Direct calls, automated messages part of heat wave outreach


Door-to-door knocks may also be implemented

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — There are more cooling centers in Multnomah County operating during this heat wave than when records were shattered at the end of June.

It’s part of a plan put into motion after that heat wave killed around 100 people in Oregon, with Multnomah County registering the most heat-related deaths. The plan includes automated messages sent Wednesday to all landlines and cell phone numbers registered to receive emergency alerts. Officials plan to do that again on Friday.

Neighborhood emergency team volunteers like Martha Gross are making calls to check on people believed to be at risk.

“I think it makes a big difference. I mean wouldn’t you like to have somebody call you directly?” Gross told KOIN 6 News. “It’s showing that people are caring, there’s somebody out there who is acknowledging you and wanting to make sure that you’re safe.”

Portland firefighters knocked on doors at several mobile home and RV parks in Southeast Portland to make sure people were OK. They also provided options for residents, if needed.

The Portland Bureau of Emergency Management said they’re also considering going door-to-door to check on people but there are no concrete plans in place yet for that.

Street outreach teams were out handing water to homeless people on Thursday.

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