DEPT. of EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT
May 24, 2013 @ 1203pm
Update on Alternate Routes:
The preferred route from the South is via Best Road (MAP), and those coming from the North may use the usual route at Exit 230, or avoid congestion by going through Bow (MAP). Both routes are scenic and connect directly with Highway 20 that leads right to the ferry.
May 24, 2013 @ 0545am
RE: I-5 Bridge Collapse Re-routing Updates
Please use the DEM Facebook and Twitter pages as resources for most up to the minute reports on re-routing info. This is a fluid situation and recommendations are expected to change with time.
DEM is actively seeking traveler reports with following info:
1. Route taken
2. Time added to "normal" travel time
Please post these updates to Twitter or Comment on most recent Facebook post with info.
DEPT. of EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT
January 13, 2012
Winter Weather Reminders
With a strong chance of snow falling on the islands starting on Saturday (just an inch or so, with a bit more on hilltops), and the possibility of a more major snow event next week, it's worth reminding islanders of some cold weather common sense should our mild winter take a turn for the worse.
When there’s ice or snow on the roadways:
Drivers should respect the hazardous conditions and slow down or better yet, stay off the road (which also makes it easier for road crews). Don’t be over confident with your 4WD- a surprising number of SUVs end up off of island roads each snowstorm. County and Town crews will sand and plow public roads, prioritizing their efforts based on the snow routes, and will work tirelessly to try to keep roads passable for critical needs, but in nearly all storms or freezes, roads will still be treacherous- plan accordingly.
If you live on a private road, or have a business or facility that will need plowing, make those arrangements with a private contractor now and don’t wait until the onset of a snowstorm to try to find someone.
Save 911 for true emergencies. Report power outages direct to Opalco at 376-3599. Emergency responders, as always, will make every effort to take care of business, no matter the weather. That said, islanders need to know that in heavy snow there might be places they can’t get to, or things they can’t do safely. Islanders need to use common sense and caution, and embrace an attitude of self sufficiency. Call 911 if you need help, but don’t forget to take care of yourself too.
April 7, 2011
For Immediate Release
With images of Japan’s devastating earthquake fresh on our minds, so is another round of Internet misinformation about what should be your first move during an earthquake. Our office wants you to know that "Drop, Cover, and Hold" is the best method to protect yourself during an earthquake in the United States, especially in our own quake-prone region.
- DROP to the floor
- Take COVER under a sturdy table, desk, or chair
- HOLD in place until the shaking stops
Experts, from medical doctors to international search and rescue teams, agree: Drop, Cover, and Hold is your best move to reduce injury and death during an earthquake. Methods like standing in a doorway, running outside, and searching for a potential "triangle of life" are considered dangerous and are not recommended. Here’s why:
- Many injuries from earthquakes are caused from people running around while the ground is shaking. They fall down, run into furniture, step on broken glass, or are hit by falling objects.
- In and around older buildings especially, there is a much higher likelihood of broken windows, falling bricks, and other dangerous debris.
- Despite the urge to flee, experts advise people to stay put – you are more protected indoors under a sturdy desk or table.
- Earthquakes in the U.S. do not typically result in total building collapse (“pancaking”) due to high building construction standards.
March 15, 2011 / 13:00
For Immediate Release
As the situation at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Station evolves, it is worth highlighting to islanders that at this time there is widespread agreement by experts that there is no potential hazard to the mainland United States, even in the event of a catastrophic meltdown. The distance between here and Japan is sufficient to ensure that any radiation that makes it this far will be well below thresholds for being a health risk.
That said, there are a number of agencies monitoring the situation and regularly measuring atmospheric conditions. Disasters often surprise with their impacts, and it pays to stay alert and prepared, even when the potential impact seems minimal.
There have been a number of questions received about the use of potassium iodide (KI) to protect against thyroid cancer caused by irradiation. Taking potassium iodide (KI) is not needed at this point in time, nor is it expected to be needed in the future. The risk of the medication far outweighs any hypothetical benefit related to exposure from the current events in Japan. Federal, State, and Local health authorities are monitoring the situation carefully and if there is a change in this recommendation will immediately notify the public.
Links to useful information sources:
WA State Department of Health
IAEA Updates on Facebook
CDC Information on Potassium Iodide (KI)
World Nuclear News
March 14, 2011 / 19:30
For Immediate Release
Quakes, Tsunamis, and the Islands
A practical take on disaster preparedness
By Brendan Cowan
Last week’s earthquake in Japan has grabbed headlines across the world for obvious reasons. The scale of the destruction is hard to fathom and difficult to digest. This is especially true for those of us in the Pacific Northwest, a place with an underlying geology and risk of disaster that is similar to Japan. It’s hard not to wonder if it could happen here.
That concern, coupled with the Japanese quake spawning a tsunami that caused damage in the U.S., makes it a good time to address some common questions I’ve heard over the last couple of days. I’ll try to keep it simple and provide links to more info for those who want to dig deeper. Here are a few critical points we should all be aware of:
- Getting info to the public in a crisis is critical. Each islander is strongly encouraged to go to www.sanjuandem.net/alert to learn more and sign up for our new Island Emergency Alert System.
- We live in earthquake country and we will experience a major quake someday. Everyone needs to take some basic preparedness steps. Go to www.sanjuandem.net/prepare for info on where to begin, or call us at 370-7612.
- There are a couple of situations that could result in a tsunami affecting the islands. In both cases we will feel the earthquake first. If you feel a major quake, head to high ground. It’s never hard to get 30 feet above the water in the islands. There was some confusion about this after the Japan quake- but best science still says that the islands don’t need to worry about a tsunami from a distant earthquake.
- Want to learn more? View our much more in depth Frequently Asked Questions about Quakes & Tsunamis (www.sanjuandem.net/quakefaq) or call or
to talk things over.
- Want to help the survivors in Japan? Here is a page with links to organizations working to assist in the response and recovery.
The main message of course is this: every islander has a responsibility to themselves, their family, and their community to be prepared to be on their own for a week or more. Let us know if you need help.