Well, we did it.
Over the weekend, dozens of Red Crossers headed to outer SE Portland’s Hazelwood and Mill Park neighborhoods with a message of preparedness. And residents heard it loud and clear.
We literally went door-to-door, knocking and talking with people to gauge the safety of their home. We asked whether they had smoke detectors (one for each bedroom and level of the home; don’t forget about basements and garages!); if they knew how to use a fire extinguisher; whether they had a first aid kit and had been trained in CPR and much more.
Depending on their answers, we handed out free smoke detectors, batteries and first aid kits, along with basic emergency preparedness info and a coupon for 50% off a CPR class.
Personally, I found the experience to be incredibly rewarding. Many, if not most, people opened their doors to us and were excited to tell us how prepared they were. A few shared their own stories of house fires and damage they’d seen. All recognized and appreciated what we were there to do.
But perhaps most impressive is something that happened before we even arrived. After receiving letters saying that we were coming to the neighborhood, landlords stepped up to the plate, replacing smoke alarms and removing obstructions. By the time we knocked, many apartments no longer needed as much assistance from us.
We accomplished all of this — not with threats and dire warnings — but with communication and conversation on a one-to-one level.
THANK YOU, Hazelwood and Mill Park, for welcoming us into your homes!
See the photos from the experience below or right here.