Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
I WILL SUBSCRIBE
First I was afraid,
I was petrified.
Thinking I could never remember to check the blog
without a guide.
But I spent so many nights
Wondering how I could be so wrong
And I grew strong
And I learned I didn't even have to log on
No, no not I
I'll just subscribe
As long as I know how to type
I know I'll stay online
I've got to know which roads are closed
I've got to know the latest tips
I will subscribe
I will subscribe
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
To put this in perspective, imagine an influx of over 6,000 unexpected people landing in the middle of Kelso at one time. How would we feed these people? Shelter them? Meet any medical and dietary needs? You can't answer every question with a resolute answer. That's the frustration with emergency planning, there is never a 100% correct answer that will work every time. That's why reading books such as The Day The World Came To Town help remind us not only as emergency planners, but as citizens that, while there is no perfect answer, there is the unexpected resolution that can never be written into any plan. With their hospitality, flexibility and quick thinking, the residents of Gander, Newfoundland have set a standard to which the rest of us should aspire to reach.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Friday, April 16, 2010
The recent eruption of Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull volcano got me thinking. It first got me thinking about what a weird name that Eyjafjallajokull is. Then it got me thinking about the only thing I know about Iceland, which is the singer, Bjork (who is also very weird). Then it got me thinking by that logic Iceland must be a weird place. (Seriously, this is how my mind functions) But THEN I got to thinking about how the ash fallout has caused complete travel chaos in northern Europe. The flight cancellations alone cost British Airways $16.04 million dollars per day. And that's just the airline industry. According to MSNBC, this is the worst air interruption since 9/11 as many countries near Iceland have closed or heavily restricted their airspace. Also hard hit are train companies, the hospitality industry and car rental outlets. For more information on this story, visit MSNBC by clicking here.
So, what does this mean for you? Probably nothing, but it does spring to mind that we have several volcanoes in our state, some that are prone to belching hot ash on occasion. If you are a business owner, or if you work for a small business, it is necessary to have a solid business continuity plan. The sad statistic is that nearly half of all businesses that must unexpectedly close for more than three days, never re-open. It doesn't have to be that way. There are many options in preparing for unexpected closures and business slow-downs due to unforeseen emergencies (i.e. extended power outage, snow, flood, etc). Many businesses chose to purchase business interruption insurance. This is the best way to keep your business afloat during an unexpected event. Even if you are not a business owner, an unexpected closure due to an emergency still affects you. If you are an employee of a small business, it may be prudent to talk to your employer about their emergency plans. If they go out of business, that means you are out of a job. In case you hadn't noticed, this isn't the opportune time to be unemployed.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
- What is the level of urgency?
- Is there a danger to life and property?
- Is someone the victim of a crime?
- Do you have a police emergency?
- Does the caller or someone else have an immediate medical emergency?
- Does the caller need the fire department?
If the public safety situation is urgent and has the potential of escalating by not making the call, the choice should be to contact 9-1-1. If you should call 9-1-1 by accident, DO NOT hang up. Stay on the line and tell the dispatcher that everything is all right. If you don't, the dispatcher is required to find out the situation and send a police officer to the location from which the call originated.
If you need help, but it is not an immediate emergency, you can call the non-emergency line at (360) 577-3090.
When you make a 9-1-1 call, dispatchers will ask you several questions. Please don't take offense and scream at them to just get you help. When an emergency call comes in one dispatcher will gather information, while another dispatcher dispatches the call to fire and/or paramedics. Answering questions and giving the appropriate information is not slowing down response time. Dispatchers are trained to get as much information as possible to best determine the nature of the problem. The information that you provide can assist officers in determining what they will need in order to keep others safe and out of harms way. Also, please realize that the dispatchers are trained to perform many tasks at once. If they ask you to hold, it is because they are dispatching help to you!
For more information about our local 9-1-1 Communications Center, click here.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
When disaster strikes, there is often a rush to blame. Some people blame God, while others blame Mother Nature. Many people will blame FEMA or local government for an inadequate response while others will rush to find someone to sue because surely someone owes them money somewhere.
Today, we are asking people to boycott "Blame Someone Else Day" and do one simple thing that will prepare yourself or your family to handle an emergency situation. Here are a few ideas:
Create or renew your out-of-area contact card, making sure that your out-of-area contact knows that they may be called upon to serve this function.
Make sure that all of your family members are carrying their out-of-area contact card.
Do a family reunification drill. If there was smoke in your house, do all of your family members know where to meet outside?
Whatever you do, join us in remembering that each of us have a personal responsibility to be prepared all of the time. Don't be tempted to blame someone else (even if it is a holiday!)
Friday, April 9, 2010
The single most important item in your disaster supply kit is water. The human body can generally survive for 30 days or more without food, granted those 30 days would suck big time. However, a body can only survive without water for about 3 days. I've heard people say that they don't need to store a bunch of water because they can drink out of their water heater or the tank of their toilet. In theory, yes, you can do this. In reality, do you really want to? Have you looked in your toilet tank? Do you know what kind of gnarly floaties live in your water heater? Do you really hate yourself and your family that much that you feel they need to drink out of the toilet? Maybe you do, and that's okay, I'm not here to judge. But--if you value yourself and your family, you'll set aside a few bucks to buy yourself some decent emergency water. Here are a few tips:
- Store at least one gallon of water per person, per day in a cool, dark place. The average individual must drink at least two quarts of water every day. Children, nursing mothers, the elderly and people in warmer climates need more. Additional water should be reserved for personal hygiene and food preparation. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security encourages individuals to store enough water to last a minimum of three days - bearing in mind that water is needed for drinking as well as for personal hygiene.
