The only difference between adventure and disaster is preparedness.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Red Cross is on the move!

The sale of the Red Cross building at 1265 14th Avenue has been finalized. The group is currently searching for smaller and more economical facility. They are in the process of downsizing to meet the news of the new facility and will be having a sale this Friday, July 30th, from 9:00am to 3:00pm. Everyone is invited so, please stop by and bring your pick-up truck. They have file cabinets, office supplies, and much, much more.

If you have any questions please call Melissa Mullins at (360) 430-7715 or Julia Bishop at (360) 270-9227.

Office Supply Sale
Friday, July 30, 2010
9:00am - 3:00pm
American Red Cross
1265 14th Ave
Longview, WA 98632

Monday, July 26, 2010

Multiple Tragedies Highlight Local Water Dangers

This article from lists the various water-related accidents that occurred over the weekend, including one in the Toutle River on Saturday. The Cowlitz County Sheriff's Office and the Department of Emergency Management encourages people of ALL ages to wear a life jacket when enjoying our local lakes and rivers.

Make Water Safety Your Priority

*Swim in designated areas supervised by lifeguards.

*Always swim with a buddy; do not allow anyone to swim alone. Even at a public pool or a lifeguarded beach, use the buddy system!

*Ensure that everyone in the family learns to swim well. Enroll in age-appropriate water orientation and Learn-to-Swim courses.

*Never leave a young child unattended near water and do not trust a child’s life to another child; teach children to always ask permission to go near water.

*Have children or inexperienced swimmers wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets around water, but do not rely on life jackets alone.

*Even if you do not plan on swimming, be cautious around natural bodies of water including ocean shoreline, rivers and lakes. Cold temperatures, currents and underwater hazards can make a fall into these bodies of water dangerous.

*If you go boating, wear a life jacket! Most boating fatalities occur from drowning.

*Avoid alcohol use. Alcohol impairs judgment, balance and coordination; affects swimming and diving skills; and reduces the body’s ability to stay warm.

Is It Possible to Predict an Earthquake?

Not yet, but scientists are much closer to identifying patterns and improving earthquake "forecasts." Check out this article from the LA Times about earthquake patterns and what it could mean for the Northwest.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Talley Way On-Ramp Closure Notice


The on-ramp from Talley Way to westbound Tennant Way (SR 432) will be closed from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. Thursday and Friday nights so crews can finish work on a new, safer on-ramp, the Washington State Department of Transportation announced Wednesday.

The new SR 432 on-ramp provides a longer merging distance and more gradual curve than the existing ramp. During the shutdown of the old ramp, workers must build an embankment, install utilities and lay fresh asphalt.

This work is part of the $35 million I-5, SR 432 Talley Way Interchange project, which remains on track for completion in 2012, according to WSDOT.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Kalama River Road Closed at Summers Creek

The Cowlitz County Department of Public Works will close Kalama River Road at milepost 14.16 (Summers Creek) to all traffic beginning at 7:00 a.m. on Monday, July 19th.

The road will be closed for approximately four months to allow for the construction of a new permanent bridge that will span Summers Creek. The new bridge will replace a culvert structure that was destroyed in the January 2009 flood event.

A detour around the road closure has been established utilizing the Weyerhaeuser 6000 Road. The detour route will be clearly marked for motorists traveling through the area. Those with questions are encouraged to contact the Department of Public Works at (360) 577-3030.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Seattle to Portland Bike Race this Weekend


Drivers crossing the Lewis and Clark Bridge should expect delays up to 20 minutes Sunday for cyclists riding in the Group Health Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic, according to the Washington Department of Transportation.

Washington State Patrol troopers and other flaggers will stop southbound traffic over the bridge in 15-minute intervals from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. to allow cyclists to pass.

Flaggers will also be on hand Sunday at West Side Highway at Castle Rock, Lexington and Longview to direct traffic.

Organizers expect about 10,000 cyclists for the 200-mile Seattle-to-Portland ride, which celebrates its 31st anniversary this weekend.

The two-day ride begins Saturday morning at the University of Washington. Most cyclists spend the night in the Centralia-Chehalis area, but some ride far enough the first day to sleep in Longview and Kelso, and some ride the whole distance in one day.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

State Burn Ban Begins July 15th

The state Department of Natural Resources Monday announced a statewide burn ban on all state-protected lands starting Thursday, July 15 through Sept 30. The ban covers all forestland in Washington except for federal lands.

"Wildfires are dangerous for people and property and result in large expenditures of public funding that can be avoided through prudent actions to prevent them," Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark said in a prepared statement.

The ban applies to all outdoor burning, including currently permitted burns, with three exceptions:

1. Recreational fires in approved fire pits within designated state, county, municipal or other campgrounds

2. DNR-approved prescribed fire, undertaken to enhance or restore fire-dependent ecosystems and forest health

3. As approved in writing by DNR when there are compelling reasons for an exception.

Use of gas and propane self-contained stoves and barbeques will continue to be allowed during the ban.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Life Jacket Coupon

This life jacket information and coupon comes courtesy of Access Washington.

Why should people of all ages wear life jackets?
Drowning is swift, occurring in as little as 30 seconds. In 2006, in Washington State, 123 drownings occurred--involving all age groups (48 of the drownings were 40-64 year olds). Safety is for everyone, and drownings are preventable!

Click here for a 25% off coupon for a life jacket at Big 5 Sporting Goods. The link is under "Current News and Events."

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Heat Advisory Extended

The National Weather Service has extended the current Heat Advisory to 8 PM Friday.

