PO Box 101 ~ 300 Memorial Drive, South Bend, WA 98586
(360) 875-9340 Office ~ (360) 875-9341 EOC ~ (360) 875-9342 Fax

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Free CERT Training

South Bend, Washington – The Pacific County Emergency Management Agency (PCEMA) is offering a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) course in Raymond. Training is scheduled as follows:

Saturday, January 17, 2015 · 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Sunday, January 18, 2015 · 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Saturday, January 24, 2015 · 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Sunday, January 25, 2015 · 8:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

The course will be held at the Riverview Education Center (600 Washington Avenue, Raymond, WA 98586). Pre-registration is required and is limited to 24 participants.
The CERT program is an all-risk, all-hazard training. This valuable course is designed to help you protect yourself, your family, your neighbors, and your neighborhood in an emergency situation. CERT members receive 20 hours of initial training provided free of charge. The course is taught with classroom instruction for the first two days and practical exercises during the third day, the fourth day will be devoted to more advanced training and is optional. Participants under the age of 18 must have parent/guardian permission to attend. 

To register or for more information, contact Scott McDougall at (360) 875-9338 or email smcdougall@co.pacific.wa.us.  

Friday, December 19, 2014

National Weather Service Forecasting Significant Rainfall Totals, High Surf, and Unusually High Tides

South Bend, Washington – The National Weather Service in Portland has issued a flood watch for Pacific County effective from Saturday afternoon through Monday. The weather service forecasters are calling for a “classic atmospheric river” over southwest Washington beginning tomorrow and continuing through 4:00 a.m. Monday morning, with weekend rainfall totals that could reach as high as 6 inches on the coast and 12 inches in the Willapa Hills. A High Surf Advisory is also in effect until 4:00 p.m. on Saturday.

In addition, the coastal areas of Pacific County will also be experiencing a series of higher than normal astronomical tides that, when combined with the high rainfall totals may lead to an increased risk of tidal overflow (flooding caused by an abnormally high tide). High tide, in Raymond, will be at 11:33 a.m. on Saturday, 12:16 p.m. on Sunday, and 1:00 p.m. on Monday. 

The Pacific County Emergency Management Agency urges everyone to monitor the weather forecast and be alert for potential flooding throughout the weekend. Care should also be exercised by clam diggers taking advantage of this weekend’s clam tides. Waves will run further on the beach than normal and “sneaker” waves can be expected. Do not turn your back to the ocean, and exercise extreme caution.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Community Tsunami Inundation Forums Postponed

South Bend, Washington –Due to the High Wind Warning issued by the National Weather Service, and anticipated strength of the storm system forecast for Pacific County, the Pacific County Emergency Management Agency has postponed the Community Tsunami Inundation Forums previously scheduled for tomorrow.

The Community Tsunami Inundation Forums have been re-scheduled for Friday January 9th, from 2:00 p.m. until 4: p.m. at the Chautauqua Lodge 304 14th Street North in Long Beach, and 7:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. at Pacific County Fire District #1 26109 Ridge Avenue in Ocean Park. 

The forecast storm may cause tree damage, and may result in power disruptions.  A high wind warning means a hazardous high wind event is expected or occurring. Sustained wind speeds of at least 40 mph or gusts of 58 mph or more can lead to property damage. 

NWS Issues High Wind Warning for Thursday

South Bend, Washington –The National Weather Service has issued a high wind warning in effect from 9:00 a.m. tomorrow, December 11, 2014 until 10:00 p.m. tomorrow for the South Washington Coast. South wind gusts of 70 to 80 mph are forecast for coastal communities, with gusts 80 to 90 mph forecast for the beaches and headlands.  Winds are anticipated to increase rapidly during the late morning and early afternoon Thursday.

The winds may produce significant property damage to structures, as well as, other wind damage that might lead to power disruptions and travel difficulties, especially for large trucks and trailers and other high profile vehicles. Caution should be exercised at all times. This is the third and strongest storm of the three forecast to affect the Pacific County area this week.

A graphic of the forecast winds and timing follows:



Precautionary/Preparedness Actions: 

These winds will may cause tree damage, and may result in power disruptions.  A high wind warning means a hazardous high wind event is expected or occurring. Sustained wind speeds of at least 40 mph or gusts of 58 mph or more can lead to property damage.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

NWS Issues High Wind Warning for Wednesday

South Bend, Washington –The National Weather Service has issued a high wind warning in effect from 1:00 a.m. tomorrow, December 10, 2014 until 2:00 p.m. tomorrow for the South Washington Coast. South wind gusts of 55 to 65 mph are forecast for coastal communities, with gusts 65-75 mph forecast for the beaches and headlands.  Winds are anticipated to be the strongest between 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.  Wednesday. The winds may produce minor damage to structures, as well as, local wind damage that might lead to power disruptions and travel difficulties. Caution should be exercised at all times.

Precautionary/Preparedness Actions:

These winds will possibly cause tree damage, and may result in power disruptions.  A high wind warning means a hazardous high wind event is expected or occurring. Sustained wind speeds of at least 40 mph or gusts of 58 mph or more can lead to property damage.

