The only difference between adventure and disaster is preparedness.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Flood Watch in Effect for NW Oregon and SW Washington

The National Weather Service has issued a Flood Watch in effect from Saturday afternoon through Monday afternoon for SW WA and NW OR.

From National Weather Service:

Confidence continues to increase that a classic atmospheric river type precipitation event will set up over the Pacific Northwest over the weekend and continue into early Monday.  A deep and moist westerly flow is expected to develop Saturday morning and strengthen later Saturday and Sunday. 

The I-5 Corridor and Lower Columbia Valley can expect around 1-2 inches of rain on Saturday and an additional 1-3 inches on Sunday.  The Cowlitz River is projected to reach close to flood stage, but not bankfull. 

Cowlitz County DEM will update the weather/flooding status as more information becomes available.

Terms to know

FLOOD WATCH means there is a potential for flooding based on current forecasts.  Please monitor later forecasts and be alert for possible flood warnings. 

FLOOD STAGE is the point at which the water level in a stream may cause damage to structures. It may be below bankfull stage if structures are located in a floodway.

BANKFULL is the point at which the water level in a stream overtops the banks and spreads out onto the floodplain.

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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Potential for Flooding This Weekend

Early weekend projections from the National Weather Service indicate a potential for flooding Saturday night though Monday for NW Oregon and SW Washington rivers.

A storm system developing over the Pacific is expected to bring heavy rain to the Pacific NW Saturday evening through Sunday.  As of now, it looks like the heaviest rain will be in the N. Oregon Coast Range and the N. Oregon and S. Washington Cascades, but the forecast remains uncertain.
Rainfall amounts are currently projected to be around 2 to 5 inches for our area.  There is a lot of uncertainty in the forecast, so stay tuned for more information.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Traveling for the Holidays?

If you are traveling by car this holiday season, be sure you are prepared for anything!


In case you are stranded, keep a kit of emergency supplies in your car. This kit should include:
  • Jumper cables
  • Flashlights and extra batteries
  • First aid kit and necessary medications in case you are away from home for a prolonged time
  • Food items containing protein such as nuts and energy bars; canned fruit and a portable can opener
  • Water for each person and pet in your car
  • AM/FM radio to listen to traffic reports and emergency messages
  • Cat litter or sand for better tire traction
  • Shovel
  • Ice scraper
  • Warm clothes, gloves, hat, sturdy boots, jacket and an extra change of clothes
  • Blankets or sleeping bags
Also consider:
  • A fully-charged cell phone and phone charger
  • Flares or reflective triangle
  • Baby formula and diapers if you have a small child
Be prepared for an emergency by keeping your gas tank full and if you find yourself stranded, be safe and stay in your car, put on your flashers, call for help and wait until it arrives.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

High Wind Warning

The High Wind Warning for Cowlitz County will be in effect from late morning to 10pm Thursday. The winds should peak between 3pm and 8pm. Sustained winds of approximately 40 mph are expected with gusts 55-60 mph. Be prepared for power outages, trees down, etc. Periods of intense rain could happen with this storm, but overall precipitation amounts are not expected to be out of the ordinary.

Charge your cellphones and keep a flashlight handy!

Holiday Fire Safety

Did you know that 2 out of every 5 home decoration fires start with candles? Check out these winter holiday safety tips from the National Fire Protection Association and practice your family emergency plan over the holidays:

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Holiday Safety Tips!

Yuletide Lighting

Hanging holiday lights can be a fun family activity and adds a festive touch to your home. But if you’re not careful, yuletide illuminations can also increase your risk of a home fire. According to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), one of every three home holiday tree fires is caused by electrical problems. As you deck the halls this season, remember to be fire smart. Here are some tips from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to keep your decorations from going up in smoke:  

·       Whether it’s indoors or outside, use only lights that have been tested for safety. Make sure your lights have a label from an independent testing laboratory;

·       Check each set of lights, new or old, for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections. Discard damaged sets or replace them before using;

·       Use no more than three standard-size sets of lights per single extension cord; and 

·       Turn off lights on trees and other decorations before going to bed.

Don’t let disaster ruin your festivities! Learn more ways to “Put a Freeze on Winter Holiday Fires” with USFA’s colorful infographic and give the gift of safety by sharing this important information with family and friends.