- Choose appropriate containers for water storage; disinfect before use. Personally, I wouldn't store water in any plastic containers that have ever stored juice, milk or soda (or antifreeze or lighter fluid). Seriously, there is nothing that will remove the taste of what has previously been in there. Also, milk jugs are very, very low quality plastic. Not only will they leach chemicals into your water, after about 3 months they'll start to seep and leak and eventually crumble altogether. Honestly, it's much less hassle to just buy water already sealed in a gallon size or more. Make sure to check the label and rotate it as needed. There's no need to waste it once it's beyond its date. Just use it to water flowers or to clean something. The reason that there is a "use by" date is not because the water itself expires, it's that after a year or so the plastic begins breaking down. Those chemicals that are leaching into the water are NOT GOOD FOR YOU. Trust me. Rotate it.
- Another good option is to buy three or five-gallon polycarbonate bottles (#7) and fill them with tap water. The #7 in the triangle on the bottom of the bottle means that it is a much higher quality plastic and will last longer without leaching. You can fill up these bad boys and not worry about rotating them for 5 years. Most municipal water is already treated with a variety of chlorine and fluoride, so there isn't a need add additional bleach. If you get your water from a well, you might consider adding a few drops of unscented bleach. The standard formula is about 10 drops per gallon of water. (Drops, like from an eye dropper, not 10 pours). Then seal the container and put a piece of tape on it with the date so you know when to rotate it. Also, you don't need to throw out the bottle after 5 years, just replace the water so it's fresh. The bottles are good for about 20 years.
Thursday, April 8, 2010
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Please join us and take advantage of the many training opportunities available, both classroom and field, and enjoy networking with other SAR teams from the Northwest. You do not need to be a current Search and Rescue volunteer to attend, anyone with interest in Search and Rescue is welcome. For all the info, click here.
There will be pre-conference classes covering: Tracking, ICS, K9, Rope Rescue I, and NASAR SARTECH II Exam.
During the conference there will be classes on: Incident Command System, Map and Compass, Crime Scene, Shelter building, Snowmobiles/Snowcats, Amateur Radio Exam, SAR Law, Mounted Search, Foot/Wound Care and much more.
There are also plans for an air ops demonstration!
Catering will be provided by Longhorn Barbecue.
And best of all...early bird registration is now available online. Visit http://www.wasarconf.org/ for all the information. If you register before April 15th, the cost is $55, if you register after, it is $75.
So what are you waiting for? Your search is over, you've found the conference. Now just sign up!
Forecasters say mild weather Wednesday is the calm before the next spring storm to hit Washington.
The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch for Wednesday night through Friday afternoon for the Olympics and Cascades. Forecasters expect 1 to 2 feet of new snow in the Cascades with the snow level dropping to 500 feet by Friday morning.
Other parts of the state will likely feel gusty winds and rain.
The Weather Service says high temperatures for the rest of the week won't get out of the 50s while lows could fall into the 30s in Western Washington and below freezing in Eastern Washington.
- If there is no need to evacuate, locate and confine your pet. Bring pets inside away from windows; consider easy to clean areas such as bathrooms, kitchen or utility room.
- Have your portable disaster kit in an accessible location and ready to go.
- Check your pets' collars to ensure they are securely attached and have identification on them. Having your pets microchipped is also a good idea.
- If you are not home and an emergency evacuation order is given, contact a friend or neighbor to take your pets and their disaster kits to a designated location.
- A weeks supply of food and water.
- A can opener.
- Food and water dishes. Collapsible dishes are easiest to transport.
- Any medication that your pet may take. Have a small emergency supply on hand, but remember to rotate it as the expiration date nears.
- Copies of vaccination records stored in a waterproof container or plastic bag. Include the name and address of your veterinarian along with an authorization form allowing medical treatment for your pet if you are not available.
- Sturdy leash and harness for each pet.
- Carrier or crate for each pet. Make sure it is well labeled.
- Toys and bed.
- Recent photographs of your pet. A photo with you in it is the best way to prove ownership of a pet.
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Monday, April 5, 2010
5 CORRIDOR IN COWLITZ COUNTY-GREATER VANCOUVER AREA- INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...ST. HELENS...HILLSBORO...OREGON CITY...
411 PM PDT MON APR 5 2010
..WIND ADVISORY IN EFFECT UNTIL 6 PM PDT THIS EVENING FOR THE WILLAMETTE VALLEY...CLARK COUNTY...LOWER COLUMBIA...AND I-5 CORRIDOR IN COWLITZ COUNTY...
