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

Monday, November 14, 2016

The PCEMA Blog has Moved!


Thank you for visiting the PCEMA Blog!

Effective October 2016, PCEMA moved our blog entries over the the Pacific County Sheriff's Office website at:  http://www.pacificcountysheriff.com/press-releases.  We encourage you to visit the website, and take a look around.  We've moved all previous blog posts over, so any historical data you might be interested in can be found here or on the website.  At some point in the not too distant future this blog will be taken down entirely.  Thanks for your interest and support!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Pacific County Preparedness Fair October 22nd


South Bend, Washington – The Pacific County Emergency Management Agency will be hosting an Emergency Preparedness Fair on Saturday October 22nd from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The fair will take place in the Koplitz Fieldhouse at South Bend High School. There will be exhibits, demonstrations, and games designed to educate the community on how to prepare for and to survive during and following a disaster. 

In addition to exhibits, educational talks, and demonstrations, police cars, fire engines, ambulances and the Pacific County mobile command vehicle will be on display outside the Fieldhouse. There will be an opportunity to learn how to make a plan to prepare your family for a disaster along with opportunities to sign up for CERT training, practice your skills with a fire extinguisher and win some great prizes. 

Preparedness and planning are two of the most important components in surviving any disaster. Please contact PCEMA Deputy Director Scott McDougall at smcdougall@co.pacific.wa.us or by calling (360) 642-9338 or 875-9338 for more information.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Free CERT Training This Fall


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, October 29 - 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Sunday, October 30, 2016 - 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Saturday, November 5, 2016 - 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Sunday, November 6, 2016 - 8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

The course will be held at the Grays Harbor College Riverview Center 600 Washington Avenue in Raymond. 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 29 hours of initial training provided free of charge. The course is taught with classroom instruction for the first three 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.  

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Red Flag Warning Issued for Pacific County

South Bend, Washington – The National Weather Service in Portland has issued a Red Flag Warning for all of Pacific County which is in effect from 12:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. August 25, 2016. 

A Red Flag Warning is issued for weather events which may result in extreme fire behavior.  A Fire Weather Watch is issued when weather conditions could exist in the next 12-72 hours. A Red Flag Warning is the highest alert. During these times extreme caution is urged by all residents.

The National Weather Service Portland Office is forecasting winds and low relative humidity. An outdoor burn ban is already in effect in all of Pacific County.

As fire conditions can change frequently, PCEMA will not be posting updated information.  Residents are encouraged to check with the Weather Service website for updated information at http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/pqr/.



Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Red Flag Warning Issued for Pacific County



South Bend, Washington – The National Weather Service in Portland has issued a Red Flag Warning for all of Pacific County which is in effect from midnight August 19, 2016 through midnight August 20, 2016.  This replaces the Fire Weather Watch that had been effect since Tuesday August 16, 2016. 
 
A Red Flag Warning is issued for weather events which may result in extreme fire behavior.  A Fire Weather Watch is issued when weather conditions could exist in the next 12-72 hours. A Red Flag Warning is the highest alert. During these times extreme caution is urged by all residents.

The National Weather Service Portland Office is forecasting easterly winds and low relative humidity. An outdoor burn ban is already in effect in all of Pacific County.

As fire conditions can change frequently, PCEMA will not be posting updated information.  Residents are encouraged to check with the Weather Service website for updated information at http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/pqr/. 

NWS Upgrades Excessive Heat Watch to Warning

South Bend, Washington –  The National Weather Service in Portland has issued an Excessive Heat Warning for the Willapa Hills in eastern Pacific County. This warning is in effect from 2:00 p.m. Thursday August 17 June 4, 2016 until 9:00p.m. on Sunday August 20, 2016.

Temperatures inland are forecast to reach 90-100 degrees.  The hot weather will create stress for anyone outdoors and involved in physical activity, as well as those not acclimated to the heat and the elderly. Do not leave children in your vehicle.

In addition, a Heat Advisory has been issued for the coastal areas of Pacific County from noon to 9:00 p.m. on Friday August 19 2016, with forecast highs from the mid 80’s to the mid 90’s.

