The only difference between adventure and disaster is preparedness.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Free Workshops Coming Up

Our local ServiceMaster restoration/cleaning company will be holding two FREE workshops coming up. The first one will address Water Damage Mitigation on October 13th from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at 2305 Columbia Hts Road in Longview. Water damage is prevalent after flooding and burst pipes. The second workshop will be all about Smoke and Odor Mitigation. This class will be held on November 17th, same time and location. To R.S.V.P for this class, please contact Jeremy Wilson at 425-3331 or by email at To learn more about the various services that ServiceMaster provides, click here.

Monday, September 27, 2010

ECNS Test in CR Today

DEM, in cooperation with the City of Castle Rock, will be conducting our annual test of the Emergency Community Notification System (ECNS), Monday, September 27th, 2010 at 4:00 p.m. for residents inside the SW and SE sections of the City of Castle Rock. ECNS is a reverse-calling system that allows emergency officials to send a recorded emergency message directly to the residents of an affected area via landline phones.

Residents in the area specified can expect a phone call with a recorded message indicating that a test is being conducted by the Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office. No further action is required.

All county residents without a landline phone, can register their cell-phone or VOIP phone by visiting the Cowlitz County Emergency Management blog at, clicking on the “Alert Cowlitz County” icon on the right-hand side of the screen and following the prompts. This allows these residents to receive these messages also.

If you have any questions regarding the test, please contact the Department of Emergency Management at (360) 577-3130.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Daily News Mentions ECNS

Click here to see the article about Emergency Community Notification System written by the Daily News. We are happy to get the word about about this system, however we would like to clarify a few points. First, the system is a "reverse calling system", not a "reverse 9-1-1 system." The data originates from landline phone companies, not from a 9-1-1 database. Please DO NOT call 9-1-1 to try to register your phone. Secondly, it is a landline based system that has been upgraded to include cell phone and VOIP phones. The limitation is that you must register your cellphone or VOIP via the ECNS website and you must have an valid email address. If you have questions about the system, please call our office at (360) 577-3130.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Baker's Corner 45th Anniversary Open House

Come join us at the Cowlitz 2 Fire and Rescue Baker's Corner 45th Anniversary Celebration on Saturday, September 11th. The event will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Station 22 (5699 Ocean Beach Hwy, Longview). There will be FREE hot dogs and beverages, education booths, bike helmet and life jacket fittings and demos, free blood pressure checks and much, much more! Stop by and check out the Life Flight helicopter at 1:00 or participate in the waterball competition at 2:00. There will also be a 9/11 Memorial Dedication at noon at the 701 Vine Street station in Kelso.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Hostage Situation Unfolds on Twitter

Our focus this month, and really for the past few months, has been on social media and its various uses in the field of emergency management. A recent situation, as in one that just occurred a few hours ago, has once again highlighted, underscored, bold-face-typed the need for emergency response agencies to actively monitor and use social media outlets, namely Twitter.

If an agency waits to address an emergency situation until all the facts are in, they are already at a disadvantage and wasting time reacting to the information that the public has already put out there in 140 characters or less. It is far more advantageous to acknowledge that a situation has occurred, it is being handled and more information will be shared as it becomes available. With regard to the Discovery Building gunman, as quickly as the first employee became aware of the situation, #Discovery became a trending hashtag on Twitter and the race for information was on.
In minutes, Twitter junkies and the internet-savvy had the gunman’s name, found his Myspace page, webpage, blog page and various YouTube videos. Obviously, no agency can compete with young people with an abundance of technological expertise and time on their hands. However, any strides that agencies are able to make into the world of social media are worthwhile.

Please take a minute to check out this article from Elizabeth Chuck at regarding how quickly information can get out in this age of Twitter.

Social media matters and it's not going away. As much as it seems to be the hot new thing right now, I don't believe that it will go the way of pet rocks, pogs and Members Only jackets. With its myriad uses in the world of emergency notification, combined with the public's seemingly insatiable quest for instant knowledge, this is one techno-fad that is here to stay.

Happy National Preparedness Month!

September is designated by the Department of Homeland Security as National Preparedness Month. This awareness month is also supported by the Ready Campaign in partnership with Citizen Corps and the Ad Council and is designed to encourage Americans to take simple steps to prepare for emergencies in their homes, businesses, and communities.

The Ready Campaign encourages the following actions:

1.Get A Kit
2.Make A Plan
3.Be Informed

You can stay informed by learning more about the potential emergencies, both natural and man-made, that could happen where you live and the appropriate way to respond to them. For more information, visit our website here.

Another way you can stay informed is by registering your cell phones and VoIP phones with Cowlitz County's Emergency Community Notification System. Landline phones are already set up to receive emergency information for a specified area, but cell phones and VoIP are considered an "opt-in" program and must be registered by their owner. Registering these additional contact devices ensures that citizens receive the critical, time sensitive, and potentially life-saving messages.

If you have not yet registered your cell phone for this free service, you can do so by clicking the "Alert Cowlitz County" icon to your right, up the page a little bit. Yep, right up there, with the picture of the phone. See it? Ok.

If you have questions about the ECNS system, please feel free to contact our office by email at or by phone at (360) 577-3130.