The only difference between adventure and disaster is preparedness.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Food Safety Following a Power Outage


Loss of power can jeopardize the safety of the food stored in your home refrigerator or freezer. In the event of a blackout, do you know how to determine if your food is safe to eat? The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers tips to minimize the potential loss of food and lower the risk of foodborne illness.

Before a blackout:

·        Gather an emergency supply of shelf-stable food, packaged foods, boxed or canned milk, bottle water, and canned goods;

·        Have coolers and frozen gel packs on hand to keep refrigerated food cold if the power goes out longer than four hours; and

·        Keep freezer items close together—this helps the food stay cold longer.

Bacteria in food grow rapidly at temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. The USDA instructs setting your refrigerator at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. If the power is out for less than four hours and the refrigerator door is kept closed, your food should be safe.

Following a blackout:

·        Discard any perishable food items such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and leftovers that have been exposed to temperatures above 40 degrees Fahrenheit for two hours or more;

·        Use a food thermometer to test the temperature of food – never taste it!  You can’t rely on appearance and odor to determine whether food is safe; and

·        Discard any items in the refrigerator that have come into contact with raw meat, seafood, or poultry juices.

Power outages can occur anywhere at any time of the year. Make sure you and your family are prepared and know what to do to avoid getting sick.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Windy Weekend

The National Weather Service predicts strong east to northeast winds to develop Saturday night and continue into Monday across SW Washington and NW Oregon.  The winds will increase late Saturday and reach their peak late Saturday night then decrease Monday afternoon. 

Gusts could reach up to 40 mph in the Portland and Vancouver area and farther north into Cowlitz County at times.


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

QuakeSmart for Business


“With earthquakes, it’s not a matter of if; it’s a matter of when.” This video message from the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH) illustrates the unpredictability of earthquakes and the impact tremors can have on businesses. Therefore, it is important for business owners to take steps to the ensure safety of their employees and customers.

FEMA and FLASH created the QuakeSmart Community Resilience Program to walk business owners through a step-by-step process to:

·        Identify their risk by completing the “Back to Business” self-assessment;

·        Develop a plan to reduce potential injury and property damage (mitigation); and

·        Take action using the QuakeSmart Business Toolkit.

In addition, the program allows employers to apply for recognition as a member of the QuakeSmart Community. Benefits of participating in the program include:

·        A QuakeSmart Resilient Community Member window cling to announce to customers and employees that you’ve taken steps to secure your business;

·        A QuakeSmart Resilient Community Member web badge to display on your company website; and

·        A sample news release to announce your participation in the QuakeSmart Community Resilience Program.

The Small Business Association estimates that 75 percent of organizations without a continuity plan will fail within three years of a disaster. Get prepared by joining the QuakeSmart Community Resilience Program today! Employers can also find valuable information in the America’s PrepareAthon! Prepare Your Organization for an Earthquake Playbook, which provides businesses with tools and resources to support preparedness discussions, tabletop exercises, and more.   

Monday, February 9, 2015

Lots of Rain on the Way

From National Weather Service:

The next storm system arrives Monday as strong low pressure off the California coast moves toward Western Oregon, bringing gusty winds and moderate to heavy rain through Monday. The latest forecast guidance indicates winds will not be quite as strong as the Saturday morning storm. Expect gusts to 55 mph for the Coast and exposed locations in the Coast Range, with gusts to 40 mph in the Willamette Valley. Rainfall will continue through Monday night, with showers and snow levels down to 4000 feet Tuesday. Periods of heavy rainfall Sunday night through Monday evening will cause river rises, especially for the central Oregon Coastal rivers and the central and south Willamette Valley; however, no flooding is currently forecast.



Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Rain and wind on the way

National Weather Service says there is rain and wind in store from tonight until this weekend.  While there will be periodic heavy rains, it won't be enough to cause flooding concerns.