Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
..WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT UNTIL 8 PM PST THIS EVENING FOR THE GREATER PORTLAND AND VANCOUVER METRO AREA...THE LOWER COLUMBIA RIVER VALLEY...THE INTERSTATE 5 CORRIDOR IN COWLITZ COUNTY...AND THE CENTRAL WILLAMETTE VALLEY...
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN PORTLAND HAS ISSUED A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR SNOW...WHICH IS IN EFFECT UNTIL 8 PM PST THIS EVENING.
* TIMING...SNOW WILL CONTINUE INTO THE EARLY EVENING HOURS BEFORE
TAPERING OFF OR CHANGING TO RAIN BY 8 PM THIS EVENING.
* SNOW WILL BE THE PRIMARY TYPE OF PRECIPITATION INITIALLY...
POSSIBLY CHANGING TO SLEET...FREEZING OR RAIN BEFORE TAPERING TO
RAIN SHOWERS LATER THIS EVENING.
* ACCUMULATIONS...WILL GENERALLY RANGE FROM 1 TO 4 INCHES ACROSS
THE ADVISORY AREA. THE BEST CHANCE FOR GREATER THAN 2 INCHES OF
ACCUMULATION WILL GENERALLY BE WEST OF THE INTERSTATE 5
* THE SNOW WILL IMPACT THE EVENING RUSH HOUR COMMUTE...RESULTING
IN SLICK ROADWAYS AND REDUCED VISIBILITY UNTIL PRECIPITATION
TAPERS OFF OR CHANGES TO RAIN.
A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR SNOW MEANS THAT PERIODS OF SNOW WILL CAUSE PRIMARILY TRAVEL DIFFICULTIES. BE PREPARED FOR SNOW COVERED ROADS AND LIMITED VISIBILITIES...AND USE CAUTION WHILE DRIVING.
Nevada couple stranded 3 days after GPS leads them astray
Associated Press / December 29, 2009
KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. - A Nevada couple letting their sport utility vehicle’s navigation system guide them through the high desert of eastern Oregon got stuck in snow for three days when the GPS unit sent them down a remote forest road.
On Sunday, atmospheric conditions apparently changed enough for their GPS-enabled cellphone to get a weak signal and relay coordinates to a dispatcher, Klamath County Sheriff Tim Evinger said. “GPS almost did ’em in and GPS saved ’em,’’ Evinger said. “It will give you options to pick the shortest route. You certainly get the shortest route. But it may not be a safe route.’’
Evinger said a Lake County deputy found the couple in the Winema-Fremont National Forest outside the small town of Silver Lake on Sunday afternoon and pulled their four-wheel-drive Toyota Sequoia out of the snow with a winch.
John Rhodes, 65, and his wife, Starry Bush-Rhodes, 67, made it home safely to Reno, Evinger said. The couple was well-equipped for winter travel, carrying food, water, and warm clothes, the sheriff said. “Their statement was being prepared saved their life,’’ Evinger said.
The couple had been in Portland and followed their GPS as it directed them south on US Highway 97 to Oregon Highway 31, which goes through Silver Lake and Lakeview before connecting with US Highway 395 to Reno, Evinger said.
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
· When purchasing an artificial tree, look for the label "Fire Resistant." Although this label does not mean the tree won't catch fire, it does indicate the tree will resist burning and should extinguish quickly.
· When purchasing a live tree, check for freshness. A fresh tree is green; needles are hard to pull from branches and when bent between your fingers, needles do not break. The trunk butt of a fresh tree is sticky with resin, and when tapped on the ground, the tree should not lose many needles (watch "A Christmas Story" for a visual demonstration).
· When setting up a tree at home, place it away from fireplaces and radiators. Because heated rooms dry live trees out rapidly, be sure to keep the stand filled with water. Place the tree out of the way of traffic and do not block doorways.
· Indoors or outside, use only lights that have been tested for safety by a recognized testing laboratory, which indicates conformance with safety standards.
· Check each set of lights, new or old, for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections, and throw out damaged sets.
· Use no more than three standard-size sets of lights per single extension cord (for a lesson on what not to do, I recommend viewing "Christmas Vacation" starring Chevy Chase).
· Never use electric lights on a metallic tree. The tree can become charged with electricity from faulty lights, and a person touching a branch could be electrocuted. Or just return your metallic tree to 1961 where it belongs.
· Fasten outdoor lights securely to trees, house walls, or other firm supports to protect the lights from wind damage. Use only insulated staples, not nails or tacks, to hold strings in place. Or, run strings of lights through hooks (available at hardware stores).
· Turn off all lights when you go to bed or leave the house. The lights could short out and start a fire.
· For added electric-shock protection, plug outdoor electric lights and decorations into circuits protected by ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs). Portable outdoor GFCIs can be purchased where electrical supplies are sold. GFCIs can be installed permanently to household circuits by a qualified electrician (not your cousin-in-law Darryl).
