The only difference between adventure and disaster is preparedness.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

6.2 Earthquake Reported near Anchorage, AK

From Northwest Cable News

A 6.2 earthquake shook parts of southern Alaska on Thursday morning, but its depth suggested the impact on the small towns nearby could be modest.
The quake, estimated at a 6.2 magnitude, was centered 60 miles west northwest of Willow, Alaska, and 81 miles northwest of Anchorage.

The quake struck at a depth of 63 miles. In contrast, the magnitude 6 earthquake near Napa, Calif. was at a depth of 7 miles.

Alaska is the most seismically active U.S. state. Many Alaskans fear a quake along the lines of the 1964 "Good Friday" earthquake, which caused 139 deaths, mostly from a related tsunami.
The town of Willow, with a population of 2,300 people, might be familiar to some outside Alaska because it's reportedly the source of name of Willow Palin, daughter of former candidate for vice president Sarah Palin.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

It Doesn't Cost A Lot To Be Prepared!

--By Darryl J. Madden, Director of the Ready Campaign

It is no secret that many families and individuals are looking to cut back on spending.  But with the frequency of disaster, both natural and manmade, can you afford not to be prepared?  Preparedness doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg.

September is National Preparedness Month, and we are asking you to help your family and friends prepare for whatever may come.  Here are a few tips on how you can protect those that matter to you without spending a fortune:

Make A Plan.  Work with your family and neighbors to make an emergency plan for the types of disasters that affect your area.  Make sure everyone in your family understands where to go and what to do in case of an emergency.  You can download Family Emergency Plan templates at

Update Contact Information.  Having accurate records for family, friends and neighbors will help you stay in contact and possibly help those in need.  Make sure updated contact information is posted in visible places throughout your house and workplace.

Check Your Policy.  Review your insurance policy annually and make any necessary changes--renters, too!  When a disaster strikes, you want to know that your coverage will get you back on your feet.

Make a Ready List.  You may not need all of the items in ready-made preparedness kits.  Choose the essentials that fit your needs and budget.  Don't forget to keep supplies at work and in your car.  Sample Ready Lists can be found at, use these as inspiration.

Plan Your Purchases.  You can save money by thinking ahead.  Don't buy preparedness items just before a storm when they're expensive and supplies will be in high demand.  Buy items at the end of the season when you can get better deals.

Shop Sales.  Shop at sales and used goods stores.  Buy items throughout the year, instead of all at once, and you won't notice the cost as much.

Make Sure it Keeps.  Store water in a safe containers.  You don't need to buy bottled water, just make sure your water containers are disinfected, airtight and stored in a cool, dark place.

Request a Gift.  We all get things we just don't need.  Suggest preparedness supplies as gifts from your friends and family.  It just might save your life!

Trade a Night Out.  Trade one night out to fund your 72-hour kit.  Taking a family of 4 to the movies can cost upwards of $80.  Just one night of staying in could fund your Ready kit.

The best tip is to start now.  Take small steps toward preparedness and before you know it, you will be ready!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Welcome Fall!

Well, Autumn sure is in a hurry!  From the National Weather Service:
The first organized storm system of the season for NW OR and SW WA arrives tonight. An early fall storm system will bring a drastic change in weather overnight into Wednesday.  The main weather impact will be widespread moderate to heavy rain that will spread inland from the coast tonight.

Rainfall totals by the end of the day Wednesday are expected to be mainly between half an inch to one and a half inches.  This may result in some ponding of water in low lying areas.

Motorists are urged to use caution on the roadways.  Given the long period of dry weather that has preceded this front, residual oil and grease on the road surfaces can become slick.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Food For Your Emergency Kit

Welcome to week three of National Preparedness Month! This week we’re zeroing in on how to build an emergency kit.  One of the most important parts of your emergency kit is food!  When packing for an emergency kit, you need to consider what kinds of food to pack and how much. Thankfully, offers a few tips on how to stock your kit with the food you will need:

·       Have at least a three-day supply of non-perishable foods; peanut butter, protein bars and ready-to-eat canned fruits and vegetables are a few examples;

·       Choose foods that your family will actually eat so no one goes hungry;

·       Remember to pack foods that do not conflict with anyone’s dietary needs;

·       Avoid foods that will make you thirsty; and

·       Pack salt-free crackers, whole grain cereals and canned foods.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Want to Help Out Cowlitz Dive Rescue?

