PORTLAND, OREGON —“Preparing Portland Schools” is a four-minute documentary film about the earthquake safety retrofit of Alameda Elementary School in Northeast Portland written, directed, and produced by three Grant High School students during summer 2013. With a backdrop of retrofit project construction at Alameda and a soundtrack composed and performed by one of the filmmakers, the film explores the risk posed to Portland schools by a major Cascadia earthquake and the steps that can be taken to make historic buildings safer. Critically, it adds a missing piece: a student view of earthquake safety and school modernization. The film includes short interviews with Carmen Merlo, Director of the Portland Bureau of Emergency Management and Mike Kubler, President of Cascadia Region Earthquake Workgroup (CREW). “It’s not that much time. It’s not that much money. It can be done”, said Mike Kubler. “We can make the building a safer place.”
The film was made possible with financial support from CREW via a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). It was created under the aegis of the Hollywood Theatre Studio at Grant High School, a partnership between the public high school and the not-for-profit Hollywood Theatre, which supplied cameras, editing equipment, and a creative advisor for the project. CREW President Mike Kubler is a local emergency manager and a Portland Public School parent. School safety advocate Ted Wolf served as project advisor and coordinator.
The newly released video can be found on YouTube: Preparing Portland Schools Other free materials to help Cascadia residents, schools, businesses, and emergency managers become better prepared for future earthquakes are accessible online at CREW..
- Alex Pozarycki – Grant High School (GHS) class of ’13 now a student at Evergreen State College in Olympia
- Noah Puggarana – senior at GHS
- Harrison Soltvedt- senior at GHS &
- Emilie Currin, creative advisor; affiliated with Pacific Northwest College of Art