· Use only non-combustible or flame-resistant materials to trim a tree. Choose tinsel or artificial icicles of plastic or nonleaded metals. Leaded materials are hazardous if ingested by children.
· Never use lighted candles on a tree or near other evergreens. Always use non-flammable holders, and place candles where they will not be knocked down.
· In homes with small children, take special care to avoid decorations that are sharp or breakable, keep trimmings with small removable parts out of the reach of children to avoid the child swallowing or inhaling small pieces, and avoid trimmings that resemble candy or food that may tempt a child to eat them.
· Wear gloves to avoid eye and skin irritation while decorating with spun glass "angel hair." Follow container directions carefully to avoid lung irritation while decorating with artificial snow sprays.
· Use care with "fire salts," which produce colored flames when thrown on wood fires. They contain heavy metals that can cause intense gastrointestinal irritation and vomiting if eaten. Keep them away from anyone who might find them tempting to ingest.
· Do not burn wrapping papers in the fireplace. A flash fire may result as wrappings ignite suddenly and burn intensely.
· Have your chimney inspected every year.
· Install a carbon monoxide detector as an extra precaution.
Most tips courtesy of US Consumer Products Safety Commission, others were embellished by staff.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Monday, December 14, 2009
Hundreds of people accidentally die each year from carbon monoxide poisoning caused by malfunctioning or improperly used fuel-burning appliances. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, carbon monoxide is the number one cause of poisoning deaths in the United States. Carbon monoxide gas is produced whenever any fuel, such as gas, oil, kerosene, wood or charcoal is burned.
Currently, there is a toddler in critical condition in Lynnwood, WA due to carbon monoxide poisoning. The story can be found here. The family brought a BBQ grill inside to try to keep warm.
Most carbon monoxide deaths in the U.S occur during the winter months with the highest numbers occurring during January with an average of 70 deaths and 2,500 non-fatal exposures. Although males and females are equally likely to visit the ER for CO exposure, males are 2.3 times more likely to die from CO exposure. The CO poisoning death rate was highest among people over 65 and likely attributed to their being at higher risk for undetected exposure.
Exposure to carbon monoxide can produce flu-like symptoms such as:
At higher levels, carbon monoxide exposure can cause:
- Get out of the house and into fresh air
- Call the fire department from a neighbor’s house
- If you have symptoms, seek medical help immediately
- Check vent pipes, flues and chimneys for leaks or blockages.
- Do not use un-vented kerosene heaters.
- NEVER use a charcoal or propane grill indoors.
- Do not use a gas oven to heat your home.
- Do not leave a vehicle running inside a garage, even if the door is open, fumes will build up quickly inside the house.
- Never use gasoline-powered engines (generators, chain saws, blowers, weed trimmers, mowers or snow blowers) indoors.
- Consider purchasing carbon monoxide detectors and installing them on each floor of your home. Carbon monoxide is COLORLESS, ODORLESS and TASTELESS. That is what makes it so incredibly dangerous. Locate detectors near bedrooms so alarms can be heard at night.
Due to overnight wind and improving air quality, clean air officials have lifted a ban on use of fireplaces and uncertified wood stoves as of 10 a.m. Monday.
The ban had been in effect for most of the recent cold snap due to stagnant wind conditions. In lifting the ban Monday morning, the Southwest Clean Air Agency (SWCAA) reported that long-term forecasts call for good air ventilation in the region.
"We encourage the public to always utilize good combustion practices when using wood (burning) devices," according to a SWCAA statement. "Outdoor burning is again allowed in areas where burning has not been permanently banned provided that you have a burn permit. Please check with SWCAA or your local Fire Department for allowed locations and fire danger conditions prior to burning."
The boil water advisory includes several precautionary steps that customers should take. These include using purchased treated bottled water or boiled water for any water that might be consumed: drinking, brushing teeth, dishwashing, preparing food and making ice. Water should come to a rolling boil for one minute, then allowed to cool before using.
The advisory will remain in effect until the City is able to restore service pressure and obtain satisfactory water quality samples. Once satisfactory results are reported to the City and DOH, customers will be notified that the advisory has been lifted. For updates, please check the City’s website at www.cityofkalama.com.
If you have any questions, please call Kalama Public Works at 360-673-3706.
This problem is compounded by maintenance issues which required the city to take their two-million gallon reservoir off line. Most customers will be out of water most of the day. The Kalama schools, fire department, health department and local industries have been notified of the problem. Public Works crews are working to get the problem fixed.
Customers of the City of Kalama water system should immediately turn off the breaker to their hot water tank to prevent damage. Customers are asked to conserve water when water service is restored. Additional information will be issued as the day progresses.