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN PORTLAND HAS ISSUED A WIND ADVISORY...WHICH IS IN EFFECT UNTIL 6 PM PDT THIS EVENING FOR THE WILLAMETTE VALLEY...CLARK COUNTY...LOWER COLUMBIA...AND I-5 CORRIDOR IN COWLITZ COUNTY.
* WINDS: 25 TO 35 MPH GUSTING TO 45 MPH.
* TIMING: UNTIL 6 PM.
* LOCATIONS INCLUDE: EUGENE...CORVALLIS...ALBANY...SALEM...
HILLSBORO...OREGON CITY...GRESHAM...ST. HELENS...BATTLE
A WIND ADVISORY IS ISSUED WHEN SUSTAINED WINDS ARE FORECAST TO BE
31 TO 39 MPH OR GUSTS WILL RANGE BETWEEN 45 AND 57 MPH. WINDS OF THESE MAGNITUDES MAY CAUSE MINOR PROPERTY DAMAGE WITHOUT EXTRA PRECAUTIONS. MOTORISTS IN HIGH PROFILE VEHICLES SHOULD USE CAUTION UNTIL THE WINDS SUBSIDE.
Friday, April 2, 2010
- If you feel the ground begin to shake, DROP under a desk or sturdy table. Stay away from bookcases, windows, file cabinets, heavy mirrors, hanging plants, and other objects that could fall. Watch out for falling plaster ceiling tiles. Stay under COVER until the shaking stops. HOLD onto the desk or table. If it moves, move with it.
- If you are in a high-rise building and not near a desk or a table, move against an interior wall, and protect your head with your arms. Face away from windows. Do not use the elevator.
- If you are outdoors, move to a clear area, away from trees, signs, buildings, or downed electrical wires and poles.
- If you are on a sidewalk near buildings, get into a building's doorway to protect yourself from falling bricks, glass, plaster and other debris.
- If you are driving, slowly pull over to the side of the road and stop. Avoid overpasses, power lines and other hazards. Stay inside the vehicle until the shaking is over.
- If you are in a store or other public place, do not rush for the exits. Move away from display shelves with objects that could fall on you.
- If you are in a wheelchair, stay in it. Move to cover, if possible, lock your wheels and protect your head with your arms.
- If you are in the kitchen, move away from the refrigerator, stove and overhead cupboards. (Take the time NOW to anchor appliances and install security latches on cupboard doors to reduce hazards.)
- If you are in a stadium or theater, stay in your seat and protect your head with your arms. Do not try to leave until the shaking in over.
- After an earthquake, be prepared for aftershocks.
This information is courtesy of the Washington State Emergency Management Division
Oh the wind is lashing lusterly
And the trees are thrashing thrusterly
And the leaves are rustling gusterly
So it's rather safe to say
That it seems that it may turn out to be
It feels that it will undoubteadly
Looks like a rather blustery day today
It seems that it may turn out to be
Feels that it will undoubteadly
Looks like a rather blustery day today
Thursday, April 1, 2010
..STRONG SYSTEM FOR APRIL WILL IMPACT THE AREA TONIGHT AND FRIDAY...
A LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM WILL RAPIDLY DEEPEN OFF THE WASHINGTON COAST FRIDAY MORNING...CAUSING NUMEROUS WEATHER IMPACTS. THESE WEATHER IMPACTS INCLUDE WIND...SNOW...AND HEAVY RAINFALL.
WIND...WINDY CONDITIONS WITH GUSTS TO 50 MPH ARE EXPECTED INLAND AND WILL LIKELY RESULT IN AN ADVISORY FOR THE WILLAMETTE VALLEY.
THE POTENTIAL FOR DAMAGE WILL BE EXACERBATED BY SATURATED SOILS AND TREES LEAFING OUT. THIS STORM WILL ALSO BRING HIGH WIND CRITERIA TO THE COAST...WIND SPEEDS WILL BE STRONG WITH GUSTS TO 60 MPH IN THE COASTAL COMMUNITIES AND 70 TO 75 MPH ALONG BEACHES AND HEADLANDS.
SNOW...ANTICIPATE SNOW LEVELS TO REMAIN AROUND 2000 TO 3000 FT TONIGHT. SNOW LEVELS WILL LOWER EARLY FRIDAY MORNING TO AROUND 1000 FT BEFORE SLOWLY RISING TO NEAR 2500 FT BY FRIDAY AFTERNOON.
RAIN...EXPECT 1 TO 2 INCHES OF RAIN ALONG THE COAST...2 TO 4 INCHES IN THE COAST RANGE...AND ABOUT 1 INCH OF RAIN IN THE WILLAMETTE VALLEY. HEAVIEST RAINFALL WILL OCCUR EARLY FRIDAY MORNING.
The latest in a series of storms in beginning to take shape over the Pacific Ocean south of the Aleutian Islands. This storm will tap into abundant moisture while racing toward the Pacific Northwest tonight and Friday. A warm front associated with this system will move onshore late tonight spreading heavy precipitation across Washington and Oregon through Friday. However, the surge of warm air will weaken as the front moves onshore.
A cold front will move onshore on Friday dropping snow levels back down to 2000 feet or lower while onshore flow continues to push showers into the Cascades.
In summary: cold, wet, yuck.