The only difference between adventure and disaster is preparedness.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Excessive Heat Warning


The National Weather Service has issued an Excessive Heat Watch for the Southwest Washington and Portland Metro areas.

 

...EXCESSIVE HEAT WATCH IN EFFECT FROM FRIDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH

SUNDAY EVENING FOR THE INLAND AREAS OF SOUTHWEST WASHINGTON AND

NORTHWEST OREGON FROM THE COAST RANGE TO THE CASCADES...

 

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN PORTLAND HAS ISSUED AN EXCESSIVE

HEAT WATCH...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM FRIDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH

SUNDAY EVENING.

 

* TIMING: FRIDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH SUNDAY.

 

* TEMPERATURE: TEMPERATURES WILL REACH 95 TO 100 ON FRIDAY... BE

  AROUND 100 ON SATURDAY...AND BE IN THE 90S WITH MUGGY

  CONDITIONS ON SUNDAY.

 

* Includes Cowlitz County

 

* IMPACTS: THIS IS ABNORMALLY EARLY FOR A HEAT WAVE OF THIS

  MAGNITUDE. BE SURE TO AVOID EXERTION DURING THE HEAT OF THE

  DAY...AND TO STAY HYDRATED WITH CLEAR LIQUIDS. AUTOMOBILES...

  WHEN LEFT IN DIRECT SUNLIGHT CAN HEAT UP RAPIDLY TO TEMPERATURES

  HARMFUL OVER EVEN DEADLY TO PETS AND CHILDREN. USE CAUTION NEAR

  AREA RIVERS...AND BE SURE TO WEAR A LIFE JACKET.

 

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

 

TAKE EXTRA PRECAUTIONS IF YOU WORK OR SPEND TIME OUTSIDE. WHEN

POSSIBLE...RESCHEDULE STRENUOUS ACTIVITIES TO EARLY MORNING OR

EVENING. KNOW THE SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF HEAT EXHAUSTION AND HEAT

STROKE. WEAR LIGHT WEIGHT AND LOOSE FITTING CLOTHING WHEN

POSSIBLE AND DRINK PLENTY OF WATER.

 

TO REDUCE RISK DURING OUTDOOR WORK THE OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND

HEALTH ADMINISTRATION RECOMMENDS SCHEDULING FREQUENT REST BREAKS

IN SHADED OR AIR CONDITIONED ENVIRONMENTS. ANYONE OVERCOME BY

HEAT SHOULD BE MOVED TO A COOL AND SHADED LOCATION. HEAT STROKE

IS AN EMERGENCY...CALL 9 1 1.

 

TO HELP STAY COOL AND CONSERVE ELECTRICITY DURING A HEAT WAVE...

KEEP BLINDS OR SHADES CLOSED DURING THE DAY. WAIT UNTIL THE

COOLER TIMES OF DAY TO RUN DISHWASHERS AND CLOTHES DRYERS. INSTEAD

OF USING A STOVE...CONSIDER USING A MICROWAVE OVEN OR OUTDOOR

GRILL FOR COOKING. IF YOU HAVE AIR CONDITIONING...TURN THE

THERMOSTAT UP A FEW DEGREES WHEN YOU ARE NOT AT HOME.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The heat is on!

The temp is rising! From the National Weather Service: The hottest weather of the year so far is expected to arrive at the end of the week and continue through the weekend.

High temperatures are expected to reach the 90's by Friday. It looks like the hottest day will be Saturday which could see temps of 95-100.

So, in summary, HYDRATION, SUN BLOCK, LIFEJACKETS!!

Monday, June 22, 2015

I'm on a BOAT!

From the Washington State Injury and Violence Prevention Guide, Jan 2013

Washington State has one of the highest numbers of registered boats in the nation.  Boating carries risks for injury.  The 2010 Coast Guard national report shows that in the United States:

*  There were 4,967 boating accidents
*  There were 3,474 boating injuries
*  The fatality rate was 5.4 deaths per 100,000 registered recreational vessels
*  Almost 3/4 of all fatal boating deaths were due to drowning; of those, 88% were not wearing a life jacket
*  21 children under the age of 13 lost their lives while boating in 2010, 42% drowned

It is estimated that 85% of Washington State's boating-related drowning deaths could have been prevented if the person had been wearing a life jacket.  In 2011, alcohol was involved in 20% of all reported boating fatalities.  In Washington in 2011, there were 15 boating-related deaths and 54 injuries reported to the Coast Guard.