The hottest day will be Thursday when highs will generally be from 95 to 100. Only slightly cooler temps are expected Friday with highs 90 to 95.

A heat advisory means that a period of hot temperatures is expected. The combination of hot temperatures and high humidity will combine to create a situation in which heat illnesses are possible. Drink plenty of fluids...stay in an air-conditioned room...stay out of the sun...check up on relatives and neighbors...and NEVER leave pets or children confined in the car.

Also, I know it's been a long time since we've seen the sun for a few days in a row...don't stare directly at it because you are confused by its presence.

Cool Places to Go

Don't have A/C? Here are a few places to cool off:

Catlin Rotary Spray Park
106 NW 8th Avenue
Kelso, WA

Longview Public Library
1600 Louisiana Street
Longview, WA

Three Rivers Mall
351 Three Rivers Drive
Kelso, WA

Don't forget, all the movie theaters are air conditioned too!

Summer Safety Tips

By Barbara LaBoe / The Daily News Posted: Tuesday, July 6, 2010 10:00 pm

Yes, summer is finally here. But officials are warning all residents to be careful as they head to the water to cool off during the next few days.

After a cloudy end to the holiday weekend, temperatures started rising Tuesday and aren't expected to drop for several days. The Weather Service is predicting highs in the low 90s for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and mid 80s at least through Tuesday.

A heat advisory also has been issued for Wednesday and Thursday. Weather officials are warning people to stay indoors if needed, drink plenty of fluids and keep a close eye on children and the elderly.

As the temperature rises officials also know residents will head to lakes and rivers to cool off. After nine drownings in the region last summer, though, they're hoping to make people more aware of the dangers. And they're recommending precautions.

"I'm hoping the lessons that we learned last year are still fresh in people's minds," said Cowlitz County Sheriff Mark Nelson, who started a water safety committee after last year's drownings. "We don't want to discourage people from enjoying water-related activities, that's one of the reason we live where we do. All we're asking people to do is to use every safety precaution. ... Because our waters can take anyone at anytime."

"It's really when people become complacent and aren't aware of their surroundings that they get into trouble," added Dave LaFave, Chief of Cowlitz 2 Fire & Rescue and a member of Nelson's water safety committee.

The group has expanded the number of loaner life jacket boards at Willow Grove and other locations and put up safety reminders in places such as convenience stores.

Fire District 5 in Kalama has analyzed drowning deaths since 2000 and counted 31 among Cowlitz County coroner's records. So far the colder than normal weather has kept many people out of the water but Kalama Chief Vic Leatzow said he's sure there will be a "dramatic" increase in water recreation now that the hot weather is here.

"I'm crossing my fingers that people be careful," Nelson said. "We don't want any repeats from last year."

Water safety tips

Here are some tips to be safe while in the water:

• Wear life jackets.

• Have a flotation device that can be thrown to someone in trouble. Charging in the water to save someone can result in two people in distress.

• Don't drink alcohol, especially to excess. It can lead to dehydration and dull reflexes.

• Don't swim in unauthorized areas. LaFave said having to track someone down who has trespassed on private property slows emergency response because crews don't know where they're going or what kind of access there is.

• Make sure there is an adult designated to watch children in the water so any problem is noticed immediately.

• Never swim alone.

• Get out of the water if a large ship is approaching or has just passed through the area. Large wakes can suck people out too far for them to swim back or can slam them into objects along the shore.

• Be aware that even though it's hot, the rivers and lakes can still be cold

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Hot Weather is Here!

At 1:00 p.m., the Weather Service issued a Heat Advisory for the region, including all of Cowlitz County. The advisory will be effective from 10:00 a.m. Wednesday until 9:00 p.m. Thursday. High temperatures in the mid to upper 90s are likely. Overnight low temperatures drop only into the mid 50s to lower 60s.

The elderly and those who do not have air conditioning or access to cool locations are vulnerable to effects from the heat. Small children and animals must not be left confined in cars.

A heat advisory means that a period of hot temperatures is expected. The combination of hot temperatures and high humidity will combine to create a situation in which heat illnesses are possible.

• Drink plenty of fluids
• Stay in an air-conditioned room
• Stay out of the sun
• Check up on relatives and neighbors

Friday, July 2, 2010

Be Safe This Independence Day

Focus on Fire Safety: Fireworks

For Americans, Fourth of July celebrations usually signify summer fun, vacations, and the gathering of family and friends, but Independence Day can also bring tragedy. In a typical year, more U.S. fires are reported on July 4 than on any other day and fireworks account for half of those fires. Sparklers, firecrackers, and rockets are the leading contributors to these injuries. Because most fireworks injuries are preventable, everyone can enjoy a safe and happy holiday by following a few fireworks safety tips. (From FEMA Website)

Who is at Most Risk?
*In 2007, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 9,800 people for fireworks related injuries.
*56% of 2007 emergency room fireworks-related injuries were to the extremities and 36% were to the head.
*49% of the 2007 fireworks injuries were burns, while 29% were contusions and lacerations.
*The risk of fireworks injury was 2 ½ times as high for children ages 5-14 as for the general population.
*Sparklers, fountains, and novelties alone accounted for 56% of the emergency room fireworks injuries in 2007.

By the Numbers: Fireworks
30,100 = Estimated number of fires caused by fireworks each year
9,500 = Estimated number of injuries caused by fireworks each year
11 = Fireworks-related deaths occurred in 2007
$34 million = Amount of direct property loss caused by fireworks in 2006

Bottom Line: Please be careful with fireworks!