Every Month is a Preparedness Month!

Searching on social media it is easy to find a monthly preparedness topic, usually connected to seasonal weather patterns. There are national preparedness month designations and they may vary depending on where you live in the world. Here is a useful link for a year-round preparedness calendar: https://www.ready.gov/calendar

As a Sunnyside Portland NET (Neighborhood Emergency Team) member, I am trained to prepare for the most severe event, which in our part of the world is an earthquake. So, if you are prepared for an earthquake, you are essentially prepared for any weather emergency. It’s a cascading (no pun intended) continuum.

Sunnysiders are advised to ‘start where you are’ and build from there. Depending upon your family status, you probably have different needs for preparedness. If possible, involve family members in your eprep, and maybe some close neighbors and friends as well.

Consider ‘mapping your neighborhood’ * so that you form greater connections to your neighbors and become aware of the skills and resources that are available if/when they are needed. Neighborhood is loosely defined to include your workplace, school, etc. 

Like anything worth doing, this takes time, effort, and cooperation. Feel free to contact me at [email protected] if you have questions.

* Continue to use creative ways to connect to your neighbors during this time of COVID. Here are some ideas: snail mail a card to a new or old neighbor, create a chalk drawing on the sidewalk in front of where you live, walk around and greet others on your block. What else might you do?

Sunnyside Neighborhood Community Cares (SNACC) Committee Updates

Last month the SNACC committee reviewed the strategic planning conversation we started at the beginning of the summer. In our June meeting, we did a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis with volunteers. We then revisited the needs assessment results and focused our energy on recruiting more volunteers, with the goal of extending operating hours at the Sunnyside Shower Project and increasing access for guests. 

We held two volunteer orientations in August and 11 new volunteers have since joined us. We hope to continue outreach to gain more volunteer support so that we can open the Sunnyside Shower Project (SSP) for additional days and times since this was the number one need identified in the needs assessment. 

Finally, we’re very excited to announce the art installation Artist Unknown which will be open at the Sunnyside Methodist Church and Community Center (3520 SE Yamhill St) from 5-9 p.m. on September 2nd and 3rd. This art show will feature works by unhoused artists, some of whom have been guests at the SSP. Artists will have works available for purchase and light refreshments will be available. Donations will be accepted and will go toward making long-overdue repairs to church windows. More information about this art show is available at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/artist-unknown-tickets-394437612517. The next SNACC meeting will take place on Thursday September 15th from 6:30-8 p.m., location to be determined.

What if We Got it Right?

I wake up with a song in my head most mornings. Today it was “On the Street Where You Live” from the musical My Fair Lady.

 On a trip back home in May to the Chicago area, my husband and I were treated to a great impromptu brunch on the street where we lived for 33 years in Evanston, Illinois. We all fell back into our comfortable
neighborly rhythms on the street where we raised our kids, celebrated births and deaths, and ate many wonderful potluck meals. We moved to Portland in July 2012, but many of our neighbors have remained in their homes.

The question that comes up often when we go back and visit is “So when are you moving back to Evanston?’”

Our response is “Well, probably never.” 

We loved living there, and we love living here in the Sunnyside neighborhood. I know that we may not be able to re-create that same history of neighborhood warmth here, but we chose to live in a neighborhood. That’s the major reason I trained as a Neighborhood Emergency Team member, a great excuse to get to know my neighbors through the lens of emergency prep.*

It’s been a lot harder to do this outreach during COVID, so that’s why I submit a monthly article to the SNA newsletter and why I continue to encourage Sunnysiders to “be prepared, not scared.”

So, you might ask, “What are you doing to continue to be prepared? 

*Recently, my husband drained some of the water from our water storage barrel outside and refilled it with fresh water. I have tasked myself with going through our water storage bottles and seeing which ones need to be replaced and which are still viable. The recommendation is for 1 gallon per person per day for 14 days. Stay tuned for an update about my water storage journey.

Questions? Need materials to learn more about e-prep? Feel free to reach out. 

Stay hydrated and get to know your neighbors. Yep, that’s the way to go and to be in this lovely Sunnyside neighborhood.

Sunnyside Neighborhood Community Cares (SNACC) Committee Updates

The Sunnyside Shower Project needs volunteers! Consider contributing to your community and getting to know your housed and unhoused neighbors by attending one of our New Volunteer Orientations in August. In the session, current volunteers will give you a tour of the Sunnyside Community Center where the Sunnyside Shower Project is located. You will get an overview of the tasks required of volunteers during their two hour shifts, as well as an introduction to basic concepts of de-escalation, conflict management, and non-violent communication which are necessary skills for volunteers. The hour will end with a Q&A session as well as time to sign up for your first shower shift. 

We will meet outside at the Sunnyside Environmental School park, located on the corner of SE 35th and Yamhill at the following dates and times:

• Thursday, August 18th, 7 – 8 p.m. (following the SNA Board Meeting from 6 – 6:30 p.m. and a brief SNACC Committee Meeting from 6:30 – 7 p.m.)

• Saturday, August 20th, 1 – 2 p.m.

RSVP by emailing Emily McCadden at [email protected]. If you are unable to attend but would like more information about volunteer opportunities with the Sunnyside Shower Project, contact Hannah Wallace at [email protected]. 

Sunnyside Neighborhood: Getting to Know Your Neighbors

Q&A with Mathew Brock, Mazamas ​​Library and Historical Collections Manager

The Mazamas, formerly known as the Mazama Mountaineering Center (MMC), may be the oldest community organization in the Portland area. And, it happens to be located on the northern edge of the Sunnyside neighborhood at SE 43rd and Washington.

I sat down with Mathew in the middle of July at his office, which is next door to the beautiful and rich Mazamas Library.  I wanted to learn more about Mazamas history and programming, his work, and to ask about ways Sunnysiders can get involved in this rad organization. One thing I learned: you don’t have to be a member of the Mazamas to enter its library and peruse its vast collection of travel guidebooks that cover everything from hiking in Yosemite to where to climb in Spain. 

Continue reading our full Q&A with Mathew Brock