Hiking with campers. Put a little light on. The animals fled as their natural habitat perished. Emergency personnel are being recruited. These are all views from Without Warning! Wildfire, the third book in their series promoting emergency preparedness. The previous two books were about tsunamis and earthquakes. “The Without Warning! The comic book series began because we discovered that many educational publications that everyone is trying to reach young audiences, ”said Althea Rizzo, OEM Geologic Risk Program Manager. “The series has been a great success in terms of youth participation while defining and improving thinking skills.”
The new book is based on people traveling in the Northwest who had to flee for their lives in the blazing fire. It offers advice on the safety of themselves, their loved ones, and the land.
“Smokey Bear offers many educational options for young people, but it is challenging to find engagement and creative resources to talk with teens and young people about forest prevention,” said Kristin Green, president and CEO of Keep Oregon Green Association Babbs, say.
“This comic book fills that important gap.”
Oregon kids are not a complete stranger to the idea of event preparation; they perform government-sponsored earthquake exercises in schools. But, said Althea Rizzo, director of the Earth Risk Program at Oregon Emergency Management, “Most of the time there is access to the elderly and we do not have any publications or anything prepared in the youth base.”
To reach that small program, the office relied on the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Zombie Prevention Tools, “which children love,” Rizzo said. But zombies, no matter how cute, are not earthquakes. So with the help of a grant from the Cascadia Earthquake Working Group, a volunteer organization focused on earthquake and tsunami alert and preparation, Oregon Emergency Management is in contact with Milwaukie-based Dark Horse Comics, which received from take the job. “They are a great partner,” Rizzo said. “Obviously they are in the comic business to make money, but they get the kind of work that everyone does.” Rizzo said he first developed the idea for the comedian, then gave it to the Dark Horse team, which produced the script and art. “The whole idea is to show a strong, independent young man – in this case, a girl – who does everything right and has all the right preparation and takes control of the situation,” Rizzo said. sai