Friday, December 11, 2009
- Do not drive unnecessarily
- Prepare your home for cold weather by installing storm windows, insulating outside walls and repairing leaks in the roof, around the doors and in the windows.
- If you have a kerosene heater, refuel it outdoors and keep it away from flammable materials. Do not use propane or a portable generator indoors. Opening windows and doors or using fans will not prevent carbon monoxide buildup in your home.
- Be sure your gas tank is full before the snow starts falling and ensure vehicle has adequate antifreeze.
- Keep an emergency kit in your vehicle. Include a three-day supply of water and non-perishable food that can be eaten without cooking. Include a blanket or sleeping bag, a flashlight, shovel, tire chains, sack of sand or kitty litter, booster cables, flares and toilet paper.
- Please remember to only call 9-1-1 if you have a police, fire or medical emergency.
- Don’t forget your pets! Animals are affected by the cold too. Move animals to sheltered areas, provide extra food and ensure availability of unfrozen water.
- Don't be a dummy and walk on frozen bodies of water. I'm lookin' at YOU teenagers interviewed in the Daily News. You have NO WAY of determining how thick the ice is and if it will hold you. Have you not read Little Women? You crazy kids think you are invincible, but you're not. Also, get a hair cut, get a job, pull up your pants and get off my lawn. Yes, there is a curmudgeonly octogenarian that lives in my head, how did you know?
..WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 8 PM THIS EVENING TO
6 PM PST SATURDAY FOR THE PORTLAND AND VANCOUVER METRO AREAS...AND THE LOWER COLUMBIA AND I-5 CORRIDOR IN COWLITZ COUNTY...
The National Weather Service in Portland has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for freezing rain, sleet and snow which is in effect from 8:00 p.m. this evening to 6:00 p.m. Saturday.
* Spotty precipitation will begin late this evening and become more widespread around midnight.
* Precipitation will start as a mix of snow or sleet in the Portland and Vancouver metro area and as snow farther north in Cowlitz County.
* Snow accumulations up to 3 inches can be expected. Ice accumulations generally expected to be less than one quarter of an inch.
A winter weather advisory for snow means that periods of snow will cause travel difficulties. Be prepared for snow covered roads and limited visibility and use caution while driving. Make sure you have a well-stocked 72-hour kit in your car at all times. For more winter storm preparedness tips, click here.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
* PRECIPITATION MAY BEGIN AS EARLY AS LATE FRIDAY EVENING.
* PRECIPITATION IS LIKELY TO START AS SNOW ON FRIDAY AND TRANSITION TO FREEZING RAIN ON SATURDAY.
* THERE IS A GREATER THAN NORMAL DEGREE OF UNCERTAINTY WITH THIS
FORECAST...SO CHECK WITH LATER FORECASTS FOR MORE DETAILS.
H1N1 vaccine restrictions lifted in Southwest Washington - Vaccine now available for everyone
Region IV Public Health released the following news release yesterday afternoon:
Washington State public health agency administrators and health officers decided yesterday to lift priority group restrictions and make H1N1 vaccine available to anyone who wants it. Although some Washington counties may still decide to offer vaccine to priority groups only, restrictions have been lifted in Clark, Cowlitz, Skamania and Wahkiakum counties.
“As more vaccine has arrived in the region, we are meeting vaccine demand among the priority groups to the extent that we can now make the vaccine available to everyone,” said Marni Storey, Region IV Incident Commander. “Even so, we are focusing our outreach efforts on people in priority groups and encouraging those at greatest risk to get vaccinated as soon as they can.”
Priority groups include:
Pregnant women because they are at much higher risk of complications from H1N1.
Healthcare workers because they can potentially infect vulnerable patients and also because increased absenteeism could reduce healthcare system capacity.
Children ages 6 months through age 24
Parents and caregivers of children younger than 6 months, so they don’t pass the virus to their infants.
Persons ages 6 months to 64 years with chronic medical conditions that could worsen with influenza, such as asthma, hypertension, diabetes, immunosuppression and others.
For information about where to get vaccinated, call your healthcare provider or pharmacy or visit http://www.flunewsswwashington.org/Vaccines.html.
People without health insurance can receive free H1N1 vaccine at the following locations. Please call first.
Free Clinic of SW Washington, (360) 313-1390
New Heights Clinic, (360) 694-0355
Cowlitz Free Medical Clinic, (360) 414-2852
Cowlitz Family Health Center, (360) 636-3892.
Although the number of H1N1 influenza cases is declining nationally, health officials are urging everyone to get vaccinated for several reasons:
H1N1 influenza is a very contagious and potentially serious disease. The best way to prevent catching or spreading H1N1 influenza is to get vaccinated.
Because H1N1 is a new virus, we can’t predict the course of the outbreak. Although the number of cases is dropping, we could still experience additional outbreaks of H1N1 influenza later this season.
