Kotek Declares Heat Emergency

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Governor Tina Kotek declared a statewide extreme heat emergency as the state prepares for high temperatures, both day and night, currently forecasted through next Tuesday.

“Extreme weather events are now the new normal for Oregon. Right now, state and local governments are on a path to strengthen our preparedness and response, not only this year but for the years to come,” Governor Kotek said.

“The need for emergency declarations should decrease over time if we continue on this path – including ensuring more Oregonians have air conditioning in the summer months and heat in the winter months, that our electrical grid is modern and resilient, that communities have public spaces and green places that provide relief, and where families have a plan to stay safe and help others to do the same in severe weather.

“However, gaps exist today. In the interest of safety and human life over the next several days, I am declaring an emergency due to extreme heat. Both the record-breaking temperatures and the duration of heat present a clear and present danger, particularly for children, elders, people with disabilities, and people who work outside. I am urging Oregonians to take every precaution and check on your family and neighbors.”

State, local and tribal agencies continue to respond to requests for emergency cooling shelters, transportation assistance, distribution of life-sustaining supplies including water and medical services. The extreme heat will also put a significant strain on Oregon’s energy grid and critical infrastructure, posing a risk of utility outages and equipment and transportation disruptions. 

The Oregon Department of Emergency Management (OEM) will coordinate access to and use of personnel and equipment of all state agencies necessary to assess, alleviate, respond to, mitigate, or recover from conditions caused by this emergency. The agency will also coordinate all essential protective measures in support of identified disaster areas to protect lives, property, and the environment.

The Oregon Department of Human Services, Oregon Health Authority, Oregon State Police, Oregon Public Utility Commission (PUC), and other state agencies will be directed to provide any assistance requested by OEM that is necessary to assist in the response to this emergency and to provide all necessary support to statewide response, recovery and mitigation efforts.

Oregonians are encouraged to conserve energy and reduce consumption to the extent possible to avoid power disruptions and reduce the strain on our energy grid, such as avoiding the use of major appliances during peak morning and evening energy demand periods. In addition, high heat can also be a catalyst for wildfires, so Oregonians are encouraged to practice extreme caution and take preventive measures to reduce the risk of human-caused wildfires.

If you believe you are being subjected to excessive prices for bottled water or other essential consumer goods, or lodging due to this emergency, you are encouraged to report violations to the Oregon Department of Justice’s Consumer Protection Services, which has the authority to investigate unlawful trade practices. Click here for more information.

The Oregon Health Authority is also encouraging people to take steps to avoid heat-related illnesses such as heat stroke and heat exhaustion as advisories predicting triple-digit temperatures are in effect through the weekend and early next week. Oregonians can find more information about local cooling centers from 211. Information about how to keep your animal safe in the heat can be found here.

Sign up for OR-alert and get lifesaving alerts and instructions during emergencies to help you and others stay safe in Oregon.

Source: Oregon Governor's Office

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