What We Do

The mission of the Regional Disaster Preparedness Organization (RDPO) is to build and maintain regional disaster preparedness capabilities in the Portland Metropolitan Region through strategic and coordinated planning, training and exercising, and investment in technology and specialized equipment.

Our vision is a secure and disaster-resilient region in which local agencies, organizations, and communities are coordinated and prepared to prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to, and recover from threats and hazards of great risk to the Portland Metropolitan Region.



The RDPO formed in 2012 out of a desire to build upon and unify various regional preparedness efforts in the Portland Metropolitan Region, including the Regional Emergency Management Group (established in 1993), the Urban Areas Security Initiative Program (originally funded in 2003), and several discipline-specific coordination groups. 


Natural disasters, acts of terrorism, and other emergency incidents can affect multiple jurisdictions simultaneously. Major disasters, such as earthquakes, create large-scale impacts that require outside assistance even for the most prepared local public safety organization. The cities, counties, non-governmental organizations, and private-sector stakeholders in the region recognize that they all can more effectively respond to emergencies and facilitate recovery of communities if they prepare together. Regional collaboration in building disaster preparedness capabilities is more cost-effective for taxpayers, develops roles and relationships needed for efficient disaster response and recovery, and increases the ability to involve the whole community in preparedness initiatives.

Guiding Principles

  • Provide opportunities for all jurisdictions and disaster preparedness organizations in the five‑county region to participate.

  • Strive for a holistic regional perspective while honoring and respecting each partner’s autonomy.

  • Demonstrate organizational value to all members.

  • Practice transparency, accountability, and financial stewardship.

  • Ensure equity and fairness in adopting regional policies.

  • Make decisions by consensus whenever possible.

  • Use a whole community approach in which all stakeholder groups are integrated and considered.

  • Build upon existing strengths and ensure capability investments are maintained.

  • Use the National Preparedness Goal as a guide for enhancing regional preparedness across all mission areas.