The more people who get vaccinated, the more protection we have in the community. Even if you get a mild case of influenza, someone you infect may develop a much more severe illness with complications.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Stage 1 Burn Ban for Cowlitz County Tonight
Outdoor burning and the use of fireplaces and uncertified woodstoves is prohibited until air quality improves. Households without an alternative heat source are exempted.
VANCOUVER, Wash. - The Southwest Clean Air Agency (SWCAA) is issuing a Stage 1 Burn Ban effective at 5 p.m. today, December 8, 2009 for all of Cowlitz County due to rising levels of fine particulate pollution, a consequence of stagnant weather conditions that allows air pollution to accumulate at ground level. This means that the use of all fireplaces, uncertified wood stoves and inserts is prohibited until air quality improves and the Stage 1 Burn Ban is lifted. If wood burning is your only source of heat, you are exempt and we ask that you burn as cleanly as possible. All outdoor burning is also prohibited during this Stage 1 Burn Ban.
Due to Cowlitz County’s varying topography, some localized areas may experience windy conditions while others remain stagnant and inundated with smoke. This countywide Stage 1 Burn Ban will remain in effect until our monitors show demonstrated improvement in our air quality and weather forecasts indicate improved ventilation.
If air quality continues to deteriorate, SWCAA may have to issue a Stage 2 Burn Ban which would prohibit all wood burning, including fireplaces, certified wood stoves, inserts and pellet stoves. This does exclude homes where wood burning is the sole source of heat.
“We are hopeful that calling this Stage 1 curtailment will prevent us from exceeding the federal health-based standard for fine particle pollution,” said Bob Elliott, executive director of the agency. “Wood smoke is a nuisance and a public health hazard,” Elliott continued, “so reducing wood smoke where feasible benefits everyone. We are not asking anyone to go without heat, but to use an alternative source of heat if possible until our air quality improves.”
On cold nights with little or no wind, wood smoke pollution can accumulate to levels that are considered unhealthy. Fine particles released by smoke from wood stoves, fireplaces and other burning are of concern because they can reach deep into the lungs. Episodes of high fine particle pollution can trigger asthma attacks, cause difficulty breathing and make lung and heart problems worse.
These curtailments will likely come in two progressive stages:
Stage 1:The use of all fireplaces and uncertified woodstoves and inserts is banned when pollution is forecasted to reach unhealthy levels. Uncertified units are typically older than 1990 and lack a certification label on the back of the unit. Certified woodstoves and inserts are allowed during a Stage 1 Burn Ban.
Stage 2: All wood heating is prohibited, including certified units, when the Stage 1 curtailment has not reversed the increasing pollution trend and weather conditions still indicate a high risk for exceeding air quality health standards.
These curtailments will not apply to homes with no other source of adequate heat. All outdoor burning is also banned during these burn bans.
Tips for Cleaner Burning:
The most complete and effective way to reduce wood smoke pollution is to use another form of heat. If you must use wood, or choose to do so when local rules permit, the following recommendations can help diminish the emissions from your woodstove, fireplace or fireplace insert:
* Only burn dry, seasoned wood. Be sure your firewood has been split and dried for at least one year.
* Never burn wet, painted, stained or treated wood, color newsprint, plastic, garbage, diapers or magazines. Items such as these produce high amounts of odor, smoke and toxic fumes. Burning these materials is illegal and also an excellent way to start a chimney fire.
* Store your firewood under cover. A shed or shelter is best. If you use a plastic tarp, allow ventilation to prevent condensation.
* Burn small, hot fires. This helps the wood burn completely and cleanly.
* Never allow the fire to smolder. Smoldering fires are the worst polluters because they burn at a temperature too low for efficient combustion. The result is more smoke—unburned wood going up the chimney, wasted.
* Do not damper too much. Allow enough air for the wood to burn fully, without smoldering. * * Never try to keep the fire going overnight by cutting back the air supply. This wastes wood, produces much smoke and creosote and produces little heat.
* Step outside and look at the plume from your chimney. You should see only heat waves. If you can see smoke, your wood is not burning completely. Increase the air supply to your fire.
* Size your woodstove properly. A stove that is too large for the space to be heated will have to be damped down, causing much smoke and wasting wood.
* Do not burn in moderate temperatures. Your stove will tend to overheat your house. You will want to close the dampers to cut back on the heat, which cuts oxygen to the fire, wastes wood and increases pollution.
* Do not install a woodstove until you have considered other ways to cut heating costs. Insulating and weather stripping can cost less than a woodstove and will reduce your heating requirements, whether your heat source is wood, oil, gas or electricity.
* Do not install an uncertified stove—installation of uncertified stoves is illegal. These stoves are more polluting.
