The unseasonable August rain today reminds us that coastal storm season isn't too far away.  Longtime locals are very familiar with the routine chores that come with preparing to face the winter but there are still many who find themselves unprepared when the big winds hit and power can go away for hours, if not for days at a time.

NW Natural and the American Red Cross are teaming up during National Preparedness Month to help Oregonians prepare for a natural disaster or emergency. During the month of September, Get Ready events will be held in the 10 communities of Portland, Vancouver, Salem, Eugene, Hood River, The Dalles, Vernonia, Astoria, Lincoln County, and Coos Bay. A "Get Ready North Coast" event is scheduled for September 14 - Camp Rilea in Warrenton from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., joined by Astoria, Seaside and Gearhart Fire Departments, Lutheran Disaster Response and Clatsop County Amateur Radio Emergency Services

The events are free to the general public. The first 100 families will receive free Red Cross emergency kits.  Free food will be provided at most, as well as safety demonstrations, kids' activities, and materials from local emergency groups. There is no need to register: attendees can just show up.

Additionally, NW Natural will donate $2,000 to the American Red Cross Cascades Region at nine of the 10 events for a total of $18,000 from its Corporate Philanthropy fund.

"We want to go beyond just making a financial contribution, so we're partnering with local emergency groups within our service territory to educate the public on how we can all Get Ready before a natural disaster strikes," said Von Summers, NW Natural corporate community affairs manager.

Northwest Lending Group