The only difference between adventure and disaster is preparedness.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Emergency Repairs on SR 4

Per WA State Dept of Transportation (WSDOT): There will be emergency repairs on the bridge just west of Stella on State Route 4. This will cause a disruption in traffic, possibly up to 30 minute delays.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The Two Minute Rule

From FEMA.gov

Imagine being sound asleep in the middle of the night when suddenly your smoke alarms start blaring. Your house is filling with smoke. Do you know what to do? According to the American Red Cross (ARC), fire experts agree that people have about two minutes to escape a burning home.

With this in mind, ARC created the Home Fire Preparedness Campaign to reduce the number of fire related deaths and injuries by up to 25 percent over the next five years. You can be a part of this movement by having a fire escape plan that includes the following:

·        Make sure all members of the household know how to get out of every room in the house;

·        Pick a place outside where everyone can meet and be sure everyone knows where it is;

·        Practice waking up to smoke alarms, low crawling and meeting outside;

·        Practice your home fire drill until everyone in the house can do it in less than two minutes; and

·        Make sure everyone knows how to call '911'.

The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) says people are at greater risk for home fires during the winter months. Now that the season is here, use ARC’s printable worksheet and begin planning; then check out this video from the USFA to learn how to conduct a fire drill with your family today!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Flood Watch Issued for Cowlitz County

The Portland National Weather Service has issued a Flood Watch for Cowlitz County and the I-5 Corridor beginning this evening at 8:00 p.m. through Monday afternoon. Precipitation totals are anticipated to be 1.5-2.5 inches in our area. Given the current rainfall forecasts in this area, flooding of low lying areas is possible, as well as flooding of smaller creeks and poorly draining urban areas. A FLOOD WATCH means there is potential for flooding based on current forecasts.  

For more information, check out the updated forecasts from the National Weather Service.

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.

Check out our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/cowlitzcountydem

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!

Vehicle

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!