Take extra precautions if you work or spend time outside. Reschedule strenuous activities to early morning or evening. Know the signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Wear light weight and loose fitting clothing and stay hydrated. Ensure your pets have shelter and water.

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.


Wednesday, July 20, 2016

La Agencia de Manejo de Emergencias de Pacific County Probara el Sistema de Notificación de Emergencia el 5 de Agosto, 2016



South Bend, Washington –  En un esfuerzo por asegurar que la mayor cantidad de personas sean alcanzadas durante una emergencia, la Agencia de Manejo de Emergencias de Pacific County (PCEMA) está trabajando con su contratista de notificación de emergencia para enviar mensajes de alerta de emergencia en inglés y en español.  Hyper-Reach, una parte de The Asher Group, ha agregado una característica al sistema de notificación de emergencia (conocido como “inverso 911”) de Pacific County el cual le permitirá a la persona que está recibiendo la llamada el poder presionar 1 para inglés o 2 para español.  Esto le permitirá a PCEMA el poder alcanzar a una porción de la populación a la cual previamente era muy difícil de notificar de una emergencia de forma efectiva.

Aunque ningún sistema de notificaciones es 100% efectiva, PCEMA utiliza un sin número de sistemas acodadas para asegurar que la mayor cantidad posible de personas sean notificadas en el evento de una emergencia.  Proveer información precisa a las comunidades de Habilidad de Ingles Limitada (LEP) alrededor del estado ha sido una meta de los directores de emergencia en todos los niveles por bastante tiempo.  PCEMA lucha por estar al frente de estas metas.

La Agencia de Manejo de Emergencias de Pacific County ha estado probando este sistema internamente y ahora está anunciando planes para una prueba del sistema por todo el condado el 5 de Agosto, comenzando a las 10 a.m.  Como la prueba será por todo el condado, podrá tomar algo de tiempo para completarla.  Invitamos y animamos al público de que comparta con nosotros sus reacciones.

Para registrar su celular, su teléfono de Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), o su correo electrónico, visite la siguiente pagina https://secure.hyper-reach.com/comsignupw.jsp?id=40685.  Para más información o detalles, favor de contactar a Scott McDougall, Deputy Director, por correo electrónico a smcdougall@co.pacific.wa.us o por teléfono al (360)642-9338 o (360)875-9338.


Pacific County Emergency Management Agency to Test Emergency Notification System August 5, 2016



South Bend, Washington –  In an effort to ensure the maximum number of people are reached during an emergency, the Pacific County Emergency Management Agency is working with its emergency notification contractor to deliver emergency alert messages in both English and Spanish. Hyper-Reach, a part of The Asher Group, has added a feature to the Pacific County emergency notification system (commonly referred to as “reverse 911”) which allows call recipients to press 1 for English or 2 for Spanish. This allows PCEMA to reach a segment of the population that was previously difficult to effectively notify of emergencies.

While no notification system can ever be 100% effective, PCEMA utilizes a number of layered systems to ensure that as many people as possible are notified in the event of an emergency. Providing accurate information to the Limited English Proficiency (LEP) communities around the state has been a goal of emergency managers at every level for some time. PCEMA strives to be on the forefront of these efforts.

The Pacific County Emergency Management Agency has been testing this system internally and is now announcing plans to test the system county-wide on August 5, 2016 beginning at 10:00 a.m. Because the test will be county-wide it may take some time to complete. We invite and encourage feedback from the public. 