Monday, December 8, 2014

NWS Issues High Wind Warning to Start Active Weather Week

South Bend, Washington – The National Weather has issued a series of warnings and watches for Pacific County.

Today Through Noon Tuesday
The National Weather Service has issued a high wind warning in effect from 8:00 p.m. today to noon tomorrow for the South Washington Coast. South winds of 30 to 40 mph with gusts to 60 mph are forecast for the beaches and headlands. The forecast for coastal communities is for south winds of 20 to 30 mph with gusts to 50 mph. Winds will begin increasing late this evening and overnight. The winds may produce local wind damage that might lead to power disruptions and travel difficulties. Caution should be exercised at all times.

Tuesday Evening Through Wednesday
A High Wind Watch has been issued from Tuesday evening through Wednesday morning for south wind 30-40 mph with local gusts to 75 mph on the coast, as well as, the Willapa Hills. A High Wind Watch means that there is potential for a hazardous high wind event.

Off Shore Wind Watch
In addition the National Weather Service has issued a watch for 10 nautical miles off the Washington Coast for possible hurricane force winds. This watch is for offshore areas only.

Precautionary/Preparedness Actions:

These winds will possibly cause tree damage, and may result in power disruptions.  A high wind warning means a hazardous high wind event is expected or occurring. Sustained wind speeds of at least 40 mph or gusts of 58 mph or more can lead to property damage.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Stay Connected with PCEMA

South Bend, Washington – On Sunday morning November 23rd, the National Weather Service issued a rare Tornado Warning. More than a week has gone by and the Pacific County Emergency Management Agency is still answering questions on behalf of residents who want to make sure they are prepared and notified when the next event happens. Here are some ways you can ensure you receive all the latest notifications.

·        Like the PCEMA Facebook page at www.facebook.com/pcema to follow frequent emergency management and preparedness dialogue.
·        Follow @PCEOCNews on Twitter to get updates from the Pacific County EOC when activated. If you are not signed up for Twitter, you can receive the same information via text message. Just text “follow PCEOCNews” to 40404.
·        Follow @PacificCountyEM on Twitter to get updates from Pacific County Emergency Management Deputy Director Scott McDougall
·        Receive the latest emergency management information, hazardous weather notices, and monthly newsletter by signing up for the PCEMA email list. Provide your name and email to sfritts@co.pacific.wa.us or smcdougall@co.pacific.wa.us and include the word “Subscribe” in the subject line.
·        Read the latest emergency management information on the PCEMA blog at www.pcema.blogspot.com.
·        Visit the PCEMA website at www.co.pacific.wa.us/pcema for valuable preparedness materials and to learn about hazards prone to Pacific County.
·        Register your wireless and/or VoIP phone numbers with the Pacific County Emergency Notification System by visiting http://co.pacific.wa.us/pcema/EmergNotifcation.htm. The system is already programmed with landline phone numbers from phone company records.

Please feel free to contact the PCEMA office at 360-875-9340 with any questions or comments.


Monday, November 24, 2014

Tornado Warning Response



 Pacific County Emergency Management Agency
After Action Report
Severe Thunderstorm and Subsequent Tornado Warning
November 23, 2014 8:52-10:15 a.m.

Summary

On Sunday November 23rd at 8:52 a.m., the National Weather Service issued a Special Weather Statement warning of a strong thunderstorm over the Long Beach Peninsula and the Northern Oregon Coast. This statement was followed by a Tornado Warning from the National Weather Service at 9:01 am. The area under warning included The City of Long Beach, Seaview, and the City of Ilwaco. Immediately upon receipt of the warning PCEMA/PACCOM Director Stephanie Fritts contacted Pacific County Dispatch to confirm that they had received the information and to confirm the accuracy of the information. She then had Pacific County Dispatch broadcast the information to all on duty law enforcement personnel and tone-alert and broadcast to all on and off-duty fire and EMS personnel and stations.  Sheriff Johnson was also notified. At 9:02 a.m., PCEMA Deputy Director Scott McDougall made contact with Director Fritts and was assigned the task of posting the warning to Social Media.  At 9:05 a.m. a pre-planned, automatic telephone and email warning was sent via the county’s emergency notification system to all residents in the immediate warning boundaries (see attached maps). 760 of 762 messages were successfully delivered.  The Facebook posting of this event was also quickly viewed by 900 individuals.

At 9:22 a.m. a second Tornado Warning was issued for the Naselle area, and the warning for the Long Beach area was allowed to expire at 9:30 a.m. Deputy Director McDougall was in the South Bend EOC at 9:24 a.m. and in communication with Director Fritts.  At 9:35 a.m., a pre-planned emergency notification campaign was initiated in the Naselle area, and 56 of 58 messages were successfully delivered.  At 9:40 a.m., PACCOM was informed that the thunderstorm that had prompted the warning had weakened and moved out of the area and would be allowed to expire at 9:45.  That information was immediately broadcast by PACCOM to all of law enforcement and fire and EMS agencies.

The severe thunderstorm that passed through the area, did not generate a tornado.  There were reports of very large hail in the Naselle area, and at this time there has been no reported damage as a result of this event.

