City Disaster Response

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How will the City respond in a disaster? What you need to know:

The City of Hillsboro responds to daily emergencies through its Fire, Police, Public Works and Water Departments. Other City departments, including the Hillsboro Building Department, are also prepared to respond in a major disaster.

When an incident grows beyond the capability of our daily staffing levels, we call upon neighboring jurisdictions for assistance. The added capacity assists in handling the problem. During a disaster which impacts more than our city, neighboring agencies may not be able to assist due to needs in their own jurisdictions. When this happens, we may need to:

  • Increase response times: We are not able to respond as quickly as we normally would, due to increased calls for service. For short-duration events, such as a windstorm, this may happen. Our 9-1-1 center prioritizes incidents based upon whether life safety or property are at risk. Lower priority calls will not be responded to until higher priority calls are cleared. Increases in incident response time will vary according to the severity of the event and impacts to the city.
  • Call back off-duty personnel: Used for longer-duration events, as it may take an hour or more for off-duty personnel to arrive. We may use this for events that are expected to last for several days, such as snow storms.
  • Increase work hours or add additional shifts: We may move to two 12-hour shifts in departments that are not normally staffed around the clock. For example, our Public Works Department does this in response to severe weather events.

For longer-duration events, or events where outside assistance is needed, we coordinate with Washington County Emergency Management. The county works to coordinate emergency response and support agencies working together to respond to disasters. Disciplines may include public works, fire, law enforcement, emergency management, public health, 9-1-1, volunteer groups, and others.

Disaster response is a shared responsibility - learn what you can do to prepare here.

Read our disaster preparedness FAQ below for more about how the City prepares and may respond in general to major incidents, as well as some preparation and response information specific to an earthquake:

Expand/Contract Questions and Answers

  • How would the Hillsboro Police Department respond after a major earthquake?

  • What actions might the City of Hillsboro take in a disaster situation?

  • How would the Hillsboro Fire Department respond after a major earthquake?

  • How would the Hillsboro Public Works Department respond after a major earthquake?

  • How would the Hillsboro Building Department respond after a major earthquake?

  • How would the Hillsboro Water Department respond after a major earthquake?

  • What is the Hillsboro Water Department doing to prepare for a possible major earthquake?

  • What could happen to our water system as a result of a disaster like a major earthquake?

  • What is the Hillsboro Building Department doing to prepare for a possible major earthquake?

  • How would the Hillsboro Fire Department get water if the water supply is damaged?

  • Will our roadways be functional after an earthquake?

  • Will sanitary sewers be affected by an earthquake?

  • Is my house, apartment building or business built to withstand an earthquake? What about schools, hospitals or senior care facilities?

  • What can I do to make my house more earthquake safe?

  • What emergency supplies should I store and how much will I need?