To register your cellular or Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone or an email address to receive notifications go to the following website https://secure.hyper-reach.com/comsignupw.jsp?id=40685. For further information or details please contact Scott McDougall, Deputy Director smcdougall@co.pacific.wa.us or (360) 642 or 875-9338.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Sobreviviendo a tsunamis en Chile, Japón y Long Beach

South Bend, Washington –  On Thursday July 21, 2016 at 7:00 p.m. the Pacific County Emergency Management Agency will be hosting “Sobreviviendo a tsunamis en Chile, Japón y Long Beach” an hour long presentation about recent tsunami events in Chile and Japan, as well as how to survive a similar event on the Long Beach Peninsula.
This presentation will be held at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Seaview. PCEMA will be specifically reaching out to the Spanish speaking population throughout the region. The session will be presented in Spanish only.
Presenters will include Marco Cisternas from the Universídad Católica de Valparaiso. Professor Cisternas has been studying Chilean earthquake and tsunami hazards for much of the past 30 years. He has done much public outreach along the way. He engages audiences with evidence and insights delivered with charm and wit.
Lisa Ely is on the faculty of Central Washington University. Professor Ely has field experience with geological evidence for extreme riverine floods in India and Oregon, in addition to her work with Chilean earthquake and tsunami geology. She has recently spoken on tsunamis in a lecture tour, sponsored by the Geological Society of America, that took her to various parts of Latin America and the Caribbean.
Brian Atwater from the United States Geological Survey and Affiliate Professor with University of Washington Earth and Space Sciences, will also be presenting. Manuel Lugo from the Washington Emergency Management Division and Scott McDougall and Chief Deputy Stephanie Fritts from the Pacific County Emergency Management Agency will be on hand to provide local information.
For more information contact Scott McDougall, Deputy Director Pacific County Emergency Management Agency at smcdougall@co.pacific.wa.us or (360) 642 or 875-9338.

Sobreviviendo a tsunamis en Chile, Japón y Long Beach

South Bend, Washington – El jueves el 21 julio, 2016 a las 7:00 pm la agencia de Manejo de Emergencias del Pacific County (PCEMA) tendrá una hora larga presentación sobre los recientes eventos de tsunami en Chile y Japón “Sobreviviendo a tsunamis en Chile, Japón y Long Beach.” Así como la forma de sobrevivir a un evento similar en la Península de Long Beach.

La presentación estará en la iglesia católica de St. Mary en Seaview. PCEMA será dirigidos específicamente a la población de habla hispana en toda la región. La sesión se presentará sólo en español.
Los presentadores incluyen Marco Cisternas de la universidad católica de Valparaiso. Profesor Cisternas ha estudiado terremotos de Chile y los peligros de tsunamis por la mayoridad de los últimos 30 años. Se ha hecho mucho alcance público a lo largo del camino. Se involucra al público con pruebas y puntos de vista que se entregan con encanto e ingenio.

Lisa Ely está en la facultad de la universidad de Central Washington. La profesora Ely tiene experiencia de campo con las pruebas geológicas de inundaciones fluviales extremas en la India y Oregon; además su trabajo con los terremotos de Chile y la geología tsunami. Ella ha hablado recientemente sobre los tsunamis en una serie de conferencias, patrocinado por la Sociedad Geológica de América, que se la llevó a varias partes de América Latina y el Caribe.

Brian Atwater del estudio geológico de los Estados Unidos y el profesor afiliado con la Universidad de Washington Tierra y Ciencias del Espacio, también va a presentar. Manuel Lugo del División de Manejo de Emergencias de Washington y Scott McDougall y Director Adjunto Stephanie Fritts de la Agencia de Manejo de Emergencias del Pacific County estará a su disposición para proporcionar información local.


Para más información contactar a Scott McDougall, Director Adjunto de la Agencia de Manejo de Emergencias de Pacific County: mcdougall@co.pacific.wa.us o (360) 642 o 875-9338.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Phone Service in Naselle Interrupted



South Bend, Washington – Wahkiakum West Telephone notified the Pacific County 911 Center that all phone service to the Naselle area is currently unavailable. 

The Pacific County 911 Center has conducted tests and has determined that some 911 service and some telephone service exists, and has concluded that the degree of the reported outage and length of the reported outage remains uncertain. 

The 911 Center has notified the Naselle Fire Department and EMS personnel of the situation. 




