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Cannon Beach Medical Reserve Corps members at the First Aid Station at Sandcastle Day in 2019. From left to right: Gabriella Korosi, RN, Karina Squire, RN NP and Lila Wickham, RN

The Cannon Beach Medical Reserve Corps is holding an event in September to teach the community how to be prepared medically in the event of a natural disaster or any emergency.

The national initiative came about after 911 under the U.S. Surgeon General, as stated in the group’s flyer.  The local Reserve Corps is a 27-member volunteer group, including three physicians and 12 nurses.

The learning session, free to the public, will be held from 9-11 a.m. on September 7 at Cannon Beach City Hall, 163 E. Gower Street.

“When I moved to the coast full time in 2014, I began working with the city,” said Lila Wickham, a registered nurse and coordinator of the corps.

Wickham said should a natural disaster occur, it is important that licensed and trained healthcare providers are available to treat the injured.

The group has been holding periodic training sessions for area health professionals to teach them how to respond in an emergency, she said. September’s event, however, will be the first training session for community members.

The class will focus on medication preparedness and how to manage pain without pharmaceuticals, she said.

“We have a lot of chronic disease issues because we have an older population in Cannon Beach,” she said. “They need to have medications on hand in the event of an emergency.”

In 2007, a wind storm struck Cannon Beach and the electricity went out, leaving the community isolated for one week, she said.

Wickham will teach people how to get prescription drugs in a disaster and what medications are in an emergency kit, for example, as stated in the flyer.

“Being prepared is what will save your life and your health,” she said.

 Cannon Beach resident Kathleen Bell is a registered nurse with advanced certification in holistic nursing. She will teach non-pharmaceutical pain management.

“In the event of an emergency, it is very likely people will be without their medicine cabinet,” Bell said. “There are many ways to manage pain without medications.”

Ice, heat, relaxation and breathing techniques can be ways to reduce pain in an emergency, she said.

She will teach people how “to access increased levels of comfort through use of their minds, bodies and simple, readily- available tools,” as stated in the flyer.

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