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The First Mega-Shelter Arrangement in Oregon Created for Major Disaster Response and Recovery
Date:10/15/2007

The Metropolitan Exposition Recreation Commission, a regional public venue management agency, creates partnership with Oregon Trail Chapter of the American Red Cross, to effectively coordinate and provide mega-shelter

services and response during major disaster.

PORTLAND, Ore., Oct. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- The capacity to effectively manage human needs during and after major emergencies and disasters requires extraordinary preparedness, cooperation and response between multiple jurisdictions, public agencies and community organizations with expertise in emergency response and public facility management. The Metropolitan Exposition Recreation Commission (MERC) and the American Red Cross (ARC) Oregon Trail Chapter have developed the first mega-shelter agreement of its kind in Oregon that provides response and coordination of services and operations during major emergency and disaster relief efforts.

The alliance between MERC and the ARC Oregon Trail Chapter follows a national trend among government agencies, public facility managers, and community organizations to develop alliances to increase cooperation and collaboration to more effectively respond to major natural and human-made disasters. "We're very pleased about our partnership with the American Red Cross, and it reinforces MERC's commitment to the regional community," said MERC CEO David Woolson. "We're always seeking ways to grow our capacity to provide shelter and food to Oregonians following a disaster," said Thomas Bruner, ARC Oregon Trail Chapter CEO. "Our chapter's partnership with MERC will help improve our community's overall system of disaster response."

There were no precedents prior to Hurricane Katrina for operating large evacuation centers or 'mega shelters' to manage the needs of thousands of people being sent to arenas, stadiums and convention centers during and after the storm. The term mega-shelter was created during the Katrina response to differentiate
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SOURCE Metropolitan Exposition Recreation Commission; AmericanRed Cross
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