Emergency Preparedness

Mise en place and e-prep

Almost all my conversations with friends here in PDX are centered on food and emergency preparedness. Having moved here from the Chicagoland area, the food here, all of it, tastes fresher and more vibrant. My weekly outing to the PSU farmers market reinforces the idea of eating, and shopping locally supporting farmers year-round and eating through the rainbow of foods sold there.

So, what do e-prep and mise en place have in common?

For me, it’s the mindset that the more prepared we are, the better our lives and those of our friends and family and neighbors. And, the meals we cook will taste better because we have prepped ahead of time so that we have all the ingredients we need measured and waiting BEFORE we actually cook or bake.

Emergency preparedness in this time of COVID may seem unimportant or unnecessary. I disagree. We have all learned to be more in the present moment. We check for our masks before we go out in public and probably check the hours and guidelines necessary to enter and shop at local stores, restaurants and food pods. It’s worth the bother, always. Hopefully, we all use what we have learned during these pandemic times to make ourselves more resilient in the future.

We are all more prepared for a disaster than we think. The skill sets and learnings we have acquired will serve us well in the future if we use them going forward. Find an e-prep buddy and help each other. Engage your kids in this work. 

Questions? Comments? Need support in getting prepared? I have the time and the resources to support you. Email me: jan@sunnysideprepared.com

Sunnyside Neighborhood Community Cares (SNACC) Committee Updates

The SNACC committee began its monthly meeting debriefing what we know following recent sweeps of houseless neighbors from Laurehurst and Sewallcrest parks. We will meet in two weeks to discuss ongoing conflict resolution and transformative justice strategies to strengthen relationships between housed and houseless folks in Sunnyside. In the long term, we hope that strengthening these existing relationships will help us advocate for greater City investment in providing services to houseless people, instead of sweeping camps. We will also be moving forward with a needs assessment survey of the Sunnyside shower program in early December. Finally, we will begin exploring fundraising and leveraging the giving season to solicit donations from the community to fund other projects, like paying houseless volunteers for the work they’re doing for the community.

We encourage anyone who is interested in these efforts to attend our next SNACC meeting on Thursday, Dec. 16th at 6:30 p.m. Meeting details will be posted on the SNA website the week of December 13th.


Trang Ho and Trang Sharbaugh, two residents in SE Portland, founded Masa with a mission to propel regenerative agriculture into the mainstream. Masa is an online marketplace platform for locals to sell and buy fresh goods directly from one another – imagine you can browse a map of local fresh goods grown or produced around your neighborhood and buy products directly from the source.

With the focus on building a network of sellers and unique offerings in each neighborhood, the team is inviting you to join Masa seller referral program. Participants will earn a dozen local fresh eggs for every new seller referred! 

Who can you invite to sell on Masa? Think of any local small-scale farmer, gardener, forager, and artisan who is passionate about growing and making fresh goods. A neighbor who has more fruit from their garden than they can consume? A friend who loves propagating plants and saving seeds? A colleague who raises chickens and sells eggs to co-workers? They are welcome to join the community. Sellers must follow our product guidelines, and shoppers can share with the community their experience via ratings, reviews and pictures. Together we can build the community we love.

Getting to Know Your Neighbors

Q&A with Sophie Wice-Budner and Oona Fife

Sophie Wice-Budner (left) and Oona Fife (right) are fifth graders at Sunnyside Elementary School who have known each other since kindergarten; they’ve both lived in Sunnyside since they were babies. The past two years have been full of unexpected challenges for them: learning to navigate Zoom, Seesaw and other online platforms; months of not seeing their friends in real life; and having to wear masks everywhere they go. But like many kids across this country, they’ve shown patience and resilience. (And also a little frustration.)

What’s the biggest difference between school in-person and school on Zoom?

Sophie: [School in person] is way less frustrating.

Oona: Much, much less frustrating.

Sophie: On Zoom, it’s really hard to learn, because if you don’t have perfect internet, it’s glitchy. Even if it’s like only a little bit glitchy, it will just all of a sudden be really glitchy.

Oona: I think it was Seesaw that we were using. It did not work that well.

Sophie: I did not like Seesaw at all.

Oona: It’s much easier how we’re learning now—from a teacher telling us what to do instead of reading off something. 

Did you have a lot of empathy for your teachers?

Oona: It looked very hard; they looked stressed out.

Do you think you learned what you were supposed to learn in fourth grade?

Sophie: No.

Oona: No.

What do you think you missed?

Oona: A lot of stuff!

Sophie: We’re having to review math, like long division. We didn’t use the math packet because we weren’t in person.

Oona: We were supposed to use this specific math packet and algorithm, but we didn’t get to do it. But I would say we still learned enough because my teacher was just really good, in my opinion. 

Neither of you had used Zoom before the pandemic. How did you know to mute yourself and how to raise your hand? 

Sophie: We didn’t know anything at all about electronics. We just had to figure it out and try our best. There were some people that didn’t learn. 

Oona: Some people had their mics on when they’re, like, yelling to their mom about something. 

Sophie: It was really distracting.

Did you ever have the experience where you’re on Zoom and everyone’s trying to learn and someone’s little brother or sister would come on?

Sophie: Oh yeah, totally.

Oona: Rainer’s little brother, in our class, kept doing that.

What would they do?

Sophie: They would just run in and, like, scream half the time.