Strengths

1.     Response from PCEMA and PACCOM was immediate and information was disseminated quickly and efficiently.  Messaging about the event was received on a broad scale.
2.     Excellent Communication between the Director and Deputy Director of PCEMA, as well as between the Director and PACCOM staff.  Although it proved unnecessary the EOC was staffed and ready to begin standing up in less than 30 minutes.
3.     The preplanned messages from Hyper-Reach worked well, and the public received notifications on many redundant levels.
4.     NOAA Weather Radios proved to be an excellent mechanism for indoor resident notification. 


Opportunities for Improvement

1.     Pacific County will have the capability of activating AHAB Sirens locally by the end of February. Discussion is needed to determine the best use of those sirens during short-notice events. Should they be used only in the affected areas or should all county sirens be activated?
2.     A policy should be developed for Emergency Alert System Broadcasts. Are those best issued by local authorities when the window of opportunity is so small?
3.     Hazard Awareness improvements should be made. The “normal” hazards are not the only hazards that the county faces. Preparedness needs to All Hazard based, Tornado warnings are unusual, but preparedness must run the gamut.

In order to address the opportunities for improvement PCEMA will be improving and developing procedures so that the items identified can be addressed. It is important to emphasize that the overall event went well and that the After Action items are opportunities to further enhance safety for the residents of Pacific County.

Chronology of Events

8:52           NWS Special Weather Statement regarding a strong thunderstorm over the Long Beach Peninsula.
8:55           Facebook post by Stephanie Fritts regarding the thunderstorm.
9:01           NWS Tornado Warning due to a severe thunderstorm, areas within the warning include Long Beach, Seaview and Ilwaco warning expires at 09:30. Information confirmed by Stephanie Fritts via PACCOM.
9:02           Phone call by Scott McDougall to Stephanie Fritts for instructions.
9:04           On Duty Law Enforcement personnel notified by radio broadcast.
9:05           Hyper-Reach Notification Campaign begins for Long Beach Peninsula within the warning boundaries. Message was successfully delivered to 760 of 762 destinations.
9:07           Fire and EMS agencies notified by tone alert and broadcast.
9:07           Facebook post by Scott McDougall regarding the tornado warning
9:22           NWS Tornado Warning due to a severe thunderstorm, areas within the warning include Naselle and SR 4 as well as Wahkiakum County. Warning expires at 09:45
9:24          Scott McDougall in the Pacific County EOC, ready to stand up EOC if situation warrants.
9:26          Sheriff Johnson in the car, Ditches on both sides of SR 4 full, but not over the road. Very large hail that was physically painful to be exposed to.
9:35           Hyper-Reach Notification Campaign begins for Naselle. Message was successfully delivered to 56 of 58 destinations.
9:40           NWS Statement indicates the storm had weakened and moved out of the area.
9:41           Information regarding the storm weakening and moving out of the area broacast to Fire/EMS/Law by PACCOM.
9:48           Message that the Tornado Warning was allowed to expire, posted to Facebook by Scott McDougall
9:50           Continued event monitoring and communications between Stephanie Fritts and Scott McDougall as well as Sheriff Johnson
10:15         Scott McDougall out of the EOC.


Long Beach and Ilwaco Notification Calling Area:




Naselle Notification Calling Area:









Friday, November 21, 2014

NWS Issues High Wind Warning

South Bend, Washington – The National Weather Service has issued a high wind warning in effect from noon today to 7:00 pm this evening for the South Washington and Northern Oregon Coast.
South Winds of 30 to 40 mph with gusts to 60 mph are forecast for the beaches and headlands. The forecast for coastal communities is for South winds of 20 to 30 mph with gusts to 45 mph. Winds will begin increasing late this morning and afternoon. The strongest winds are expected mid to late afternoon.

Precautionary/Preparedness Actions:

These winds will possibly cause tree damage, and may result in power disruptions.  A high wind warning means a hazardous high wind event is expected or occurring. Sustained wind speeds of at least 40 mph or gusts of 58 mph or more can lead to property damage.

Please visit the NWS website at http://www.weather.gov/portland for the most up to date weather information. This page brings up all advisories, watches, and warnings for the Southwest Washington area.


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Pacific County Emergency Management Agency to Host Tsunami Inundation Community Forums

South Bend, Washington – The Pacific County Emergency Management Agency will be hosting a series of Community Forums regarding Tsunami Inundation for the Long Beach Peninsula. The Washington State Department of Natural Resources recently completed updating research and mapping that more accurately reflects potential inundation associated with a Cascadia Subduction Zone Earthquake and Tsunami. Tim Walsh from the Washington Department of Natural Resources, and Dr. John Schelling, from the Washington State Emergency Management Division will be present on Thursday December 4th, and Thursday December 11th to discuss the new data and answer questions about how this new information affects the Long Beach Peninsula.

