be critical to getting the Hillsboro community back on its feet.
Every Hillsboro Building Department vehicle is equipped with emergency supplies that will enable staff to be among the first City employees on the streets. All Building Inspectors are certified to assess building damage and determine that structures are safe to occupy.
Safety priorities during an emergency
Building Department employees prioritize the structures they inspect so they can help restore essential services as quickly as possible. At the top of the list: hospitals, public safety facilities, and schools.
Commercial buildings make up the next level of priority inspections, as the department partners with businesses to understand how to help them return to operations as quickly as possible.
The Department's base of operations is at the Hillsboro Civic Center, but a satellite disaster operations center is located four miles away in the City of Hillsboro's Public Works facility, which was built to a high level of seismic safety.
The future Hillsboro Fire & Rescue Department training facility will create another opportunity for a disaster operations center for Building staff.
All Building Department inspection staff have been trained in post-earthquake inspection procedures, and they retrain every three years. The Oregon Building Officials Association has invited Hillsboro's experts to talk about how they are prepared with industry-leading emergency kits to other Oregon building professionals.
'We are continually innovating," said Paul Vinje, Hillsboro’s chief plans examiner.