# # #

Friday, June 3, 2016

NWS Upgrades Excessive Heat Watch to Warning


South Bend, Washington –  The National Weather Service in Portland has issued an Excessive Heat Warning for the Willapa Hills in eastern Pacific County. This warning is in effect from 10:00 a.m. Saturday June 4, 2016 until 10:00p.m. on Sunday June 5, 2016.  

Temperatures are forecast to reach 90-100 degrees. Record high temperature are predicted for the area with humidity to begin rising on Sunday. The hot weather will create stress for anyone outdoors and involved in physical activity, as well as those not acclimated to the heat and the elderly. Do not leave children in your vehicle.

Take extra precautions if you work or spend time outside. Reschedule strenuous activities to early morning or evening. Know the signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Wear light weight and loose fitting clothing and stay hydrated. Ensure your pets have shelter and water. 

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.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

The Pacific County Emergency Management Agency to Participate in Cascadia Rising


South Bend, Washington – The Pacific County Emergency Management Agency has a long history of advocating for individual and community preparedness and endeavoring to educate the residents of Pacific County on how to prepare for a major disaster such as, a Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake and subsequent tsunami. In June, PCEMA will be participating in a Functional Exercise to gauge the agency’s level of preparedness and its ability to support a response to such an event. A functional exercise differs from a full scale exercise, in that, during a full-scale exercise there are actual “boots on the ground” carrying out specific missions.

The Cascadia Rising Functional Exercise, which will be conducted June 7-10, 2016 will give the Pacific County Emergency Management Agency the opportunity to evaluate its ability to coordinate a response to a Cascadia Subduction Zone event.  Individuals from nearly every branch of Pacific County Government will staff the Emergency Operations Center in South Bend on June 8th and June 9th and will coordinate with response partners from all over Pacific County, as well as the National Guard, the Washington State Emergency Management Division, various military, and the United States Coast Guard. On June 7 and on June 10, the Pacific County EOC will operate with PCEMA staff only to support operations in other agencies and areas.

Communication will be supported by the Pacific County RACES, a robust group of amateur radio operators that may be able to establish communications when all traditional methods of communication have failed. Not only is this group capable of establishing communication with civil authorities around the state, they have also been developing an ability to communicate directly with the military. The RACES group has proven to be an invaluable part of the PCEMA team.

The Pacific County Emergency Management Agency encourages individuals to take the time during this exercise to discuss (with your family, neighbors, and friends) and evaluate your personal preparedness and how you would respond to such an event. Please use the checklist below, provided courtesy of Chuck Wallace at Grays Harbor Department of Emergency Management.




CASCADIA RISING
June 7-10, 2016

Scenario: A 9.0 magnitude earthquake lasting 4-5 minutes with numerous large aftershocks.  A minimum of 4 tsunami waves, 4-6 feet of subsidence and major liquefaction issues.

Do you truly know and understand the impacts to your community?

1.       What is the expected damage and status of infrastructure (e.g., buildings, roads, schools, police and fire stations and utilities)?

2.       What are expected damages to residential and business structures?

3.       Communication - How will you accomplish it and to whom will you speak?

4.       Are you and your neighbors aware of the dynamics and possible site specific impacts of earthquake and/or tsunami?  Have you considered multiple aftershocks, landslides, subsidence, liquefaction, or severe weather?

5.       Have you identified possible safe havens, assembly and/or shelters, along with possible alternative sites?  Does your family, friends and neighbors know this information? What will you do with your pets?

6.       Have you discussed the possibility of casualties in your community due to earthquakes? How and where will the injured be cared for?

7.       What essential services do you believe will be available (if any)?

8.       What is your expectation of time needed to restore these services?

9.       What community resources might be available to use? (CERT Teams, faith-based groups etc.)

10.   What resources do you believe you will need on day 1, day 4, day7, day 10 & 15 at your location? (Consider food, shelter, generators, fuel, and medical)

11.   What is your expectation of a time period before assistance begins to arrive?

12.   Based upon your answers, what kind of training and/or assistance would you like to see offered in your community to help prepare for disaster?
           