Oona: This kid in my class last year—his little brother would come in all the time while he was sitting on the couch in his living room. And he would just start dancing and going up the screen and just like, yeah, just with his face pressed to the camera. It was really funny.

So maybe you’re behind on long division and some other things. But is there anything you think you did learn last year because of the pandemic—not academically, but just about life?

 Oona: I learned how to keep in contact with my friends really good, but I think a little too much because it was distracting probably because we use, um, Google chat, which is on our Chromebooks that the school provided for everyone.

Sophie: I could only stay in contact with a few friends. So I learned—we learned—how to plan on our own, instead of having to get our parents to plan stuff and, like, go on bike rides and just hang out a lot.

What is challenging to learn when everyone’s masked?

Sophie: Our teacher is not a very loud person at all, so she has a microphone-thing that gets squeaky and annoying, but it helps a lot. And it’s just hard for everyone to hear each other and understand each other. And [the mask] hurts my ears with the straps—it’s really uncomfortable.

Oona: I’ve gotten very used to wearing masks. So I think it’s kind of just like wearing my clothes or something. I wear this one all the time because it’s safer for me to wear it at school since I’m not totally vaccinated yet. I just got my first shot a couple of days ago.

How did it go? Did you have any reactions?

Oona and Sophie (together): No.

You had to see everyone else get vaccinated first.

Oona: My brother and my parents are all vaccinated and my mom had a booster, so they’re all kind of good. It’s kind of annoying to see that my brother can have like sleepovers with his friends. He’s in seventh grade.

Sophie: I feel more free, Covid-wise, now that I’ve gotten my vaccine, like going into stores and stuff. 

At school, is it masked all the time, even during recess?

Sophie: Oh yeah.

Oona: We can take our masks off to eat but only like this [barely, quickly pulled down and then back up] if we’re eating inside. There’s an option to eat inside if it’s really rainy outside. Some kids can’t eat inside because the parents don’t want them to. My parents let me eat inside.

Sophie: At first my parents weren’t okay with me eating inside. And it’s really hard. They don’t have anything set up for people that have to eat outside. They didn’t even have sit-upons, so you’re not sitting on the wet ground.

Oona: Now we have sit-upons.

Sophie: Everyone had to stand up while they were eating and hold their umbrella in one hand. And not everyone had an umbrella.

Oona: Me and Sophie, actually, we have really huge umbrellas and one time we were sitting together and we’re like, how about we just sit on our umbrellas? So we just sat on our really huge umbrellas and ate our lunch together? 

It sounds like you both are very resourceful. Have you ever had a moment in all this where you just feel like you can’t do it anymore, where you’re at your pandemic limit? 

Oona and Sophie: YES!

What would you say to yourselves just as the pandemic was starting? Or what would you suggest to other kids in some far off land who have never gone through a pandemic before, where they are where you were two years ago? What would you say to them? 

Oona: I would tell them, literally: Don’t be too hopeful. And keep in contact with your friends.

Sophie: I would tell them to try and be optimistic but just like, don’t assume something’s going to be great because then you’ll be disappointed if it doesn’t happen. Like, nowadays, a lot of things get cancelled.

Oona: Don’t feel too hopeful. 

Sophie: I mean you can be a little hopeful. 

Oona: You can be optimistic, but don’t really expect it, because you’re going to be disappointed if it doesn’t happen. So just don’t over-hope, I guess.

Emergency Preparedness

November Preparedness Tips

On the FEMA preparedness page November is ‘winter weather preparedness.’ Hmm. It’s a broad term for what we all need to do to make it through the mostly rainy months here in the Pacific Northwest.

Even though my husband and I have lived here for over 9 years, it is very different from our preparedness efforts back in the Chicagoland area. In November, our neighborhood snow blower, which was stored in our garage, had been checked over and sent out for maintenance, if needed. In the early fall. 

We found our snow shovels and windshield scrapers and stored them in our cars. Our neighborhood street signs were re-read so that we knew when alternate street parking would take place so that the snow plows would come and clean our street. If we didn’t pay attention, our cars could be towed or worse – the snow plow would move around the cars that weren’t moved – often moving the mounds of snow in front of our driveway.

When we moved to Sunnyside we were shocked to find out that street cleaning was rare (or never) and that neighbors’ cars parked on the block never had to be moved. Never. Whaat? 

So, what does November preparedness look like in Sunnyside?

Here are some tips:

* Remove leaves not only from your sidewalk but from the street in front of your property, including under your cars. We have lots of pedestrians and bikers and we should make it safe for them to get to where they need to be. 

* Get a snow shovel and use it to remove the ice and snow from the sidewalk in front of your home. Clear the steps leading to your front door so that our mailperson/delivery people can safely navigate.

* Help clear the street drains so that the ice and snow can safely get to the sewers. Here is how to locate and clear street drains safely: https://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/article/319667 If you are reading the printed newsletter, you can google “Stormwater Drainage/Street Care/City of Portland, Oregon” and you will find tips there.

* Continue to bring foodstuffs to the Sunnyside Free Food Resources, located at SE 42nd and Taylor on the north side of the street, near our beloved chickens. Feed the chickens while you are there with the quarters you brought along just for that reason. And, while you are there, drop a book or three in the Little Free library. It’s a great community support spot.

Questions, tips, thoughts? Email me: jan@sunnysideprepared.com