(Comic book cover image | Courtesy of Dark Horse Comics)
The Oregon Office of Emergency Management and Dark Horse Comics have released a new comic book titled, Without Warning! Wildfire. Addressing what to do before and during a Northwest wildfire, the comic is the third in a series of educational and entertaining comic books promoting emergency preparedness.
“The Without Warning! comic book series began because we found that many public education publications struggled to resonate with younger audiences,” said Althea Rizzo, OEM Geologic Hazards program coordinator. “The series has been a huge hit, helping us engage with youth while introducing and reinforcing the concept of readiness.”
Emergencies and disasters can happen at any time, often without warning. Empowering every Oregonian — including youth — to reduce their risk, be ready and know what to do when disaster strikes is critical to staying safe. Kids and teens who are prepared often experience less anxiety and feel more confident during actual emergencies and disasters.
“Smokey Bear offers a variety of educational options for young children, but it’s been challenging to find engaging and creative resources to talk with teens and young adults about wildfire prevention,” said Kristin Babbs, president and CEO of the Keep Oregon Green Association. “This comic book fills that important gap.”
Without Warning! Wildfire features characters hiking and camping in a Northwest wilderness area who are forced to flee for their lives to escape a quickly moving wildfire. The comic helps teach readers how to protect themselves, their loved ones and wildlands when wildfires occur.
Without Warning! Wildfire is available to read for free at Dark Horse Digital, OEM’s website and on iOS and Android apps. It is also available on Kindle, Comixology, Google Play and Apple Books. Printed copies are available in English and Spanish through county emergency management offices, Clackamas Community College and Keep Oregon Green.
The first two comics in the series, Without Warning! Earthquake (published in 2014) and Without Warning! Tsunami (published in 2016), have been distributed throughout the Northwest and adapted for other regions, helping support readiness in communities across the U.S.
The comic book series originated with OEM’s GeoHazards program, which works with partners to create tools and programs to make Oregon more resilient to earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanoes. This latest issue was produced in collaboration with OEM, Dark Horse Comics, Clackamas Community College, Oregon Dept. of Forestry and Keep Oregon Green.