After discussing with your friends and neighbors, please send your responses along with your name and a contact number or e-mail to:   Scott McDougall, Deputy Director smcdougall@co.pacific.wa.us or FAX to (360) 875-9342

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

AHAB Siren Updates: Volunteers Sought

PCEMA Deputy Director Scott McDougall and Jessica Rowlett the PCEMA AmeriCorps Service Member visited North Cove yesterday to monitor and verify that the AHAB Sirens in the North Cove area activated properly as part of the monthly test that occurs on the first Monday of each month. Each month we have a network of volunteers that report on the status of each siren. At this time, we are seeking volunteers to monitor sirens in the North Cove vicinity. If you are interested, please contact Scott McDougall at smcdougall@co.pacific.wa.us.

There are 18 sirens located in coastal locations throughout Pacific County. All 18 activated properly during yesterday’s test.  The Pacific County Emergency Management Agency and the Washington State Emergency Management Division monitor these sirens through online silent testing and diagnostic programs on a daily basis and siren maintenance is an ongoing and nearly constant process.

Many people noticed yesterday that four sirens on the Long Beach Peninsula activated “late”. The signal activating the sirens is sent at noon or as close to noon as possible and it is sent only once. Siren activation times depend on the total amount of satellite traffic as well as atmospheric conditions and can vary by a few minutes from point to point.

The question has been raised: does this shorten my time to respond in the case of an emergency? The answer to that question is no. In the event of a tsunami generated by a distant source the AHAB sirens will activate when the National Tsunami Warning Center issues a “tsunami warning” which is planned to provide three hours’ notice, an adequate time for community response. In the event of a Cascadia Subduction Zone event do not depend on the AHAB sirens. The ground shaking should serve as your warning.   


It is also important to remember that the AHAB sirens are simply one layer (an outdoor warning) in a tiered warning system that utilizes the Emergency Alert System, Wireless Emergency Alerts, the Pacific County Emergency Alert System and NOAA Emergency Alert Radios. PCEMA works to ensure that emergency notification is received by several means, recognizing that no system will ever be 100% effective. Nothing can replace personal responsibility and situational awareness.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

National Weather Service to Offer SKYWARN Weather Spotter Training

South Bend, Washington – The Pacific County Emergency Management Agency will host the National Weather Service as they present a SKYWARN weather spotter training class Tuesday, April 19, at 7:00 p.m. in the Board of County Commissioners Meeting Room located at 1216 W. Robert Bush Drive, South Bend.

SKYWARN is a concept developed in the late 1960s that was intended to promote a cooperative effort between the National Weather Service and local communities. The emphasis of the effort is often focused on the storm spotter, an individual who is in a position within their community and is able to report wind gusts, hail size, rainfall, and cloud formations that could signal a developing tornado. Another part of SKYWARN is the receipt and effective distribution of National Weather Service information.

Since 2008, the National Weather Service has trained 50 local Weather Spotters who are able to provide observations to the PCEMA and the National Weather Service. This information is relayed to a Warning Coordination Meteorologist, who is responsible for administering the SKYWARN program in the local area. Pacific County is served by the Portland Forecast Office. The training will cover:
  • Basics of thunderstorm development
  • Fundamentals of storm structure
  • Identifying potential severe weather features
  • Information to report
  • How to report information
  • Basic severe weather safety
The class is free and will last approximately two hours. If you have any questions please contact AmeriCorps Service Member Jessica Rowlett at (360) 875-9300 ext. 2548 or jrowlett@co.pacific.wa.us


Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Free CERT Training

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

Monday, April 25, 2016 - 5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Tuesday, April 26, 2016 - 5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Wednesday, April 27, 2016 - 5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Thursday, April 28, 2016 - 5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Friday, April 29, 2016 - 5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Saturday, April 30, 2016 - 8:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

The course will be held at the Grays Harbor College Riverview Center, 600 Washington Avenue in Raymond. 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. Topics include Disaster Preparation, Fire Safety, Medical Operations, Light Search and Rescue, Disaster Psychology, and CERT organization. The course is taught with classroom instruction for the first five days and practical exercises during the sixth 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) 875-9338 or email smcdougall@co.pacific.wa.us.  

