Female hands picking fresh tomatoes to wooden crate with vegetables.-cm

We’ve seen all kinds of sensationalized headlines the past few years, as well as what we can see with our very own eyes. Supply chains have been disrupted, affecting businesses and consumers alike. The prices of fuel and household goods have been skyrocketing. People are panicking in the face of rising inflation and increasingly empty store shelves.

But what can we do about it?

The answer is to be as self-sufficient as possible and for our communities to be resilient.

In decades past, individuals, households and communities tended to be very self-sufficient, and for good reason. We’ve seen the trend towards globalization and free trade throughout the world. And though I do support free trade, we need to realize that there are limitations and disadvantages to depending on anybody else for things we need to maintain our basic survival.

If there was a major earthquake, for example, it’s entirely possible that the bridges connecting our county to other areas could collapse. That would disrupt the ability for trucks to deliver shipments to stores throughout the county.

Luckily, there are things we can do as individuals and households to better prepare ourselves for a worst-case scenario. Everybody should have an emergency supply of food and water handy for immediate use.

Anyone with the ability to do so should try to have a garden on their property. Being able to grow your own fruits and vegetables saves money and helps shield you from supply issues at the grocery store. If you don’t have the ability to grow your own food, you can always support one of the many local farms and farmer’s markets.

Clackamas County is fortunate enough to have an abundance of resources, including fertile soil and ample timberlands. All things considered, we should be able to find a way for the county to be completely self-sufficient. We have enough food production resources in our county that we could, in theory, also feed neighboring Washington and Multnomah counties.

As Clackamas County Commissioner, I would like to see us figure out how to incentivize food crop production for our residents. We need to also make sure that we maintain that balance between having an adequate supply of land for housing and preserving high-quality farmland to keep it in production.

The county owns a considerable amount of forestland and should do everything it can to maintain a steady rotation of sustainable yield harvests off of it. There’s no reason we should ever have to rely on anyone else for our timber supply.

Few things will become as important or valuable as fresh, potable water in the event of a major catastrophe. The county should do everything it can to plan for the distribution of our abundant water resources to residents who need it.

Emergency preparedness is among the many things that the federal, state and local governments need to be working on. I would like to do everything I can to make sure that we’re safe and our needs are met if there’s a major earthquake or other event.

*If you’d like to find out more about or support the Mark Johnson for Clackamas County Commission campaign, please check out our website at https://markjohnson22.com/