The only difference between adventure and disaster is preparedness.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Hurricane Sandy

Keep an eye on the HUGE Hurricane Sandy--Frankenstorm-Nor'easter-Stormpocalypse. THIS, people, THIS is why we say be prepared for 3 days (preferably more) to be on your own without power. There are over 1 million people on the East Coast without power and until the winds go down to well below 35 mph, crews cannot respond. Get a disaster supply kit!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Nasty Weather on the Way

The Portland National Weather Service has this to say:




I'm not shouting at you, the NWS always puts their alerts in all caps and I just cut and pasted, don't be alarmed.

Monday, October 22, 2012

It's Winter Weather Awareness Week!

Today's topic from the National Weather Service is Hypothermia!

Exposure to cold can cause frostbite or hypothermia, and become life-threatening. Infants and the elderly are the most susceptible. When a winter storm approaches, stay inside, or seek shelter if caught outdoors.

Other tips to follow to better protect you and others:

  • When using an alternate heat from a fireplace, wood stove or space heater, be sure to use fire safeguards and properly ventilate. Close off unneeded rooms in the building. Stuff towels or rags in cracks and under doors.
  • Cover windows at night to minimize loss of heat through the windows.
  • Eat and drink sufficient amounts of water. Food provides the body with energy for producing its own heat. Fluids prevent dehydration.
  • Wear layers of loose fitting, lightweight and warm clothing. Remove layers to avoid overheating and perspiration and subsequent chill.
  • Make sure pets have plenty of food, water and proper shelter from the elements.
If caught outdoors:

  • Find shelter immediately.
  • Try to stay dry, and cover all exposed body parts.
  • In no shelter is available, build a lean-to, windbreak, or a snow cave to protect yourself from the wind
  • Build a fire for heat and to attract attention for rescue.
  • Place rocks around the fire to absorb and reflect heat.
  • Melt snow for drinking water.
  • Avoid eating snow, as this will lower your body temperature.
If traveling:

  • The best way to avoid becoming stranded or stuck during a winter storm is to avoid travel during the storm.
  • Stay informed on the current weather, forecasts and warnings.
  • Obtain the latest warnings and forecasts from your NOAA Weather Radio, The National Weather Service website [ ], or your favorite media news source.
If you must travel, let someone else ( who is not traveling ) know of your travel plans.

Weatherize your vehicle now, before rough winter weather arrives. Make sure your vehicle safety set includes: adequate tires, chains, tow rope, sand or cat litter for traction, shovel, tool kit, windshield scraper and brush, battery cables, first aid kit, flashlight and extra batteries, a blanket or sleeping bag, extra clothes, waterproof matches, high-calorie snacks and an empty can to melt snow for drinking water.

If you become stranded while traveling:

STAY WITH YOUR VEHICLE, and do not panic.

  • If with other people, take turns sleeping.
  • Run the motor every hour for about 10 minutes to maintain warmth, but keep window open a bit to prevent buildup of carbon monoxide.

  • Make sure the exhaust pipe is not blocked by snow.

  • Keep a brightly colored cloth tied to the antenna, in order for others to find your car.

  • Exercise periodically by vigorously moving arms, legs, toes and fingers.

In the Mountains and higher Terrain:

Avalanches become a possibility during the winter, especially below steep slopes. Avalanches occasionally come down across roads, with little or no warning. Caution is advised when travelling along avalanche prone roads, especially after heavy snow has fallen or during periods of rapid snowmelt.

Roads which appear clear in the wintertime may actually be coated with a thin layer of ice, commonly called black ice. This nearly invisible ice layer can cause you to rapidly lose control of your vehicle. Black ice is most common during the nighttime hours into very early morning. If you detect black ice, reduce your speed!

Cold and its Effects on You:

Wind Chill: this is not the actual temperature, but rather how wind and cold combined feel on exposed skin. As the wind increases, heat is carried away from the body at an accelerated rate, thus lowering your body temperature. Animals are also affected by wind chill, but cars, plants and other objects are not.

