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.
Due to the warm weather conditions ahead and decreasing fuel moisture levels, the Whatcom County Fire Marshal’s Office will be enacting restrictions on open burning in unincorporated Whatcom County starting at 0800 on Monday, July 27, 2020. For more information on the burn ban, please refer to this press release.
The U.S. and Canada have for a third 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 August 21. This includes both vehicular traffic as well as recreational boating between the countries.
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.
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.
Advisories, Watches and Warnings:
There is a small craft advisory in effect from now until 2300 this evening.
Whatcom County Weather
One last chance for some drizzle in the area into this morning, but dry conditions return for the rest of the day today and continue over the weekend. Temperatures will be a few degrees cooler today, but will be returning to a warming weather pattern Saturday.
Coastal Weather for Whatcom County
For the Coastal and Inland waters of Whatcom County, we can expect southwesterly wind 10 to 20 knots. Wind waves should be 1 to 3 feet. Tonight, the winds should remain southwesterly 10 to 20 knots with wind waves 1 to 3 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.
Caring for Children in Disaster Tips:
Educate Your Kids: Depending on your child’s age, they may know that earthquakes and wind storms can cause serious damage and hurt people, but may not understand what actually happens during these events or what causes them. Parents should start by teaching kids about two types of disasters that could affect the home: an evacuation emergency, such as a fire, and a shelter-in-place emergency. The fire emergency is a smart starting point for the discussion because both natural disasters and non-weather-related issues can cause fire.
Offer Comfort: It’s natural for kids to be fearful of these events. You should try to reassure your child, but don’t say there’s no reason to be afraid or a disaster won’t happen. It’s not good to make promises about situations you can’t control. Instead, let them know it’s okay to be scared, then be honest about the situation. Even for kids as young as age 5, you could say, "Sometimes these things do happen. It’s very rare, but not impossible. Here’s what we will do to get through it."
Create a Family Disaster Plan: Gather your kids and explain the importance of preparation. Talk about which disasters your family is most at risk for, how to prepare for each danger, and how to respond if it occurs. Then create an evacuation plan that includes two outside meeting places in case your family members are separated. One spot should be right outside your home, maybe near the mailbox. The other should be outside the neighborhood -- at the library, for instance, or in front of the police station -- in case you can’t return home. You also need a shelter-in-place plan. Choose a room with the fewest windows and doors to designate as the safe room. Other considerations during emergency planning can be the care of pets, how to turn off utilities, and the disaster plans of your child’s school.
Prepare a Kid-Focused Disaster Kit: Allow your child to help you gather and build the kit. This will reassure them that you really are prepared, and they will feel good about doing their part to protect the family. Your kit should include: nonperishable foods, water, a battery-powered radio, flashlights, extra batteries, a manual can opener, cash, copies of personal identification, matches, a cell phone and charger, and an extra set of keys. Depending on your family’s needs, you may also need diapers, formula, prescription medications, and other essentials. Add your child’s favorite snacks as well as a couple of coloring books or other small hobbies they enjoy. Making the day after the disaster as much like the day before the disaster helps kids have a sense of normalcy during a distressing time.
Drill and Practice With The Kids: Just as your child practices fire drills at school, disaster drills at home are a good way to review what to do during a crisis. First, model the drill for your children and then have them participate. Depending on which drill you’re practicing, you want to teach your kids how to warn others of the danger, how to escape from the home, where to meet after escaping, where to "shelter" inside the home, how to contact emergency personnel, and what steps to take after the incident. Practice drills regularly, and as your kids get the hang of them, pick up speed to simulate the sense of urgency during a true emergency.
"Procrastination is the foundation of all disasters." - Pandora Poikilo
This briefing line is not updated on weekends unless an incident occurs.