Parents of children who do not wear life jackets commonly cite their own proximity to the child and to the life jacket, and the child's swimming ability as common reasons for not requiring their child to wear a life jacket. 

Children reported that they did not wear life jackets for the following reasons:

*  They could swim (29%)
*  They could grab the life jacket quickly if they needed it (27%)
*  There was no life jacket available (18%)

Young children should wear life jackets whenever they are around deep water, such as on a dock or on a beach.  The majority of drowning incidents occur from small water craft.  Washington State's Boating Safety Regulation states:  children 12 years of age and under are required to wear US Coast Guard approved life jackets on boats less than 19 feet.  The injury prevention community recommends that ALL passengers and operators wear life jackets on boats, canoes, kayaks, and on rafts less than 16 feet. 

Monday, June 8, 2015

It's a Hot One!

From Portland National Weather Service: Near record highs will continue for much of NW Oregon and SW Washington today, with only slight cooling expected Tuesday. Temperatures will be in the low to mid 90's today.

Keep in mind that the rivers are very cold due to seasonal snowmelt!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Water Safety Facts from the CDC

From http://www.cdc.gov/HomeandRecreationalSafety/Water-Safety/waterinjuries-factsheet.html

Who is most at risk?

  • Males: Nearly 80% of people who die from drowning are male.2
  • Children: Children ages 1 to 4 have the highest drowning rates. In 2009, among children 1 to 4 years old who died from an unintentional injury, more than 30% died from drowning.1,2  Among children ages 1 to 4, most drownings occur in home swimming pools.2 Drowning is responsible for more deaths among children 1-4 than any other cause except congenital anomalies (birth defects).1 Among those 1-14, fatal drowning remains the second-leading cause of unintentional injury-related death behind motor vehicle crashes.1
  • Minorities: Between 2005 and 2009, the fatal unintentional drowning rate for African Americans was significantly higher than that of whites across all ages.2 The disparity is widest among children 5-14 years old. The fatal drowning rate of African American children ages 5 to 14 is almost three times that of white children in the same age range.2 The disparity is most pronounced in swimming pools; African American children 5-19 drown in swimming pools at rates 5.5 times higher than those of whites.  This disparity is greatest among those 11-12 years where African Americans drown in swimming pools at rates 10 times those of whites.5

    Factors such as access to swimming pools, the desire or lack of desire to learn how to swim, and choosing water-related recreational activities may contribute to the racial differences in drowning rates. Available rates are based on population, not on participation. If rates could be determined by actual participation in water-related activities, the disparity in minorities’ drowning rates compared to whites would be much greater.6

What factors influence drowning risk?

Photo: People in a raft with safety equipment
The main factors that affect drowning risk are lack of swimming ability, lack of barriers to prevent unsupervised water access, lack of close supervision while swimming, location, failure to wear life jackets, alcohol use, and seizure disorders.
  • Lack of Swimming Ability: Many adults and children report that they can’t swim.7,8  Research has shown that participation in formal swimming lessons can reduce the risk of drowning among children aged 1 to 4 years.9,10
  • Lack of Barriers: Barriers, such as pool fencing, prevent young children from gaining access to the pool area without caregivers’ awareness.11  A four-sided isolation fence (separating the pool area from the house and yard) reduces a child’s risk of drowning 83% compared to three-sided property-line fencing.12
  • Lack of Close Supervision: Drowning can happen quickly and quietly anywhere there is water (such as bathtubs, swimming pools, buckets), and even in the presence of lifeguards.13,14
  • Location: People of different ages drown in different locations. For example, most children ages 1-4 drown in home swimming pools.2 The percentage of drownings in natural water settings, including lakes, rivers and oceans, increases with age.2 More than half of fatal and nonfatal drownings among those 15 years and older (57% and 57% respectively) occurred in natural water settings.2
  • Failure to Wear Life Jackets: In 2010, the U.S. Coast Guard received reports for 4,604 boating incidents; 3,153 boaters were reported injured, and 672 died. Most (72%) boating deaths that occurred during 2010 were caused by drowning, with 88% of victims not wearing life jackets.15,16
  • Alcohol Use: Among adolescents and adults, alcohol use is involved in up to 70% of deaths associated with water recreation, almost a quarter of ED visits for drowning, and about one in five reported boating deaths.2,15,17 Alcohol influences balance, coordination, and judgment, and its effects are heightened by sun exposure and heat.17
  • Seizure Disorders: For persons with seizure disorders, drowning is the most common cause of unintentional injury death, with the bathtub as the site of highest drowning risk.18

What has research found?