Frostbite: this is damage to body tissue due to exposure to extreme cold. A wind chill of -20 degrees Fahrenheit will cause frostbite in just 30 minutes. Frostbite causes a loss of feeling and a white or pale appearance in extremities such as fingers, toes, ears and even the tip of your nose. If symptons are detected, get medical help immediately. If you must wait for help, slowly re-warm the affected areas. If the person is also showing signs of hypothermia, warm the body core before the extremities.

Hypothermia: this is a condition brought on when the body temperatures drops to less than 95 degrees Fahrenheit. It can kill. For those who survive, there are likely to be lasting kidney, liver and pancreas problems. Warning signs include uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, slurred speech, drowsiness and apparent exhaustion. Take the person's temperature, and if it is below 95F, seek medical care immediately.

Keep your family and property safe

Cowlitz County Deputy Jordan Spencer will discuss protecting yourself and your property at a free forum at noon Wednesday at the Cowlitz County Administration Building, 207 N. 4th Avenue in Kelso on the 3rd floor in the General Meeting Room. 

The free brown bag lunch forum is sponsored by the Washington State University Extension.  For more information email Gary Fredricks at or call 577-3014 ext 3. 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Did you Drop, Cover and Hold?

I did!  In an earthquake, you may only have seconds to protect yourself before strong shaking knocks you down, or something falls on you. Don't run!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Are You Ready to ShakeOut?

Are You Ready to ShakeOut?

With 6.8 million people living and working in Washington, a major earthquake could cause unprecedented devastation. What we do now, before a big earthquake, will determine what our lives will be like afterwards. With earthquakes an inevitable part of Washington’s future, we must act quickly to ensure that disasters do not become catastrophes.

The Great Washington ShakeOut in October 2012 will involve hundreds of thousands of Washingtonians through a broad-based outreach program, media partnerships, and public advocacy by hundreds of partners. The drill will be held statewide annually on the third Thursday of October, and is organized by the Earthquake Country Alliance ( The 2012 Great Washington ShakeOut earthquake drill will be at 10:18 a.m. on October 18.

A key aspect of the ShakeOut is the integration of comprehensive science-based earthquake research and the lessons learned from decades of social science research about why people get prepared. The result is a “teachable moment” on par with having an actual earthquake (often followed by increased interest in getting ready for earthquakes). ShakeOut creates the sense of urgency that is needed for people, organizations, and communities to get prepared, to practice what to do to be safe, and to learn what plans need to be improved.

Not just any drill will accomplish this; it needs to be big. It must inspire communities to come together. It must involve children at school and parents at work, prompting conversations at home. It must allow every organization, city, etc., to make it their own event.

The 2012 ShakeOut drill will be the largest preparedness event in U.S. history. To participate, go to and pledge your family, school, business, or organization’s participation in the drill. Registered participants will receive information on how to plan their drill and how to create a dialogue with others about earthquake preparedness. All organizers ask is that participants register (so they can be counted and receive communications), and at the minimum practice "drop, cover, and hold on" at the specified time. It is only a five-minute commitment for something that can save your life. It all begins with registering, which is free and open to everyone.

For more information, visit

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

It's Almost Time for the Great Washington ShakeOut!

In an earthquake, you may only have seconds to protect yourself before strong shaking knocks you down, or something falls on you. Practice quake-safe actions at 10:18 a.m. on October 18. Why? Because when the adrenaline kicks in, you may not act safely if you haven’t practiced the Drop, Cover, Hold On drill before that moment. Don’t wait until the shaking – register at

Invite everyone who matters to you to register and ShakeOut on October 18 at 10:18 a.m. Everyone is welcome to participate - individuals, families, businesses, schools, government agencies and organizations!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Wind and Rain in store

The Portland National Weather Service issued a Special Weather Statement this morning regarding the wind and rain expected for this afternoon and overnight tonight.  We could possibly be seeing up to an inch of rain and gusty winds, up to 30-40 mph. 

Friday, October 12, 2012

What do we mean when we say Cascadia Subduction Zone?

