On August 18th, Governor Inslee ordered a statewide mask mandate. Please see the Governor's website at the following URL: https://www.governor.wa.gov/
COVID-19 - The “Proclamation of Emergency” signed by the Whatcom County Executive concerning COVID-19 remains in effect.
UPDATE: The U.S. side of the Canadian border will open to vaccinated Canadians starting in early November (https://www.dhs.gov/news/2021/10/12/secretary-mayorkas-allow-fully-vaccinated-travelers-canada-and-mexico-enter-us-land#), however until the official date is announced, the U.S. border remains closed to nonessential traffic. Canada allows fully vaccinated Americans to visit Canada however, there are several additional requirements you need to be aware of. See Canada Border Services Agency for additional requirements: https://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/travel-voyage/gbi-rgf-eng.html.
Advisories, Watches and Warning
Showers will gradually decrease overnight before tapering off on Wednesday morning. There could be a few stragglers on Wednesday afternoon but confidence is leaning towards most hours being dry over Whatcom County. More organized shower activity will increase Wednesday night and showers should persist in an on and off fashion. They'll maintain into Thursday but possibly decrease in coverage. Daily temps will remain below average. Another system is slated to bring steady rain into Friday morning. Rain continues throughout the day before tapering off into the evening hours. However, another stronger looking system brings more rain into Saturday morning that then continues overnight and into Sunday. Things may dry out on Monday but more rainfall is likely as next week progresses. Breezy to gusty winds can also be expected with passing systems.
Rivers and Streams
Things remain pretty much the same. There is some increase in water levels, but all of the increased levels are well below the banks so no chance of flooding except for small streams which could overflow their banks due to blockage or sudden downpour. If encountering such a situation, turn around and find an alternate route. Loss of 10 minutes of time is a much better option than attempting to cross a stream and becoming stranded, or worse.
Whatcom County Coastal Weather
Weak high pressure will build over the area today. Meanwhile seas at the outer Coastal Waters will remain around 10 feet. A weak warm front will brush the area Thursday then a cold front will arrive late Friday. A stronger system is likely over the weekend. Today we should see NW wind 5 to 15 kt becoming SW in the afternoon. Wind waves 2 ft or less. A slight chance of rain in the morning. Over night, conditions will remain about the same, and on Thursday we should see SE wind 10 to 20 kt easing to 10 kt in the afternoon. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft subsiding to 1 ft or less in the afternoon. Rain likely.
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Emergency Management Tips and Reminders
Fall is a time for mushroom picking, hunting, fishing, hiking and exploring. And to be prepared.....
While this is a great time of year, everyone needs to be prepared in the event they find that their planned weekend in the woods does not go the way they intended, and here are a few tips:
Back Country Medical Kit
You definitely need to carry a first aid kit, and for most people and most injuries the following is a good place to start when you are going out in the back country even for a day. There are lots of good sources on the Internet to find kits but the following list is primarily centered around patching cuts and cleaning wounds in an emergency:
- Tape and Glue – Duct tape and super glue. Super glue can be used in place of stitches. Athletic tape is great but duct tape can wrap a wound or fix gear so not a bad idea to keep a small roll for multipurpose use.
- Gauze and Bandages – A few small squares of gauze and several adhesive bandage squares are essential. You can use the large squares and cut them into strips if needed. Primarily used for blisters. You could stuff the gauze in a deep wound to stop bleeding if needed.
- Disinfectant – Keep a small amount of antiseptic in case of a serious wound and a small tube of triple antibiotic ointment. Rinse wounds with water first then clean everything before patching things up.
- QuickClot – In a worst case scenario, rapid blood loss can crush your odds of surviving. Hunters and anglers are handling knives and firearms in remote places where accidents can happen. A blood clotting agent will stop the rapid blood loss and can save your life. It’s also easy to find over the counter.
- Pills – Aspirin for swelling and potential heart problems is a good idea, and if you are out overnight you may want to make sure you have any extra medications you may take just in case.
Back Country Preparedness Kit
As with your first aid kit, there are lots of good sources on the Internet to find kits and the following suggestions are a good place to start, especially if you are going into the foothills and mountains in our area:
- Water Filtration System - Most of us understand the importance of hydration, but depending on how long you plan to be in the back country it might not be feasible to pack enough water. A small filtration system will allow you to acquire clean drinking water without having to lug around a few gallons.
- Cooking Pot - This can be used for more purposes than you think. You’ll definitely need it for cooking, but you’ll also need a container to put your freshly filtered water in. And when it starts to get cold you can also heat your water to provide extra warmth.
- Leatherman Signal - With implements such as a ferro rod for starting fires, a saw for cutting down branches, and a safety whistle that can be heard from far away, this tool will prove it’s worth when you’re in a rough spot. Keep one in your pocket or clip one on to your backpack.
- Compact Stove (with fuel) - The modern day camp stove is so compact and easy to use that there is almost no excuse to not have one. Cooking meals, providing heat, and even purifying water (if your filtration system fails). Make sure one of these lives in your bag and the fuel is always full.
- Trail Mix - Healthy, energy-rich, and no cooking necessary. A small bag of trail mix is a perfect snack for being in the outdoors. Make sure it has a good mix of nuts, dried fruits, bits of dark chocolate and other items to make it tasty.
- Compass - This may seem a bit old fashioned, but a quality compass is still an incredibly useful tool. When cell service isn’t an option, how will you find your way around? A small compass and an understanding of your surroundings will ensure that you can find your way when all else fails.
- Flashlight - Even if you don’t plan to be out in the back country past dark, pack a flashlight. Things happen and plans change. If you’re in an unfamiliar part of the woods with no lights, things can go bad fast. Don’t like to carry one? Try a headlamp to keep your hands free.
- Emergency Blanket - Also known as space-blankets (originally designed by NASA), this compact/light weight item should live in everybody’s bag. The thin mylar sheet works to trap in heat or reflect it making it extremely versatile. It can also double as a make-shift shelter to keep you protected from the elements.
Both the medical and preparedness items listed here are considered to be the minimum a person should take with them. They are not intended to be the only things or to suggest that you do not need anything else. You can find good information locally at:
- Yeagers, 3101 Northwest Ave, Bellingham, WA 98225, 360.733.1080
- REI, 400 36th St, Bellingham, WA 98225, 360.647.8955
- American Alpine Institute, 1515 12th St, Bellingham, WA 98225, 360.671.1505
Information concerning face coverings and other protective actions can be found on the Whatcom County Health Department Website.
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.