Opportunity to Participate in an Assessment of Community Understanding Of Tsunami Risk


South Bend, Washington – Improving the response capacity of Pacific County and other Washington State coastal communities at risk of tsunami presents an on-going challenge. To meet this challenge Pacific County Emergency Management has supported an evaluation program to monitor and improve earthquake and tsunami education and preparedness programs.

The latest phase of work will involve volunteer focus groups of residents and organizations to explore their understandings of tsunami hazards. The discussions and survey are aimed to quantify people’s understanding of tsunami hazards in Washington State, their knowledge regarding the warning systems, and their preparedness to deal with future events.

A range of groups are sought to ensure that the views of a diverse and representative range of constituencies are canvassed.  Focus group meetings will ideally have between five and twenty people and last 45 minutes to 1 hour.  All focus groups will be taped and transcribed and participants will be asked to complete a very short questionnaire. All information provided will be treated as confidential and no individual will be identified in any way. 

Focus groups are currently scheduled for April 6, 2016 at the South Pacific County Administration Facility located at 7013 Sandridge Road in Long Beach. Several different times are available. Any Pacific County resident or organization interested in participating should contact the PCEMA Office at 360-875-9338 or smcdougall@co.pacific.wa.us and indicate morning or afternoon preference.   

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

NWS Issues High Wind Warning for March 9th and 10th.


South Bend, Washington – The National Weather Service has issued a high wind warning in effect from 1:00 p.m. Wednesday March 9, 2016 until 4:00 a.m. Thursday March 10, 2016, for the South Washington Coast and the Willapa Hills.

South winds of 35 to 45 mph with gusts 75 mph are forecast for the beaches and headlands. Coastal communities and the Willapa Hills will see winds from the south at 30 to 40 mph with gusts to 65 mph.  Winds will increase Wednesday afternoon and continue overnight into Thursday morning. The winds may be strong enough to damage trees and cause power interruptions. Expect tree damage and power interruptions. Travel may be difficult due to damaged trees in the roadway.

Precautionary/Preparedness Actions:

A high wind warning means a hazardous high wind event is expected or occurring. Headland areas and beaches are vulnerable to very strong wind gusts that may pose a safety hazard for individuals.  Extreme caution should be taken by clam diggers and others using the beaches. Never turn your back to the ocean. Sustained wind speeds of at least 40 mph or gusts of 58 mph or more can lead to property damage. Trees may fall across roadways with little warning.

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, March 4, 2016

NWS Issues Second High Wind Warning of the Week



South Bend, Washington – The National Weather Service has issued a high wind warning in effect from 9:00 p.m. this evening until 4:00 a.m. Saturday March 5, 2016, for the South Washington Coast. The strongest winds are expected for the beaches and headlands.

South to southwest winds of 40 to 50 mph with gusts 65 mph are forecast for the beaches and headlands.  Winds will increase Friday evening and continue overnight into Saturday morning. The winds may be strong enough to damage trees and cause power interruptions. Isolated power outages are possible, and travel may be difficult due to damaged trees in the roadway.

Precautionary/Preparedness Actions:

A high wind warning means a hazardous high wind event is expected or occurring. Headland areas and beaches are vulnerable to very strong wind gusts that may pose a safety hazard for individuals.  Extreme caution should be taken by clam diggers and others using the beaches. Never turn your back to the ocean. Sustained wind speeds of at least 40 mph or gusts of 58 mph or more can lead to property damage. Trees may fall across roadways with little warning. 

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.

Monday, February 29, 2016

NWS Issues High Wind Warning


South Bend, Washington – The National Weather Service has issued a high wind warning in effect from 6:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Tuesday March 1, 2016, for the South Washington Coast and Willapa Hills. The strongest winds are expected for the beaches and headlands.