  • Swimming skills help. Taking part in in formal swimming lessons reduces the risk of drowning among children aged 1 to 4 years.9,10 However, many people don’t have basic swimming skills. A CDC study7 about self-reported swimming abilityfound that:
    • Younger adults reported greater swimming ability than older adults.
    • Self-reported ability increased with level of education.
    • Among racial groups, African Americans reported the most limited swimming ability.
    • Men of all ages, races, and educational levels consistently reported greater swimming ability than women.
  • Seconds count—learn CPR. CPR performed by bystanders has been shown to save lives and improve outcomes in drowning victims. The more quickly CPR is started, the better the chance of improved outcomes.19
  • Life jackets can reduce risk. Potentially, half of all boating deaths might be prevented with the use of life jackets.16

Tips to help you stay safe in the water

  • Supervise When in or Around Water. Designate a responsible adult to watch young children while in the bath and all children swimming or playing in or around water. Supervisors of preschool children should provide “touch supervision”, be close enough to reach the child at all times. Because drowning occurs quickly and quietly, adults should not be involved in any other distracting activity (such as reading, playing cards, talking on the phone, or mowing the lawn) while supervising children, even if lifeguards are present.
  • Use the Buddy System. Always swim with a buddy. Select swimming sites that have lifeguards when possible.
  • Seizure Disorder Safety. If you or a family member has a seizure disorder, provide one-on-one supervision around water, including swimming pools. Consider taking showers rather than using a bath tub for bathing. Wear life jackets when boating.
  • Learn to Swim. Formal swimming lessons can protect young children from drowning. However, even when children have had formal swimming lessons, constant, careful supervision when children are in the water, and barriers, such as pool fencing to prevent unsupervised access, are still important.
  • Learn Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR). In the time it takes for paramedics to arrive, your CPR skills could save someone’s life.
  • Air-Filled or Foam Toys are not safety devices. Don’t use air-filled or foam toys, such as "water wings", "noodles", or inner-tubes, instead of life jackets. These toys are not life jackets and are not designed to keep swimmers safe.
  • Avoid Alcohol. Avoid drinking alcohol before or during swimming, boating, or water skiing. Do not drink alcohol while supervising children.
  • Don’t let swimmers hyperventilate before swimming underwater or try to hold their breath for long periods of time. This can cause them to pass out (sometimes called “shallow water blackout”) and drown.
  • Know how to prevent recreational water illnesses. For more information about illnesses from recreational water, see the More Information section below.
  • Know the local weather conditions and forecast before swimming or boating. Strong winds and thunderstorms with lightning strikes are dangerous.

If you have a swimming pool at home:

  • Install Four-Sided Fencing. Install a four-sided pool fence that completely separates the pool area from the house and yard. The fence should be at least 4 feet high. Use self-closing and self-latching gates that open outward with latches that are out of reach of children. Also, consider additional barriers such as automatic door locks and alarms to prevent access or alert you if someone enters the pool area.
  • Clear the Pool and Deck of Toys. Remove floats, balls and other toys from the pool and surrounding area immediately after use so children are not tempted to enter the pool area unsupervised.

If you are in and around natural water settings:

  • Use U.S. Coast Guard approved life jackets. This is important regardless of the distance to be traveled, the size of the boat, or the swimming ability of boaters; life jackets can reduce risk for weaker swimmers too.
  • Know the meaning of and obey warnings represented by colored beach flags. These may vary from one beach to another.
  • Watch for dangerous waves and signs of rip currents. Some examples are water that is discolored and choppy, foamy, or filled with debris and moving in a channel away from shore.
  • If you are caught in a rip current, swim parallel to shore. Once free of the current, swim diagonally toward shore.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Possibility of Thunderstorms Today

The National Weather Service predicts a chance of scattered thunderstorms and rain showers later this afternoon into the evening.  The thunderstorms and rain are expected mostly in the Cascade Range and Willamette Valley, but may head this way.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Law Enforcement Memorial Candlelight Vigil

The Cowlitz County Sheriff's Office is holding the 5th Annual Law Enforcement Memorial Candlelight Vigil to commemorate National Police Week.  The vigil will be held in the parking lot of the Kelso Longview Seventh Day Adventist Church at 77 Solomon Road in Kelso on May 14th from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.