Cowlitz County Dive Rescue is participating in the GiveMore 24 fundraising event today.  The funds we raise will be used for member training and the specialized gear our member use, the completion of the trailer we will use for swift water call, and having the dive gear serviced.   Please use the link below to donate.
CCDR is a non-profit, 100% volunteer-based, donation supported organization in SouthWest Washington that works with the law enforcement and fire agencies. We are called to multiple counties.  We also participate in educational activities, such as school assemblies, Kid’s Safety Days, etc.

Please use the link below to donate to our cause.   Any amount is appreciated. 
Cowlitz County Dive Rescue is participating in the GiveMore 24 fundraising event today.  The funds we raise will be used for member training and the specialized gear our member use, the completion of the trailer we will use for swift water call, and having the dive gear serviced.   Please use the link below to donate.

Safeguarding Your Savings



So, you are familiar with the hazards most likely to impact your community, and you have an emergency kit, an evacuation plan, and a family communications plan. You have even taken action to prepare your pets. But what about your finances? Pre-disaster financial planning is essential to help you and your family maintain financial stability in the event of an emergency. You should have a plan to pay your bills and access important records and accounts after a disaster, when mail services may be delayed, original documentation may be damaged or lost, or Internet access may not be available. It is also a good idea to have cash on hand to cover your expenses in case banks are also impacted by disaster. Protecting your financial records also facilitates the process of applying for income-based assistance following a disaster.

Take some time to review a few of these tips on financial preparedness:

·       Place important documents in a safe space. You can use the Safeguarding Your Valuables activity and Emergency Financial First Aid Kit to help get you started.  These documents provide the basics of how to identify valuables and what low-cost options are available to protect them.

·       Use the FEMA phone application to access disaster preparedness, response and recovery resources including disaster assistance.

·       Enroll in Go Direct to minimize disruptions in receiving any federal benefits you may be entitled.

·       Explore other resources to help you get started including Recovery After Disaster: The Family Financial Toolkit and the Disaster Recovery Log which can help your family get back on their feet after a disaster.

The Financial Literacy Education Commission can help you increase the financial preparedness of your household, workplace, and community. We encourage you to use the tools listed above or visit Start early on being financially prepared!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Safe on My Own

Safe on My Own is a fantastic class through Longview Parks and Rec that teaches 8-12 year olds how to handle being home alone, basic first aid, personal safety, internet safety, sibling care and more.  The next offering is September 20th from 9:00 a.m. to noon in Longview.  For cost and location information, contact Longview Parks and Rec at (360) 442-5400.

Free Disaster Preparedness Presentation

Do you want more information on how to be better prepared for disasters?  Join us on Tuesday, September 16th at 6:30 p.m. at Calvary Chapel, 902 Ash Street in Kelso for a FREE disaster preparedness presentation.  Topics include food and water storage, how to create a kit, what to prepare for and also enter to win disaster supplies!

For more information contact Jennifer at (360) 577-3130 or email

Monday, September 8, 2014

ABC's of School Emergency Planning

It’s September once again and that means children across the country are heading back to school!  Do you know the emergency plan at your child's school? What about the steps the school will take to share pertinent information with you? As a parent, it’s important to understand what will happen after a natural disaster or emergency at your child’s school.

Here are the ABC’s of what you should know about a school’s Emergency Operations Plan (EOP):

A.    Always ensure your school has up-to-date evacuation plans, emergency kits and contact sheets. Ensure your school’s nurse has your child’s medical information and medications on hand. Ask your child’s teacher to walk you through their evacuation plan and show you their emergency kits.

B.     Be Prepared. Provide your school with your cell phone number, work phone number, and contact information for your relatives. If your child is old enough to carry a cell phone, make sure they know how to text you or a designated contact in case of an emergency. Also, be prepared to have a conversation with your child about emergencies and hazards.

C.     Coordinate with your child’s teachers and school officials to set a plan in place if there is not one. Guide them to for more resources and encourage the school to perform school wide drills and exercises as part of America’s PrepareAthon!

These ABCs, tools and resources are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to your child’s at-school safety. For more information on how to get started visit

Brush up on First Aid/CPR

Learning First Aid/CPR skills is one of the best ways to be prepared! There will be a First Aid/CPR/AED class held on Saturday, Sept 13th from 9:00 a.m. to noon in Longview through the Parks and Rec department. For cost and location information, contact Longview Parks and Rec at 442-5400.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Home Hazard Hunt

To prevent injuries, take the time to secure your space.  Secure items that might fall, fly or slide in an earthquake (see  Imagine if the room was picked up and shaken up and down and side to side and then determine what items would be thrown around.  Periodically review the locations where you spend time--your home, workplace, or school--to look for potential hazards and secure them.