Founded in 1968, the mission of the Southwest Clean Air Agency is to preserve and enhance the air quality in southwest Washington. Serving the counties of Clark, Cowlitz, Lewis, Skamania and Wahkiakum, SWCAA is responsible for protecting the public’s health through the enforcement of federal, state and local air quality standards and regulations.
Monday, December 7, 2009
Friday, December 4, 2009
Very cold arctic air is expected to move in late Saturday night and Sunday behind an arctic front that will sweep across the Cascades westward into Northwest Oregon and Southwest Washington. Daytime temperatures may remain below freezing in some areas. Overnight temperatures will fall into the teens and twenties along with increasing easterly winds. Some scattered snow showers are possible in the Cascades and there is a slight chance this system could bring some light snow to the valleys. This will depend on how the system develops and how much moisture is available. It appears that low level cold air will remain in place over Southwest Washington and Northwest Oregon on Monday and into Tuesday.
* Heat only the areas of your home that you are using. Close doors and curtains to keep in the heat.
* Don’t forget your outside pets! If possible, bring them inside. If not, be sure to provide them with shelter away from the wind and ensure there is enough food and unfrozen water available.
* Do not drive unnecessarily.
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
This is the Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office. Please do not hang up. We are conducting a test of the Emergency Community Notification System for residents of the Ryderwood area. In the event of an emergency, this system of reverse calling could be used to alert you to take action or evacuate. Thank you for your cooperation. If you have questions or comments about this test please call Emergency Management at (360) 577-3130.
Seventy-five percent of the calls were successful (meaning someone answered or it went to an answering machine), the 25% of unsuccessful calls were either unanswered, received busy signals, were fax lines or were no longer in service. So, in theory, if there had been an actual emergency, 75% of Ryderwood residents would have been informed. We count that as a big success! If you have questions about our Emergency Community Notification System (ECNS) please give us a call at 577-3130.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
County's emergency robo-calls annoy, confuse Lakewood residents
Wednesday, November 25, 2009 7:17 AM PST
By Brent Champaco
The News Tribune
TACOMA, Wash. -- Pierce County’s emergency call system sent an automated plea for help to about 11,000 Lakewood homes when a disabled man went missing last week.But it appears the system might have prompted more questions and complaints than assistance from residents annoyed by the late-night and early-morning robo-calls.It all started when a 50-year-old man who recently moved to Lakewood went missing from his health care facility Thursday night. Authorities were concerned because he is deaf, has serious medical issues and has the mental capacity of a 10-year-old.Police enlisted the help of the Pierce County Department of Emergency Management and its automated, reverse-911 call system, the Intrado Notification System.At the request of the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department, the system called 11,000 homes in the city’s southeast corner about 11:30 p.m. Thursday. A recorded voice asked residents to call police if they spotted the missing man. Those same residents got another call around 6 a.m. Friday.The good news was someone spotted the man in Federal Way early Friday. Police eventually found him at a bus stop, and he was taken back to his home.But the incident marked the first time Lakewood residents got calls via Pierce County’s emergency system, and some people weren’t too happy with the technology.“We certainly got quite a few calls Monday,” said Sheri Badger, spokeswoman for the Department of Emergency Management.Someone with the screen name “karlveek” wrote about the inconvenience on The News Tribune’s Web site.“I’m glad they found him,” the person wrote. “But did the Lakewood Police have to robo-call me at 6:30 a.m. today to inform me that he was missing(?) I don’t mind the computer-generated calls, but 6:30 in the morning is a little too early.”Badger said despite the complaints, the reverse-911 system works.The county’s emergency management department has relied on the system since 2003. It can geographically identify, warn and provide instructions to residents during an emergency, according to Intrado’s Web site.Up until this year, the county used the system primarily for evacuations and other emergencies. For example, Fife requested thousands of calls to warn people to evacuate during the region’s heavy flooding this year.Now, the county is also using the system to help find missing people. In October, it sent calls to Spanaway residents when a 75-year-old Alzheimer’s patient went missing. The system notified residents in South Hill of a missing 16-year-old girl this month.In both cases, the system helped police find the missing person safely, Badger said.Lakewood’s instance marked the third time the county used the system for missing persons.In every case, an incident commander decides whether to notify residents by phone and how many people the system should call. It’s capable of placing 41,600 calls per minute.Last week, an incident commander with the Sheriff’s Department decided to place calls to southeast Lakewood, Badger said.The system isn’t perfect. Someone with the county typed last week’s message into system incorrectly, so the voice told residents to dial “nine hundred eleven” rather than “9-1-1.” Badger said that won’t be an ongoing problem.Lakewood City Councilman Walter Neary was one of the 11,000 residents who got last week’s calls.But instead of needing help, he assumed the missing man might be dangerous. The recorded voice didn’t make it clear.Neary said he appreciates how the system can help authorities.“I just think we need to educate people on what the plan should be,” he said.
