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Press Release

Portland, Multnomah County Launch Registry to Help Most Vulnerable Prepare for Emergencies

September 24, 2007
Portland Online

Portland, Ore. – Mayor Potter joined Multnomah County Chair Ted Wheeler on Monday (9/24) to launch a registry to help the most vulnerable – including the elderly and people with disabilities – prepare for emergencies. The population registry – called Voluntary Emergency Registry (VER) – is the nation's first on-line registry that automatically links into the 911 system, the public health authority and human services agencies as well as being available to emergency operations staff.

The VER is a secure website that allows people to voluntarily add their names to a list that can be checked by emergency first responders and emergency operations personnel during a crisis; aids in 911 responses and provides a way for vulnerable residents to receive emergency preparedness information so they can develop their own disaster plans.

Those most affected are people who need help evacuating from their homes during an emergency, or who would be unable to evacuate without special notification from emergency response personnel. The registry also includes people who are unable to remain at home without assistance following a disaster.

According to Chair Wheeler, “Signing on to the Voluntary Emergency Registry is an important step that seniors and people with disabilities can take to prepare for an emergency, whether it’s a large-scale disaster or for emergencies occurring in the home.” 

Mayor Potter said, “This is the first online vulnerable population registry in the United States that links to 911 and emergency operations personnel. Not only will it tell emergency responders where elderly or disabled people are located, it can deliver emergency information back to registrants in a disaster.”

The VER can be accessed through the Network of Care – – a statewide website featuring resources detailed by county for the elderly and people with disabilities. Network of Care is a multilingual, comprehensive directory of services including information about assistive devices and an array of medical, financial, legal and caregiver information.

People will be able to access the registry through their home computers or public access computers located in all Multnomah County Libraries. Those without internet access or needing special assistance to apply for the VER can call MultnomahCounty ’s Aging and Disability Services’ Helpline at 503-988-3646 or the City of Portland ’s Disability Program at 503-823-2036.