South winds of 30 to 40 mph with gusts of 60-70 mph are forecast for the beaches and headlands. The forecast inland is for south winds of 25 to 35 mph with gusts 50 to 60 mph. Winds will increase fairly early Tuesday morning and continue through a good part of the afternoon. The winds may be strong enough to damage trees and cause power interruptions. Isolated power outages are possible, and travel may be difficult due to damaged trees in the roadway.

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. Trees may fall across roadways with little warning. 

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.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

PCEMA to Participate in Cascadia Rising Exercise, Seeks Other Interested Entities


South Bend, Washington –  The Pacific County Emergency Management Agency will be participating in a functional exercise called Cascadia Rising 2016. This exercise is designed to test response capabilities and capacity on a national level in the event of a Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake and subsequent tsunami. The exercise will take place over a four-day period beginning June 7, and continue through June 10, 2016. The Pacific County Emergency Operation Center will be active on June 8, and June 9, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. each day.

A functional level exercise means that there will be no movement of response equipment, and little to no outdoor or visible activity.  A functional exercise is essentially an internal effort with many Pacific County agencies and entities exercising internal emergency procedures at some point during the time period of Cascadia Rising. 

Pacific County is conducting two Cascadia Rising planning conferences over the next two weeks:

·         February 22nd – 10 a.m. in the Pacific County EOC, 300 Memorial Drive, South Bend
·         March 1st – 1 p.m. in the South Pacific County Sheriff’s Office, 7013 Sandridge Road, Long Beach

These meetings are an assessment of what agencies/businesses/partners might be considering in respect to participating in Cascadia Rising.  The meetings will be an introductory session for anyone interested in participating.  Attendance does not commit an entity to participation. The Pacific County Emergency Management Agency invites and encourages representatives from any group wishing to exercise their emergency procedures to attend. 

For additional information you may contact Chief Deputy Stephanie Fritts at sfritts@co.pacific.wa.us or by calling (360) 642 or 875- 9340.


Friday, February 5, 2016

NWS Issues High Wind Warning



South Bend, Washington – The National Weather Service has issued a high wind warning in effect from Noon until 6:00 p.m. Friday February 5, 2016, for the South Washington Coast. The strongest winds are expected for the beaches and headlands.

South winds of 30 to 40 mph with gusts to 60 mph are forecast for the beaches and headlands. The forecast inland is for south winds of 25 to 35 mph with gusts 50 to 55 mph. Winds will gradually increase this afternoon then briefly peak as a cold front crosses the area. The winds may be strong enough to damage trees and cause power interruptions. Isolated power outages are possible, and travel may be difficult due to damaged trees in the roadway.

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. Trees may fall across roadways with little warning. 

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.

Monday, February 1, 2016

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 Pacific County. These forums will serve as ramp-up events for the Cascadia Rising Functional Exercise, a national level exercise designed to test response to a Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake and subsequent tsunami. This exercise will be held June 7-10, 2016. Tim Walsh, Chief Hazard Geologist from the Washington Department of Natural Resources, and George Crawford from the Washington State Emergency Management Division will be present on Wednesday February 24th, and Wednesday March 16th to discuss the Cascadia Subduction Zone and answer questions about how the Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquakes, as well as distant earthquakes can affect Pacific County.

The first forum will be held at Pacific County Fire District #1, located at 26110 Ridge Avenue, in Ocean Park from 2:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. on February 24th. The forum will be repeated at 7:00 p.m. at the Ilwaco Community Building, 158 1st Avenue N (US 101) in Ilwaco, from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. the same day.

The same program will also be presented on Wednesday March 16th from 2:00-4:00 p.m. at the Shoalwater Bay Tribal Center, located at 2373 Old Tokeland Road, in Tokeland. The final forum will be held from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. in South Bend, in the Board of County Commissioners Meeting Room at the Pacific County Annex, 1210 W. Robert Bush Drive.

