CENTRAL POINT, Ore. — No one is ever sure when a disaster may strike, but when it does, Jackson County authorities and the Red Cross say they have a shelter plan in place. Wednesday, county commissioners signed a memorandum of understanding with the Red Cross for the use of part of the Jackson County Expo as an emergency shelter.
The Padgam Pavilion at the Jackson County Expo Park is a busy place. In the event of a disaster or big emergency, it could get even busier. The pavilion is now officially considered a potential emergency evacuation shelter for the Jackson County. Wednesday morning county commissioners signed a memorandum of understanding with the American Red Cross to seal the deal.
“During an emergency county emergency management requests Red Cross’ activation and is present during the activation. The county provides the Padgham Pavilion building at the Expo as the primary shelter for Jackson County,” said County Administrator Danny Jordan.
Other churches and school buildings are also utilized as shelters from time to time, but being in the center of the county, the Padgam building has a high priority.
“So we have a written understanding, this is what the Red Cross will do, and this is what the county will do. So, there’s very clear lines of regarding responsibilities, obligations and what have you,” said Tony Hernandez with the Red Cross.
County offcials like to point out that one thing about the Padgham Pavilion, if somebody needs to be evacuated here from a rural area, there’s plenty of places where they can also bring their animals. However the Red Cross points out that his is also a busy place and sometimes there are other activities already going on here, and if they need a shelter, this one might not be available.
“It could get a little crowded in an emergency. I was out there when the mountain was closed in the Siskiyous. All the trucks were parked out there, and that’s also a large animal rescue facility in a disaster. So it’s a perfect facility for it,” said County Commissioner John Rachor.
The memorandum of understanding runs for five years and expires on March 15 of 2018. Jackson County is one of the first in the state to sign such an agreement.