News – 9/21/22

Be Ready For Winter

September is Disaster Preparedness Month.  As we make the transition from Summer to the Fall and Winter, it’s a good time to check your “storm” supplies.  Lane County Emergency Manager Patence (patience) Winningham  says by paying a little attention now, it could make it a little easier to “weather” a storm.

“We could probably anticipate power outages.   It’s always important to have enough water on hand to sustain yourself, to shelter in place.   Extra food is also important so you don’t have to go out and drive on dangerous roads.”

Winningham says it’s not just about storms.  She and other emergency managers say the Pacific Northwest cold experience a massive subduction zone earthquake and tsunami at any time.  Where can you go to find out how to prep?

“Ready dot gov has all kinds of resources and information.  There’s another website.  Do one thing dot com, that’s do, the number one (1), thing, dot com.”  (

If we do sustain heavy damage from a large quake, coastal communities and those upriver would  likely be a much lower priority for assistance than more populated areas inland. Experts say we could be cut off from aid for 30 days or longer.

Ecnomic Boost for Rural Communities

A program approved by Congress aims to give rural communities in Oregon and elsewhere a boost when applying for federal dollars. The CHIPS Act, passed last month, boosts semiconductor manufacturing in the U-S. It also includes a one-billion-dollar pilot program to help distressed communities apply for economic development funds. It’s coming at an especially critical time as legislation like the infrastructure package passed in Congress directs billions of dollars to states. Jim McCauley is legislative director for the League Of Oregon Cities.

  “The biggest challenge that many of the small cities in Oregon – or some of the other rural communities across the country – face is really a question of resources, and those resources come down to whether or not they have staff in house that can write grants or that can manage projects.”

McCauley says communities also struggle with matching grants, but notes that Oregon aims to help with this. The pilot program in the CHIPS Act is based on legislation known as the RECOMPETE ACT, written by Representative Derek Kilmer, a Democratic House member from Washington state.

Gas Prices

Oregon has just finished its 14th straight week of declines in gas prices, but prices are still high in the state and locally.  Marie Dodds with AAA Oregon says that Oregon has dropped another 4 cents a gallon bringing the average of a price of regular gas to $4.64 a gallon, but the state is still much higher than the national average at $3.67.  Dodds says falling crude prices and a lackluster demand for gas is the reason for the steady decline, but here in Florence the price of a gallon of regular is averaging $4.36 a gallon.

Fill Your Pantry

It is more than a month away, but the organizers of the Florence Farmers Market are getting the word out about the third annual Fill Your Pantry event happening on November 6th.  this one day event is to encourage healthy eating during the winter months by stocking up on things like beans, onions, grains, health and wellness products and more.  The event will also offer knife sharpening, books on gardening, cooking and Health and supports local and regional vendors in Lane County and adjacent communities.  It will take place at Siuslaw Middle School gym from noon until 3 pm, Sunday November 6th.