I want YOUR thoughts. What do you think of using this type of notification system in a missing person situation? Please vote in the poll on the right-hand margin.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Ahhhh…Thanksgiving…a time to gather ‘round the table and participate in ritualistic gluttony with your extended family. For some people, this also means travelling over the river and through the woods to Grandma’s house. If you are one of the many Washington drivers that will be travelling this holiday season, check out these tips from the Washington State Department of Transportation website.
If you do not already have a car emergency kit, now would be a good time to consider getting one. You can purchase ready-made car emergency kits at local retailers (camping supply stores, automotive stores, etc) or you can make your own. Good items to keep in your car include:
*Non-perishable foods that can be eaten without cooking
*Blankets or sleeping bags
*Flashlight with extra batteries
Be sure to remember to rotate the food and water at least once a year. It will be more than a minor inconvenience if you need your kit and all you have is a stale Tab soda and a Snickers bar from last century. So, in conclusion, pack smart, be patient and have a safe and happy holiday!
Monday, November 23, 2009
The Healthy Homes Program is dedicated to helping families identify and reduce asthma triggers in their homes. Many people, and often children, spend a lot of time in their home. There are irritants or triggers in the home that can lead to asthma development and cause asthma attacks. Irritants in the home include tobacco smoke, dust mites, pets, mold, and cleaning products. The Healthy Homes Program, staffed with trained community volunteers, offers free home assessments and easy, no-cost, or low cost recommendations to reduce or eliminate those asthma triggers and improve indoor air quality.
To find out more information on the Healthy Homes Program, or to schedule a home evaluation, please call 414-5881 or click here.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Monday, November 16, 2009
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Thursday, October 22, 2009
· How to prepare food without power for up to two weeks
· How long food can last in a fridge or freezer following power outage
· Proper long-term water storage
· What non-food items are necessary for survival
The class will be held on November 19th at 6:00 p.m. at the Cowlitz County Training Center, 1942 1st Avenue, Longview (building just south of the Hall of Justice). Marcie Maynes of Simple-Safety will teach you the basics of power outage survival and will be assisting you in preparing actual recipes, so come hungry and leave full of ideas! Prepare to be your own hero! If you are interested in attending this FREE class, please click here to send an email to register.
From Clark Regional Emergency Services Agency (CRESA)
Let’s test your personal preparedness level for H1N1 (Swine Flu). Answer the following questions with a "yes" or "no":
- Have you received your seasonal flu vaccine?
- Will you receive your H1N1 vaccine as it becomes available to your priority group?
- When you cough, do you cover your nose and mouth with your elbow, shoulder or use a tissue that is immediately thrown in the garbage?
- Do you regularly avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth?
- Do you wash your hands often, especially after you cough or sneeze? Or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer regularly?
- When you wash your hands, do you sing your ABC’s or "happy birthday" twice?
- Do you try to avoid contact with people who are exhibiting signs of being sick?
- Do you stay home from work or community events when you are sick (even if you have important things to do for our community)?
- If you or your family member has a fever, do you stay home for at least 24 hours AFTER the fever has gone away?
- Is your home stocked with enough food, hand sanitizer, over-the-counter medications, tissues and other related items so that you can stay home for several days and minimize contact with others?
If you can answer "yes" to 8-10 of these questions, you are very prepared for this flu season. If you only answered "yes" to a few of these questions, consider becoming more prepared because as you prepare, you help your whole community.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Cowlitz County DEM will continue to provide emergency information as necessary, but updates specific to H1N1 will be posted by Region IV Incident Command at the above website.
Monday, October 12, 2009
Next week begins "Winter Weather Awareness Week," an annual campaign from the National Weather Service. It's time once again to break out the emergency lighting, heavy boots and umbrellas. Power outages are also common this time of year. If your water supply could be affected by a power outage (a well-water pump system), fill your bathtub and spare containers with water. Water in the bathtub should be used for sanitation purposes only, not as drinking water. Pouring a pail of water from the tub directly into the bowl can flush a toilet. Click here to visit the National Weather Service website and learn more about Winter Weather.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
The first shipment of H1N1 vaccine arrived today in Southwest Washington. The 2,890 doses arrived at Clark County Public Health in intra-nasal form and were shared with health jurisdictions in Cowlitz, Skamania and Wahkiakum counties.Vaccine will first be made available to two priority groups, including healthcare workers and emergency responders who provide direct patient care, and to children in childcare or other group settings. Intra-nasal vaccine is suitable for healthy individuals between the ages of 2 and 49. It cannot be given to pregnant women.Hospitals in the four-county region will receive vaccine directly from the vaccine distributor, and will use the vaccine for staff who provide direct care.More intra-nasal H1N1 vaccine is expected to arrive in the region next week. Injectable vaccine is expected to arrive later in the month. Public health officials are encouraging everyone to get vaccinated against seasonal flu now and H1N1 (swine flu) as supplies allow. Because supplies may be limited initially, the vaccine will first be offered to those at highest risk of complications from H1N1. These include:
- Pregnant women (injectable vaccine only)
- Persons who live with or provide care for infants younger than 6 months (e.g., parents, siblings, and daycare providers)
- Health-care and emergency medical services personnel
- Persons ages 6 months--24 years
- Persons ages 25--64 years who have medical conditions that put them at higher risk for influenza-related complications
More information about the response to H1N1 (swine flu) in Southwest Washington is available at www.flunewsswwashington.org.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
The exams are for first-time licenses or upgrades. Attendees are asked to bring their original radio license and a copy; pending Certificates of Successful Completion of Exam (CSCEs); a picture ID; and a calculator.