From time to time you will hear newscasters, journalists and emergency management types talk about the Cascadia Subduction Zone and the resulting giant earthquakes that could come as a result of moving plates.  But what does that mean to you?  Take a look at the picture of where the Cascadia Subduction Zone is located in relation to our area.  If you are a subscriber and can't see the picture, click here.

You can read more about the Cascadia Subduction Zone here.  Basically, the chances for our area to experience a very large, very damaging earthquake get greater every year.   No one knows exactly what to expect, but the good news is you can still prepare for it!  Get more info about earthquake preparedness on our website at or

Are You Ready for the Zombie Apocalypse?

This Saturday the Zombie Apocalypse will descend upon Longview.  A huge game of "zombie tag" will take over downtown Longview from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

You can pre-register for the game at DIY Party Supplies at 1318 Commerce Ave for $8.50 or you can register at the event for $13.50.  ALL participants must bring two cans of food for the food bank.  You can get "zombie-fied" by a facepainter before the event! 

More info can be found from the Daily News here:

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Ready for Rain?

Remember that wet stuff that used to constantly fall from the sky?  Yeah, it's coming back.  We had a glorious late summer and early fall, but now it's time to get back to our Pacific Northwest reality.  The Portland National Weather Service has this to say: 

Significant weather change expected Friday and into the weekend.  Rain will return to SW Washington and NW Oregon Friday as the first in a series of fall fronts moves into the region.  The first frontal system will give light amounts of rain to the area with rain continuing at times on Saturday. 

A subtropical moisture connection will feed additional moisture across Western Washington and Oregon Sunday and Monday.  It is likely that the Pacific Northwest will see heavy rain from these systems.  However, many of the details are uncertain at this time.  The snow level will remain above all but the highest mountain peaks.
Heavy rain is most likely in Western Washington and not as likely farther south in Oregon.  There is a possibility that rainfall totals for Friday through Monday could reach as high as 5-8 inches in the south Washington Cascades and North Oregon Coast Range with around 2 inches in the valleys.  If the jet stream is a little farther north, rainfall will be much less.

So, it's probably going to rain.  Time to dust off the coat and find the umbrella.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Columbus Day Storm

Do you remember the Columbus Day Storm of 1962?  Were you not born yet, but would like to know more about it?  Have you never heard of it and want to be in the know?  Check out this great blog post from CRESA, including a documentary from the Oregonian.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Urgent Fire Weather Message from National Weather Service

From Portland National Weather Service



A Red Flag Warning remains in effect until 6:00 p.m. this evening due to strong east winds and low relative humidity for our area.  With extremely dry forest fuels, this combination of gusty east winds and very low humidity will create extremely favorable conditions for new fire growth and for rapid fire spread.
A Red Flag Warning means that critical fire weather conditions are either occurring now or will occur shortly. 

The area burn ban remains in effect until further notice, no flames with the exception of BBQ's.  Please use caution with any open flame or anything that could create a spark. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Great Washington Shake-Out!

It's almost time for the Great Washington Shake-Out--the state's largest Drop, Cover, Hold earthquake drill!  This event will be on October 18th at 10:18 a.m.  It's so easy to participate, all YOU have to do is stop whatever you are doing at 10:18 a.m. and DROP, COVER and HOLD just as you would do in an earthquake.  For more information on what to do or how to spread the word, click here:

Why should you participate? Here is what the Great Washington Shake-Out website has to say:  While earthquake hazard varies from region to region, most of Washington is prone to earthquakes. You could be anywhere when an earthquake strikes: at home, at work, at school or even on vacation.

What we do now will determine our quality of life after our next big earthquake. Are you prepared to survive and recover quickly?

The Great Washington ShakeOut is a statewide opportunity to practice how to be safer during big earthquakes: "Drop, Cover and Hold On." The ShakeOut has also been organized to encourage you, your community, your school, or your organization to review and update emergency preparedness plans and supplies, and to secure your space in order to prevent damage and injuries.