1.  Cabinet doors can fly open allowing contents to crash to the floor; secure them with latches.

2.  Objects such as framed photos, books, lamps, and other items you keep on shelves and tables can become flying hazards.  Secure them with hooks, adhesives, or earthquake putty to keep them in place.  Move heavy or breakable items to lower shelves.

3.  Mirrors, picture frames and other hanging items should be secured to the wall with closed hooks or earthquake putty.  Do not hang heavy objects over beds, sofas or any place you may be seated.

4.  Electronics such as computers, televisions and microwave ovens are heavy and expensive to replace.  Secure them with flexible nylon straps.

5.  Bookcases, filing cabinets, china cabinets and other tall furniture should be anchored to wall studs or masonry (not drywall).  Use flexible straps that allow them to sway without falling to the floor.

6.  Secure your water heater, refrigerator and other major appliances with the appropriate straps screwed into the wall studs or masonry to help keep them from falling over and rupturing gas or electric connections.  Gas appliances should have flexible connectors to absorb the shaking while reducing the risk of fire.

These adhesives, straps, hooks, latches and putties are available at most hardware and home improvement stores as well as online retailers. 

Friday, September 5, 2014

Are you Tech Ready?


Keep your contacts updated across all of your channels, including phone, email and social media. This will make it easy to reach out to the right people quickly to get information and supply updates. Consider creating a group list serve of your top contacts.
  • Learn how to send updates via text and internet from your mobile phone to your contacts and social channels in case voice communications are not available. Text messages and the internet often have the ability to work in the event of a phone service disruption.
  • Keep extra batteries for your phone in a safe place or purchase a solar-powered or hand crank charger. These chargers are good emergency tools to keep your laptop and other small electronics working in the event of a power outage. If you own a car, purchase a car phone charger because you can charge your phone if you lose power at your home.
  • Program "In Case of Emergency" (ICE) contacts into your cell phone so emergency personnel can contact those people for you if you are unable to use your phone. Let your ICE contacts know that they are programmed into your phone and inform them of any medical issues or other special needs you may have.
  • If you have a traditional landline (non-broadband or VOIP) phone, keep at least one non-cordless receiver in your home because it will work even if you lose power.
  • If you are evacuated and have call-forwarding on your home phone, forward your home phone number to your cell phone number.
  • If you do not have a cell phone, keep a prepaid phone card to use if needed during or after a disaster.
  • Prepare a family contact sheet. This should include at least one out-of-town contact that may be better able to reach family members in an emergency.
  • Have a battery-powered or hand-cranked radio or television available (with spare batteries).
The following are additional tips when making phone calls and using your smartphone during or after a disaster:
  • Keep all phone calls brief. If you need to use a phone, try to convey only vital information to emergency personnel and/or family.
  • If you are unsuccessful in completing a call using your cell phone, wait ten seconds before redialing to help reduce network congestion.
  • Conserve your cell phone battery by reducing the brightness of your screen, placing your phone in airplane mode, and closing apps you are not using that draw power, unless you need to use the phone.
  • If you lose power, you can charge your cell phone in your car. Just be sure your car is in a well-ventilated place (remove it from the garage) and do not go to your car until any danger has passed. You can also listen to your car radio for important news alerts.
  • If you do not have a hands-free device in your car, stop driving or pull over to the side of the road before making a call. Do not text on a cell phone, talk, or "tweet" without a hands free device while driving.
  • Immediately following a disaster, resist using your mobile device to watch streaming videos, download music or videos, or play video games, all of which can add to network congestion. Limiting use of these services can help potentially life-saving emergency calls get through to 9-1-1.
  • For non-emergency communications, use text messaging, e-mail, or social media instead of making voice calls on your cell phone to avoid tying up voice networks. Data-based services like texts and emails are less likely to experience network congestion. You can also use social media to post your status to let family and friends know you are okay. In addition to Facebook and Twitter, you can use resources such as the American Red Cross's Safe and Well program.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

It's National Preparedness Month!

September is designated as National Disaster Preparedness Month.  Today, take a minute to make sure that you have a communications plan to reconnect with family following a disaster.  Click here for more information: