These Daily Briefings on Incidents, Advisories, Watches and Warnings, current weather and Emergency Management tips are published Monday through Friday, as well as during times of increased awareness or actual events.
The “Proclamation of Emergency” signed by the Whatcom County Executive concerning COVID-19 remains in effect. Information about Whatcom County’s response to COVID-19 is available at the Joint Information Center’s COVID-19 website.
Whatcom County is in Phase 2 of the Washington Safe Start Plan, and does not yet meet eligibility requirements to apply for Phase 3. Simplistically, social distancing, the mask directive and groups of 5 or less are the guidelines of Phase 2. More info about Phase 2 in Whatcom County can be found here, and updates can be found here.
The U.S. and Canada have for a second time extended an order closing their shared border to nonessential traffic. The move delays the border’s reopening by another 30 days, until at least July 21. This includes both vehicular traffic as well as recreational boating between the countries.
Washington state has implemented a cloth mask mandate requiring the wearing of a mask in public indoors and wherever a social distance of six feet cannot be maintained outdoors. More info can be found here and here.
Avoid Birch Bay:
Birch Bay has traditionally been a gathering point for festivities on the holiday. The Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office and Whatcom County Health Department recommends to avoid visiting Birch Bay this weekend.
“We ask locals and visitors alike not to gather in Birch Bay for fireworks this year,” says Erika Lautenbach, Whatcom County Health Department Director. “We know traditions like these are fun, celebratory, and very meaningful for a lot of people. But it’s simply not safe this year. It could put many others at risk, including the people who call Birch Bay home.”
On average, residents of Birch Bay are over 50 years old, which means that many people in that community are at a higher risk of more severe complications from COVID-19. Case contact investigations have found that large gatherings and parties are linked to the spread of COVID-19 in our county; the goal is to avoid that in Birch Bay as a result of Independence Day.
Advisories, Watches and Warnings:
There is a small craft advisory in effect from 1400 this afternoon until 0800 Thursday.
Whatcom County Weather
Showers will continue this morning before tapering off by midday. Mainly dry weather is expected tonight, although a few showers will be possible after midnight. Any showers will end Thursday afternoon with dry conditions through the rest of the day.
Coastal Weather for Whatcom County
For the Coastal and Inland waters of Whatcom County, we can expect southwesterly wind 10 to 20 knots, becoming southerly 15 to 25 knots in the afternoon. Wind waves should be 1 to 4 feet. Tonight, the winds should return to southwesterly 15 to 25 knots, with wind waves 2 to 4 feet.
Tides at Cherry Point for the next two days:
Here are a few emergency management reminders:
COVID-19: Everyone in Washington State, including Whatcom County, is directed to wear a face covering while at any indoor public space and any outdoor public space where you may be within 6 feet of someone who does not live with you. You can find more info about face coverings and other protective actions here and here.
Emergency Preparation and Disability tips: The likelihood that you and your family will recover from an emergency tomorrow often depends on the planning and preparation done today. While each person’s abilities and needs are unique, every individual can take steps to prepare for all kinds of emergencies from fires and floods to potential terrorist attacks.
The first step is to consider how an emergency might affect your individual needs. Plan to make it on your own, for at least three days. It’s possible that you will not have access to disaster assistance, a medical facility or even a drugstore. It is crucial that you and your family think about what kinds of resources you use on a daily basis and what you might do if those resources are limited or not available. The reality of a disaster situation is that you will likely not have access to everyday conveniences. To plan in advance, think through the details of your everyday life. If there are people who assist you on a daily basis, list who they are and how you will contact them in an emergency. Create your own personal support network by identifying others who will help you in an emergency. Think about what modes of transportation you use and what alternative modes could serve as back-ups. If you require accessible transportation be sure your alternatives are also accessible. If you have tools or aids specific to your disability, plan how you would function without them.
Some of the things you can do to prepare for the unexpected, such as assembling an emergency supply kit and making an emergency plan, are the same regardless of the type of emergency. However, it’s important to stay informed about what might happen and know what types of emergencies are likely to affect Whatcom County. For more information about specific types of emergencies, you can contact the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office Division of Emergency Management and sign up for emergency alerts. Be prepared to adapt this information to your personal circumstances and make every effort to follow instructions received from authorities on the scene. Above all, stay calm, be patient and think before you act. With these simple preparations, you can be ready for the unexpected.
If you would like more information, you can also download the “Preparing Makes Sense For People With Disabilities, Others with Access and Functional Needs and the Whole Community” brochure from the ready.gov website.
"Procrastination is the foundation of all disasters." - Pandora Poikilo
This briefing line is not updated on weekends unless an incident occurs.