The first forum will be in the Ilwaco Community Room, located at 158 1st Avenue N (US 101) in Ilwaco, from 3-5:00 pm on December 4, 2014. The forum will be repeated on December 11th at the Chautauqua Lodge, 304 14th Street NW in Long Beach from 2-4:00 pm, and at Pacific County Fire District 1, 26110 Ridge Avenue, in Ocean Park from 7-9:00 pm.


Residents will have an opportunity to ask questions and speak with presenters.  Representatives from the Pacific County Emergency Management Agency will also be on hand to provide information and answer questions. For more information please contact Scott McDougall, Deputy Director, Pacific County Emergency Management Agency, at (360) 642-9338 or by email at smcdougall@co.pacific.wa.us.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

NWS Issues High Wind Warning

South Bend, Washington – The National Weather Service has issued a high wind warning in effect from 3:00 pm this afternoon until 9:00 am Wednesday for the South Washington and Northern Oregon Coast.
South Winds of 35 to 45 mph with gusts to 60-70 mph are forecast for the beaches and headlands. The forecast for coastal communities is for South winds of 20 to 30 mph with gusts to 45-55 mph at times.

Precautionary/Preparedness Actions:

These winds will possibly cause tree damage, and may result in power disruptions.  A high wind warning means a hazardous high wind event is expected or occurring. Sustained wind speeds of at least 40 mph or gusts of 58 mph or more can lead to property damage.

Please visit the NWS website at http://www.weather.gov/portland for the most up to date weather information. This page brings up all advisories, watches, and warnings for the Southwest Washington area.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Request for Proposal (RFP) Pacific County Emergency Management Agency Hazard Mitigation Plan Date Issued: October 17, 2014 Proposal Due: 4:30 pm December 2, 2014

The Pacific County Emergency Management Agency is currently seeking proposals from qualified consultants to update the Pacific County Hazard Mitigation Plan that meets all requirements under 44 CFR Part 201.6.

As described in the Federal Register (Volume 67, Numbers 38 and 109, dated February 26, 2002 and October 2002 respectively,) Section 322 of the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 requires that all local governments adopt an approved Hazard Mitigation Plan (Plan) to be eligible to receive future hazard mitigation grant funding. The purpose of the Plan is to demonstrate the “jurisdiction’s commitment to reduce risks from natural hazards, serving as a guide for decision-makers as they commit resources to reducing the effects of natural hazards. Local plans will also serve as the basis for the State to provide technical assistance and to prioritize project funding.”

To fulfill this requirement, the Pacific County Emergency Management Agency seeks consultant services in order to update the existing Hazard Mitigation Plan thereby meeting the necessary requirements of and is approved by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Pacific County Emergency Management Agency (PCEMA).

To request a complete proposal packet, contact Scott McDougall smcdougall@co.pacific.wa.us, 360-875-9338, or visit the Pacific County website at www.co.pacific.wa.us
Proposals should be mailed to:

Stephanie Fritts, Director
Pacific County Emergency Management Agency
PO Box 27
South Bend, WA 98586


Thursday, October 2, 2014

Tsunami Warning Issued in Error

South Bend, Washington – The Pacific County Emergency Management Agency has learned that a tsunami Warning has been issued in error by AccuWeather (www.accuweather.com) a web and app based weather releated software program/company. There is currently no Tsunami Warning in effect for the Long Beach Peninsula. Questions may be directed to Scott McDougall at Pacific County Emergency Management Agency (360)875-9338.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Tsunami Sirens to be Tested in Great Washington ShakeOut



South Bend, Washington – The Pacific County All Hazard Alert Broadcast (AHAB) outdoor sirens will be tested as part of the Great Washington ShakeOut on Thursday, October 16, 2014, at 10:16 a.m. with the actual tsunami siren tone (a three minute wail). The siren tone will be preceded and followed by a verbal message. The AHAB sirens in Pacific County and the other outer Washington coastal counties are being activated to conduct a true “end-to-end” test of the entire tsunami warning system. The sirens recently installed in South Bend and Raymond will be included in this test. 
This test will help familiarize residents with the sound made by the AHAB sirens during an actual tsunami warning. It will differ from the routine monthly testing that occurs on the first Monday of each month since it will broadcast an audible siren wail tone for the full three minute warning instead of a chime tone. In addition, the voice message will differ from the monthly test.
NOAA weather radios set to receive the required monthly test will also activate during this test.

Pacific County employees will also be participating in this important event, as a result the public may experience disruptions to normal customer service during the exercise.

Pacific County residents are encouraged to participate in the Great Washington ShakeOut by registering at www.shakeout.org/washington/ and by conducting a personal drill such as Drop, Cover, and Hold or an evacuation walk.   

Friday, June 6, 2014

Hazardous Materials Emergency Response Plan Workshops Planned

South Bend, Washington – The Pacific County Emergency Management Agency will be coordinating two Hazardous Materials Emergency Response Plan Workshops on Friday, June 20th, 2014. 

The Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act requires that each county and local municipality adopt a Hazardous Materials Emergency Response Plan to be reviewed by the State Emergency Response Commission, (SERC) and approved by Pacific County Emergency Management Agency Council (PCEMA). Currently Pacific County has an (SERC) approved Hazardous Materials Response Plan, however, the Pacific County Emergency Management Agency has received federal funding to revise and develop a more comprehensive and effective ESF 10, Hazardous Materials Emergency Response Plan for Pacific County.