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 Jessica Rowlett, AmeriCorps Service Member, Pacific County Emergency Management Agency, at (360) 642 or 875-9300 extension 2548 or by email at jrowlett@co.pacific.wa.us.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Free CERT Training This February



South Bend, Washington – The Pacific County Emergency Management Agency and the Wahkiakum County Department of Emergency Management are offering Community Emergency Response Training (CERT) in the Rosburg/Naselle area. The classes on February 20 and 21, will be held at the Naselle Timberland Library, 4 Parpala Road, Naselle. The classes on February 27 and 28 will be held at Johnson Park, 30 Rosburg School Road, Rosburg. Training is scheduled as follows:                                                                                                                                                                                          
Saturday, February 20, 2016 Naselle Timberland Library · 
8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Sunday, February 21, 2016 Naselle Timberland Library ·
8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Saturday, February 27, 2016 Johnson Park, Rosburg · 
8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Sunday, February 28, 2016 Johnson Park, Rosburg · 
8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Pre-registration is required and attendance 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 with an option of additional instruction on modules relating to pet preparedness training and Map Your Neighborhood training provided free of charge. The course is taught with classroom instruction for the first three days and practical exercises during the last day. Participants under the age of 18 must have parent/guardian permission to attend.




Tuesday, January 19, 2016

THE EFFECTS OF SOCIAL MEDIA AND THE EASE OF SPREADING (MIS) INFORMATION

An article published Sunday by Superstation 95.com and circulated throughout Facebook & Twitter caused alarm and confusion to many coastal residents and their families throughout the country. The article claimed an ocean data buoy had detected a sudden drop in water depth off of the Oregon Coast indicating an imminent catastrophic earthquake.

The link below, employing credible and reliable sources from the National Weather Service in Seattle, dismisses the article and sheds light on the believability and reliability of Superstation 95.com.

During emergency and disaster events, social media becomes a frenzy of information and tends to take on a life of its own.  A tremendous amount of great information is relayed through social media. Misinformation also has a way of entering the social media outlets and in many instances, is accepted without confirmation of the information or its source.  Misleading communications, such as the article by Superstation 95.com which went viral quickly, led many to believe the information, spreading fear, confusion and further misinformation, as it was shared and retweeted by thousands of unsuspecting users of the various social media outlets along the West Coast.

One of the best ways to help you determine whether the information you are receiving is accurate or not, is to determine where the information is being sent from – its source. Credible and reliable emergency and disaster information can be obtained from:

·         The State of Washington Emergency Management Division,
·         The United States Geologic Survey (USGS),
·         The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA),
·         The National Weather Service (NWS),
·         Television
·         Your local AM and FM Radio Stations, and
·         From your local County Emergency Management Office.

A great way to become better informed about your site specific risk and hazards is to invite the Pacific County Emergency Management Agency to address your local community group. In Pacific County, you can request a date and time to address your group by emailing Scott McDougall at smcdougall@co.pacific.wa.us or by calling (360) 875 or 642-9338.

WAYS TO AVOID RUMOR AND MISINFORMATION AND
HOW TO VERIFY EMERGENCY AND DISASTER REPORTING IN PACIFIC COUNTY
The Pacific County Emergency Management Agency Offers a Variety of Ways to Receive Severe Weather and Emergency and Disaster Information.
The Pacific County Emergency Management Agency posts the most up to date and verified information available through all of the outlets described below.

Please take the time to verify information before you pass it on to others.
•The quickest way to receive emergency and disaster information from Grays Harbor County Emergency Management is to follow us on Facebook or Twitter.
•You can follow the Pacific County Emergency Management Agency webpage at: http://www.co.pacific.wa.us/pcema/
•We encourage all citizens sign up for the Pacific County Notification System for emergency alerts from the Pacific County Emergency Management Agency via phone, text and e-mail:
•All Pacific County citizens are urged to obtain an All Hazard ALERT Weather Radio for immediate alerts for severe weather and disaster information.
•Remember, television usually DOES NOT broadcast the correct emergency information for your site specific location in Pacific County.
•All local AM/FM radio stations will transmit the most up to date information from the Pacific County Emergency Management Agency.

Thanks to Charles Wallace Deputy Director, Grays Harbor Department of Emergency Management for providing this information.