Pre-exam study online is encouraged at the Web site: www.qrz.com/ham/
For details, contact Judi-K7HRW by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone: 274-3480 (or) contact JR-NW7S by email: email@example.com.
HAM Radio is an essential part of emergency operations. If you want to be part of an important team and have FUN in the process, HAM radio is for you!
Friday, October 2, 2009
As any Granny worth her salt would say, "The frost is on the pumpkin." And, by that, I mean fall is here. Time for potato soup, candles and cozy sweaters! Also, it's time to be thinking about some some back-up plans in case the power goes out. Here are some basic power outage preparation tips courtesy of our Cowlitz PUD.
- Create a kit that contains flashlights with extra batteries and a battery powered radio. Know where to find it in a dark house!
- Cordless phones do NOT work without electricity, so make sure you have an old-school corded phone.
- Know how to open your electric garage door if the power is out.
If the power goes out:
- Unplug electronics--computer, TV, microwave--and don't turn them on again until the lights have returned to normal brightness.
- Turn down thermostats and turn off water heater circuit breaker to help reduce initial electric demand when power is restored.
- Do not open refrigerators or freezers.
- If you use a generator, follow the manufacturer's instructions. Place it outside for proper ventilation. NEVER use barbeques or propane heaters indoors.
- Leave a porch light switched on to let PUD repair crews know when service is restored.
- To report a power outage, call the PUD at 423-2210 or (800) 631-1131.
Short power outages are a part of life in this area, but imagine what it would be like to have to deal with it for a week or more, like some of our neighbors to the north did last year. On a related note, later this fall, the Department of Emergency Management will be hosting a "Cooking in the Dark" seminar to teach people how to survive and thrive during an extended power outage. Keep checking the blog for more information!
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
We're almost to the end of our 12 week emergency preparedness shopping extravaganza. It's hard to believe only a mere 11 weeks ago you were totally unprepared for a disaster, but just look at you now! (Right? You've followed all of my advice? You have an awesome disaster kit? Right?---this is a guilt trip, in case you haven't caught on). Anyway, here we are at week 11 and the theme of the week is "Special Items As Needed." So, you may need some of these items, you may not need others. Here goes:
- Food for special diets (i.e. food allergies, religious preferences, diabetic)
- Baby food, bottles or infant formula
- Diapers (make sure to update sizes as needed, a size 1 diaper isn't much help when your kid now wears size 5)
- Pet food (you might begin to look pretty tasty to your hungry Rottweiler after awhile)
- Leash and pet carrier
- Spare eyeglasses or contact supplies
- Items for denture care
- Extra hearing aids and batteries
- Feminine hygiene supplies
- Any other medical or mobility supplies you or a family member might require
I'll catch you next Tuesday!
Monday, September 28, 2009
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
*Battery powered camping lantern (handy for long term power outage)
*Extra batteries for aforementioned lantern
*Portable grill or stove with fuel (NEVER use inside)
*Disposable camera (to document losses for insurance purposes)
And that’s it. Be sure to check in next Tuesday to see what’s next!
Monday, September 21, 2009
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
*A handsaw or chainsaw with fuel
*A tarp or large canvas
*Hammer and nails
These items are handy to have following an earthquake. You may need to remove rubble or do a quick repair job to make an area safe. You just never know and these are all useful items to have in order to be prepared for any situation from a downed tree to a full-scale zombie attack (aim for the head). Now you know, and like G.I. Joe always said, “Knowing is half the battle.” I never knew what the other half of the battle was, but then again I rarely take action figures at their word.
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
*Flashlights (Again, buy a decent flashlight. Don’t rely on the freebie that you got when you signed up for a checking account. I speak from experience.)
