ARES Activation For West Thurston Regional Fire Authority During Windstorm

Thursday, December 11th, Southwest Washington experienced a significant wind event.  Predictions indicated we would have sustained winds of 40 mph with local gust of 60 mph or more.  These winds, following the three days of heavy rainfall, were enough to topple large trees and cause area wide power outages.

At 2:00pm on December 11th, Fire Chief Scott at West Thurston Regional Fire Authority requested Centralia ARES activate to assist them in their internal Emergency Operations Center for the duration of the wind event.  With three operators and a fourth working the computers checking area wind speeds from his home in Centralia, the ARES team used the local BawFaw Repeater to take reports of wind conditions and seek information about local power outages.

Thankfully, the wind event did not, at least locally, live up to its predicted 60 mph gust warnings and the evening passed in relative quiet with isolated power outages and calls of trees into power lines.  No lives lost and we enjoyed our first ARES call out to the West Thurston Regional Fire Authority.

Flood Watch

National Weather Service 1:15pm Tuesday, December 9th:

NWS has issued a flood watch for the Chehalis River near Centralia among other Western Washington rivers.  The first of several heavy rain storms has passed and river levels are rising.  The second rain storm is expected Tuesday night and should produce heavy rain over Western Washington.  All ARES team members are encouraged to monitor Lewis County and Centralia river gauges on the Centralia EOC website.

Remember:  PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

A FLOOD WATCH MEANS CONDITIONS ARE FAVORABLE FOR FLOODING BUT
FLOODING IS NOT IMMINENT OR OCCURRING. MONITOR THE LATEST
FORECASTS FROM THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE AND BE READY TO ACT
QUICKLY IF FLOODING IS OBSERVED OR A WARNING IS ISSUED.

Go-Bag First Aid Modules

Fire Starter Kit, Blister Kit and Medication Pack
Fire Starter Kit, Blister Kit and Medication Pack
First Aid Kit - open
Fire Starter Kit – open

Dividing first aid supplies into easily recognizable mod-ules can make reaching for a necessary item quick and easy. Try not to stuff your first aid kit with 50 band aids or 20 4″x4″ bandages. Instead, make your kit smaller and com-pact using perhaps 4 or 6 bandages then after you do use an item, replace it as soon as possible.

Three first aid modules, the fire starter kit, the blister kit and the medication pack, were introduced at our last ARES meeting.

The fire starter kit contains four different ways to start a fire plus two items to enhance fire starting in wet, windy conditions – all in a 41/2″x71/2″ waterproof box.

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Blister / Foot Care Kit

The blister kit includes supplies to treat hotspots, as well as small and large blisters.

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Medication Pack

The medication pack has seven common over the counter medicines de-signed to provide temporary relief for anything from a cold with sore throat to pain, allergies and even diarrhea.

Both the blister kit and the medication pack fit nicely into 4″x6″ baggies which makes each kit convenient to stuff into a pocket or purse if neces-sary. The blister kit and the medication kit are part of a larger and more comprehensive Go-Bag first aid kit. Breaking the first aid kit down into smaller modules allows for easier storage and quicker identification of needed supplies.  These kits came from the creative mind of David, a You Tube video mas-ter and we thank him for allowing us to experiment with his excellent products. You can find more about his fabulous kits on YouTube. Just do a search for videos from “USNERDOC”.