The workshops will be conducted on June 20th at the following locations and times:

·        10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. -  Pacific County Courthouse Annex, Board of County Commissioners' Meeting Room, 1216 Robert Bush Drive, South Bend
·        1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. - South Pacific County Administration Facility, Meeting Room A, 7013 Sandridge Road, Long Beach. 

The purpose of the updated plan will be to demonstrate local commitment to reduce risks from hazardous materials. The plan will serve as a guide for decision-makers as they commit resources to reducing the effects of hazardous materials. Local data and feedback will be essential to ensuring that the updated plan is relevant to community risks and needs. 

The public is welcome, and representatives from local fire districts, hospitals, city governments, schools, and businesses are encouraged to submit data and feedback.  If you would like to have your comments heard but are unable to attend, you may email them to esf10pacific@gmail.com by 5:00 p.m. on June 19th, 2014. 


# # #

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Become an AmeriCorps Service Member

South Bend, Washington – The Pacific County Emergency Management Agency is seeking qualified candidates to become an AmeriCorps service member to support the Disaster Preparedness Public Education Outreach project. The member will build and strengthen the local volunteer base by developing a strong public education outreach program to enhance disaster preparedness and response needs in Pacific County communities.

Applications will be accepted until July 15, 2014. To apply, please https://my.americorps.gov/mp/listing/viewListing.do?id=50690&fromSearch=true

AmeriCorps program benefits include a living stipend, health insurance, childcare assistance if eligible, training, and an education award upon successful completion of service term. The service term begins September 1, 2013 and ends July 15, 2014.

Desired qualifications:
  • Working knowledge of Microsoft Office products including Outlook, Word, Excel, Publisher, and PowerPoint
  • Working knowledge of office equipment
  • Ability to communicate effectively and independently in written and oral form with a variety of community groups, agencies, and officials
  • Lift up to 40 lbs.
  • Experience in emergency management, community involvement, and/or education preferred but not required

Eligibility:
  • Be a US citizen or lawful permanent resident
  • Be 18-25 years of age at the start date of the service term
  • High school diploma or GED
  • Pass required criminal background checks
  • Not be listed on the National Sex Offender Public Registry
 
Compensation:
  • Living stipend of $1,155 per month (before taxes)
  • Training and experience
  • Subsidized childcare (if qualified)
  • Health Insurance (member only and if no other health insurance coverage)
  • Student loan forbearance (on qualifying loans)
  • $5,550 Education Award provided by National Service Trust (upon successful completion of service term commitment and 1700 hours of service)
 
Visit http://www.nationalservice.gov/programs/americorps for more information about AmeriCorps. If you have questions about the AmeriCorps service member position or project, contact Scott McDougall at smcdougall@co.pacific.wa.us or call (360) 875-9338.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Howard and Katie Auble Honored

South Bend, Washington – Following their nomination by the Pacific County Sheriff’s Office, Howard and Katie Auble of Raymond were recently selected as recipients of the 2014 Governor’s Volunteer Service Award for in recognition of their work as amateur radio operators with the Pacific County Emergency Management Agency, and Pacific County Citizens Corps Program.   The Aubles attended an award ceremony hosted by Governor Inslee and his wife at the Governor’s Mansion in Olympia on April 21, 2014. 

The award given the Aubles read as follows:  “Howard and Katie Auble work as a team, supporting the Pacific County Emergency Management Agency in emergency communications.  They are dedicated and willing volunteers, taking on extra projects such as doing home visits to assist Pacific County citizens with programming NOAA Weather Radios.  They visit the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) on a weekly basis to check on the amateur radio equipment and help in the testing process when new equipment is installed at the Emergency Operations Center and other locations throughout the county.  They have also been very helpful in the installation of amateur radio equipment at the Pacific County fire stations.  Howard and Katie have taken a number of National Incident Management System courses and are well qualified volunteers.  The Pacific County Emergency Management Agency depends heavily on volunteers and their willing and can-do attitude.  Howard and Katie are a core piece of the communications and public education program.”

Pacific County deeply appreciates the service of their volunteers and is proud to see Howard and Katie Auble recognized for their dedication and effort. 

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Monday, May 12, 2014

Get Involved and Make a Difference- Volunteer for the Pacific County Medical Reserve Corps!

The Medical Reserve Corps is a group of local volunteers who respond to public health issues in times of disaster or emergency. The Corps is a local division of a national network of local groups of volunteers committed to improving the health, safety, and resiliency of their communities.

Need for the MRC became apparent after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, when thousands of medical and public health professionals, eager to volunteer in support of emergency relief activities found there was no organized approached to channel their efforts. Local responders were already overwhelmed, and could not manage these spontaneous volunteers; so many highly skilled people were turned away. As a result, the MRC was established to provide a way to recruit, train, and activate volunteers interested in helping their communities in time of need.
While a medical or health background is helpful, it is not necessary. Anyone who is interested is encouraged to join- retired professionals, chaplains, law enforcement, people with good computer or organizational skills. The specific role that you will play, and the activities in which you will participate will depend upon your background, interests and skills, as well as the needs of the MRC unit and the community.
We are planning an orientation in June of this year.  Interested volunteers should contact Cory McKeown, the MRC Coordinator, at cmckeown@co.pacific.wa.us ; by phone at the Pacific County Health Department Long Beach number 360-642-9349 or toll-free from the Raymond/South Bend area 360-875-9349.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

South Bend Students Provide Earthquake and Tsunami Education to Community



South Bend, Washington – Alyssa Caudill’s South Bend Junior High School Leadership class will be presenting an Earthquake and Tsunami Preparedness Seminar open to the public at Koplitz Fieldhouse in South Bend May 13th, 2014 at 6:00 p.m. This seminar is the culmination of a year-long learning experience that included Caudill’s 7th and 8th grade science classes as well as her junior high leadership class.

Over the summer Caudill and Wildlife Biologist Key McMurry attended the first in the series of classes put on by the Cascadia EarthScope Earthquake and Tsunami Education Program, a program designed for coastal educators and emergency management personnel. Caudill and McMurry have spent the entire school year educating the students about the Cascadia Subduction Zone and the earthquake and tsunami issues associated with it.

Through the efforts of Caudill and McMurry, the South Bend students have had the opportunity to learn about earthquakes and tsunamis from nationally recognized experts Dr. Brian Atwater, Dr. Jim Phipps, and Dr. Robert De Groot. Now to showcase what they have learned, the leadership class is partnering with the Washington State Emergency Management Division and the Pacific County Emergency Management Agency to provide the community at large a student led educational opportunity about being prepared to survive an earthquake or tsunami event.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact Alyssa Caudill at acaudill@southbendschools.org.


# # #

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Tsunami Preparedness Day Three - Reflections on the Situation In Snohomish County

In light of the ongoing situation near Oso in Snohomish County, the light hearted post originally scheduled today, a piece put out by San Diego County that utilized animated crab to educate kids about tsunami awareness, seemed less than appropriate. That video will appear here later in the week.

Today, the Pacific County Emergency Management Agency would like to take a moment to reflect on the tragedy unfolding in front of the entire nation. It happened so quickly, it happened so unexpectedly, and yet the results are utterly personal, profound and permanent. The strength of nature is at times incomprehensible.

We are observing Tsunami Preparedness Week, and this disaster event should underscore for each resident of Pacific County, the importance of preparing for such an event. It is easy to see, in the face of the unthinkable, that it really is not unthinkable at all.

The Pacific County Emergency Management Agency urges each one of you to be prepared for a Tsunami, or even more importantly , whatever disaster may occur. In addition, we extend our sympathy, our empathy, and our thoughts to all the people in Snohomish County and beyond, touched by the events there.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Tsunami Preparedness Week: Day Two-Pacific County Facts



The Pacific County Emergency Management Agency is observing day two of Tsunami Preparedness week. Here is an interesting fact sheet from the Washington State Emergency Management Division that highlighting Tsunami facts specific to our county.


Pacific County Tsunami Fact Sheet

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Request for Proposal (RFP)


Request for Proposal (RFP)
Pacific County Emergency Management Agency
Hazardous Materials Emergency Response Plan
Date Issued: March 11, 2014
Proposal Due:  4:30 pm March 31, 2014 
 
The Pacific County Emergency Management Agency is currently seeking proposals from qualified consultants to develop the Pacific County Emergency Support Function (ESF) 10 (Emergency Response Plan) that meets all requirements under Washington State and the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) sections 301-303 (42 USC 116) as well as WAC 118-40-180 sections 1-5. 

WAC 118-40-180 requires that each local emergency planning committee shall complete a hazardous materials emergency response plan (ESF 10) as required by Section 303 (a), (b), (c), EPCRA, the standards of the National Response Team-1 guidelines and the concepts of the Washington State emergency management plan as it is written. The purpose of the plan is to demonstrate the “jurisdiction’s commitment to reduce risks from hazardous materials, serving as a guide for decision-makers as they commit resources to reducing the effects of hazardous materials.” 

To fulfill this requirement, the Pacific County Emergency Management Agency seeks consultant services for the preparation of ESF 10, a Hazardous Materials Response Plan that meets the necessary requirements of and is approved by the Washington State Emergency Response Commission, (SERC) and the Pacific County Emergency Management Agency (PCEMA). 

To request a complete proposal packet, contact Scott McDougall smcdougall@co.pacific.wa.us, 360-875-9338, or visit the Pacific County website at www.co.pacific.wa.us. 

Proposals should be mailed to:  

Stephanie Fritts, Director
Pacific County Emergency Management Agency
PO Box 101
South Bend, WA 98586

 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

NWS Issues High Wind Warning

South Bend, Washington – The National Weather Service has issued a high wind warning which is in effect from 6:00 p.m. today through 1:00 p.m. Thursday for the south Washington coast.

South winds in or near coastal communities will be 30 mph to 40 mph with gusts between 60 mph and 65 mph.  The strongest winds will likely occur on Thursday morning.

Precautionary/Preparedness Actions:

A high wind warning means a hazardous high wind event is expected or occurring. Sustained wind speeds of at least 40 mph or gusts of 58 mph or more can lead to property damage.

Please visit the NWS website at http://www.weather.gov/portland for the most up to date weather information. This page brings up all advisories, watches, and warnings for the Southwest Washington area.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Pacific County Emergency Management Agency Coordinating Animal Planning Workshop

South Bend, WA – The Pacific County Emergency Management Agency will be coordinating an Animal Emergency Plan Workshop on March 14, 2014, 10:00 a.m. – noon in the South Pacific County Administration Facility, Meeting Room A, 7013 Sandridge Road, Long Beach. Recent experiences from other areas around the nation have underscored the importance of having a coordinated Animal Emergency Plan. The Pacific County Emergency Management Agency has identified this as a goal for 2014. 
 
The public is welcome to attend.  If you would like to have your comments heard but are unable to attend, you may email them to Scott McDougall, Deputy Director, PCEMA smcdougall@co.pacific.wa.us by the end of business on March 12, 2014.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Free CERT Training This Spring


 

 

South Bend, Washington – The Pacific County Emergency Management Agency (PCEMA) is offering a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) course in Long Beach. Training is scheduled as follows:
 
Friday, April 4, 2013 · 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Saturday, April 5, 2014 · 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Saturday, April 12, 2014 · 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. 

The course will be held at the Lighthouse Oceanfront Resort (12415 Pacific Way, Long Beach). Pre-registration is required and is limited to 20 participants.  

The CERT program is an all-risk, all-hazard training. This valuable course is designed to help you protect yourself, your family, your neighbors, and your neighborhood in an emergency situation. CERT members receive 20 hours of initial training provided free of charge. The course is taught with classroom instruction for the first two days and practical exercises during the last day. Participants under the age of 18 must have parent/guardian permission to attend.  

To register or for more information, contact Scott McDougall at (360) 642-9338 or email smcdougall@co.pacific.wa.us. 
           

Monday, February 17, 2014

High Wind Warning Issued for Tuesday

South Bend - The National Weather Service in Portland has issued a high wind warning for the south Washington Coast which is in effect from 6:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. PST Tuesday.

Winds near headlands and beaches will be south 35 mph to 45 mph with gusts to 70 mph.   In coastal communities winds will be south 30 mph to 40 mph with gusts to 60 mph.  The strongest winds expected late Tuesday morning through the early afternoon.


Precautionary/Preparedness Actions:

A high wind warning means a hazardous high wind event is expected or occurring. Sustained wind speeds of at least 40 mph or gusts of 58 mph or more can lead to property damage.


Please visit the NWS website at http://www.weather.gov/portland for the most up to date weather information. This page brings up all advisories, watches, and warnings for the Southwest Washington area.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Flood Warning Issued for Pacific County

South Bend, Washington – Doppler radar and automated rain gauges indicated at 8:45 p.m. that heavy rain was falling over the area, which will cause flooding. Up to two inches of rain have already fallen and up to two more inches of rain are possible overnight.  Locations that might experience flooding include Frances, Raymond, Naselle, Lebam, Brooklyn, Willapa, Seaview, Nemah, Chinook, and Menlo.  The warning is in effect through 2:45 a.m. Monday.  

This includes U.S. Highway 101, State Route 4 between mile markers 1 and 9, and State Route 6 between mile markers 1 and 24.

Precautionary/preparedness actions:

A flood warning means that flooding is either imminent or already occurring. The magnitude of rainfall that is occurring may cause very rapid rises on smaller streams and rivers tonight.

Most flood deaths occur in automobiles. Never drive your vehicle into areas where the water covers the roadway. Flood waters are usually deeper than they appear. Just one foot of flowing water is powerful enough to sweep vehicles off the road. Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize the dangers of flooding.

Please visit the NWS website at http://www.weather.gov/portland for the most up to date weather information. This page brings up all advisories, watches, and warnings for the Southwest Washington area.


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Friday, February 14, 2014

High Wind Watch Upgraded to a High Wind Warning Corrected


South Bend, Washington – The National Weather Service has upgraded the high wind watch to a high wind warning in effect from 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Saturday for the south Washington and north Oregon coasts.

South winds in or near coastal communities will be 30 mph to 40 mph with gusts to between 55 mph and 60 mph.  South winds near the beaches and headlands will blow 35 to 45 mph with gusts to approximately 65 mph or 70 mph.   Peak winds are expected mid-afternoon with a break Saturday night.  Another round of strong winds is expected late Sunday and Sunday night. 

Precautionary/Preparedness Actions:

A high wind warning means a hazardous high wind event is expected or occurring. Sustained wind speeds of at least 40 mph or gusts of 58 mph or more can lead to property damage.

Please visit the NWS website at http://www.weather.gov/portland for the most up to date weather information. This page brings up all advisories, watches, and warnings for the Southwest Washington area.





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Quake-Catcher Network Installed in Pacific County Schools

 

South Bend, Washington – Robert de Groot, Ph.D. of the Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC), will lead a discussion with students, faculty, and staff about his recent work during February 18 – 21, 2014 installing Quake-Catcher Network (QCN) sensors  in Pacific County schools, museums, and other locations. He will discuss how QCN will add to seismic data collected in Pacific County and enhance earthquake science education in Pacific County schools.  

Quake-Catcher Network Presentation

­Friday, February 21, 2014, 11:30 am: Discussion with Robert de Groot, SCEC

Location:   South Bend High School – Library, 400 E. 1st St., South Bend, WA, 98586 

The Quake-Catcher Network is a collaborative initiative for developing the world’s largest, low-cost seismic network by utilizing sensors in and attached to Internet-connected computers, led by Elizabeth Cochran at USGS – Pasadena and scientists at Stanford University. QCN sensors, such as the ones being installed in Pacific County schools, are citizen-science oriented and can be installed in homes, museums, and schools.
 
This event is being held in collaboration with the Cascadia EarthScope Earthquake and Tsunami Education Program (CEETEP), Washington Military Department – Emergency Management Division, Pacific County Emergency Management Agency, EarthScope, Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC), Key Environmental Solutions, and South Bend High School. 

 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

High Wind Watch Upgraded to Warning

South Bend, Washington – The National Weather Service has upgraded the high wind watch to a high wind warning in effect from 6:00 p.m. this evening to 4:00 a.m. Wednesday for the south Washington and north and central Oregon coasts.

South winds in or near coastal communities will be 30 to 40 mph with gusts to approximately 65 mph.  South winds near the beaches and headlands will blow 40 to 50 mph with gusts to approximately 75 mph.

Precautionary/Preparedness Actions:

These winds will possibly cause tree damage, and may result in power disruptions.  A high wind warning means a hazardous high wind event is expected or occurring. Sustained wind speeds of at least 40 mph or gusts of 58 mph or more can lead to property damage.

Please visit the NWS website at http://www.weather.gov/portland for the most up to date weather information. This page brings up all advisories, watches, and warnings for the Southwest Washington area.




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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Emergency Notification System Test for South Pacific County

South Bend, Washington – Residents of South Pacific County will receive a test call from the Pacific County Emergency Notification System on February 13, 2014 between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. The test will call all landlines and registered cellular and VoIP phones from Nemah to South Pacific County. No calls will be placed in the North County.

The Pacific County Emergency Management Agency has been working with Hyper-Reach, the emergency notification system provider, as well as CenturyLink and Wahkiakum West to address potential issues that were identified during an initial test of the system on October 17, 2013.

Pacific County residents are encouraged to visit http://co.pacific.wa.us/pcema/Notification.htm to register their cellular or VoIP phones to receive emergency notifications. Notifications may also be received via text message, email, and or TDD depending on preferences selected during registration. A list of frequently asked questions can also be found at this website.

Residents with questions or requiring additional information should contact Scott McDougall at (360) 642-9338, (360) 484-7338, or (360) 875-9338. 

Friday, January 24, 2014

PCEMA to Coordinate Animal Emergency Plan Workshop

South Bend, WA – The Pacific County Emergency Management Agency will be coordinating an Animal Emergency Plan Workshop on February 4, 2014 at 9:00 a.m. in the Commissioners Meeting Room at the Pacific County Annex located at 1216 W. Robert Bush Drive South Bend, WA 98586. Recent experiences from other areas around the nation have underscored the importance of having a coordinated Animal Emergency Plan. The Pacific County Emergency Management Agency has identified this as a goal for 2014.


The Public is welcome to attend. If you would like to have your comments heard but are unable to attend, you may email them to Scott McDougall, Deputy Director, PCEMA smcdougall@co.pacific.wa.us by the end of business on February 3, 2014.

Friday, January 10, 2014

STRONG STORM WILL IMPACT REGION TONIGHT THROUGH SATURDAY EVENING

South Bend, WA - The National Weather Service (NWS) in Portland has issued a High Wind Warning for the South Washington Coast. The strongest storm system so far this winter will bring strong wind to our region. The warning is effective from 4:00 p.m. tonight to 10:00 p.m. Saturday. The NWS is forecasting sustained south winds of 35-40 mph, with gusts to 60-75 mph.

The National Weather Service (NWS) in Portland has also issued a High Surf Warning for the South Washington Coast in effect from 4:00 p.m. Saturday to 10:00 a.m. Sunday. The peak surf Saturday evening coincides with high tide and there is potential for some minor coastal flooding.

Precautionary/Preparedness Actions:
A High Wind Warning means that a hazardous high wind event is expected or occurring. Sustained winds of 40 mph or more or gusts of 58 mph or more can lead to property damage.  A High Surf Warning means that dangerously high surf will batter beaches in the advisory area, producing deadly rip currents and minor beach erosion.  Dangerous surf may move large debris items like logs up to beaches. Avoid walking on jetties, rocks, coastal cliff, and along the water’s edge.

Please visit the NWS website at http://www.weather.gov/portland for the most up to date weather information. This page brings up all advisories, watches, and warnings for the Southwest Washington area.


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