*Heavy work gloves
*Disposable dust mask (these are super cheap and will be handy if Mt. St. Helens spews some ash your way)
*Fire extinguisher (It’s best to have one on every floor of your house and a small one in your kit---also…know how to use it. It’s not really useful to have one if all you do is throw it at the fire and run away screaming)
So, this week is a little harder on the wallet. Seriously though, it will be a lot cheaper to have these all on hand now rather than trying to beat up people at Wal-Mart when the shelves are empty after some major catastrophe.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
*Uncle Henry and Aunty Em’s house did not have proper foundation. If it was up-to-code, it would have weathered the tornado much better. Since it was their house that killed the Wicked Witch of the West, they could have very easily been charged with manslaughter or sued for negligence.
*Had Dorothy received proper disaster training, she would have known to stay away from the window and thusly, would not have been knocked unconscious.
*Uncle Henry and Aunty Em should have been consulting their NOAA weather radio and monitoring updates on weather conditions and warnings in their area. Had tornado sirens been in place, they would have had more warning.
*If Dorothy had had a portable 72-hour kit ready for evacuation situations, she would have been much better prepared for her journey down the yellow brick road. Also, since she obviously loved Toto, she should have had a pet emergency kit as well.
Let’s all learn from Dorothy and be better prepared citizens. I’m sure that I have now ruined a childhood classic for you, but there’s no excuse not to be prepared for emergencies!
So, with that segue, let’s get to your weekly 72-hour kit shopping mission! This is a light week, so your wallet will thank you. On your next jaunt to the market, toss in some pain-reliever (aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, whatever works for you), some anti-diarrhea medicine (seriously, a disaster situation is not a good time for this particular ailment) and an extra supply of any important prescription medications. This last part can be tricky, as most insurance providers and pharmacies are reluctant to give any extra than what you need. The best thing to do is talk to your pharmacist and tell them your situation and that you want to be prepared in the event you can’t get to the pharmacy to refill your prescription. Even if the best that they can do is give you 3 or 4 days worth, it’s better than nothing! That’s all you need to add this week. I bet that kit is looking pretty awesome by now. You’ll be the envy of all your neighbors and their little dog too!
Monday, August 24, 2009
Disruptions such as this are very problematic at the time, but please use this as an opportunity to consider phone outages in your family emergency plan. Email and/or phone service can be compromised in a variety of disasters, or as in this case, it can be the disaster. More information on a Family Communications Plan can be found here.
Posted: August 24th, 2009 3:34 PM
August 24, 2009 @ 3:30 p.m.
911 calls in the Woodland area are now being routed to the Woodland Fire Department. A Cowlitz County 911 emergency dispatcher is on duty at the fire department to handle emergency fire, police, and medical calls.
If you are in the Woodland, Wa., area and need emergency assistance, Dial 911. However, if you receive a constant busy signal or no answer to your call, the alternate emergency number is 360-225-7076.
If neither of these options works for you, go to your nearest police or fire station to seek help.
The Woodland area is experiencing a mass telephone outage event today. While sometimes sporadic and intermittent, it appears that calls cannot be made from Woodland prefix phones to locations outside of Woodland. In some cases, some Woodland phones cannot call out at all. This outage also appears to be affecting some cellular phone service as well as some internet service.
Time estimates to repair the problem have been reported as anywhere between a few hours to sometime tomorrow. We are attempting to narrow down a projected repair timeline…however this outage is affecting several different telephone companies and cellular carriers.
All fire stations in the City of Woodland and Cowlitz County Fire District 1 are being manned by volunteers in the event of walk-in traffic seeking help.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
The system is already programmed with landline phone numbers (both listed and unlisted) from phone company records. HOWEVER, unless you take the actions described below, it cannot contact your cellular phone, VoIP phone or email address. To ensure that you receive these warnings you will need to register the telephone numbers for your cellular phone, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone, and email address.
Common reasons to sign up:
Type of information you may receive:
- Police needing your help to solve crimes or find missing persons
- Knowledge about a hazardous situation near your home (fire, hazardous materials release, or police response activities)
- Emergency protective measures during a disaster
By creating an account, I consent to the terms and conditions as listed here:
The Cowlitz County Emergency Community Notification System is provided by Twenty First Century Communications of Columbus, Ohio. By signing up for this service, I am giving Twenty First Century Communications express consent to contact me for the purposes of emergency notification on any of the devices I am registering.
Creating an account allows me to update my contact information if I move or my phone numbers or e-mail address changes. I understand at this time, a maximum of one cellular phone number and one VoIP phone number can be associated with each e-mail address. I understand to add additional phone numbers I need to set up another account with a different email address.
The information is being submitted over a secure, encrypted connection. Cowlitz County and Twenty First Century Communications will not share or distribute personal information gathered by the form and will use it solely for the purpose of providing emergency notifications. Neither Cowlitz County, nor any of its agencies and affiliates, or their employees, makes any assurances, express or implied, or assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any information provided by submittal of this form.