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The original item was published from 10/20/2021 9:33:51 AM to 10/26/2021 12:00:02 AM.

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Sheriff - Emergency Management Daily Briefing

Posted on: October 19, 2021

[ARCHIVED] October 20, 2021 Emergency Management Daily Briefing

Active Incidents

On August 18th, Governor Inslee ordered a statewide mask mandate.  Please see the Governor's website at the following URL:

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 (, 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:

Advisories, Watches and Warning

A "Small Craft Advisory" remains in effect until 5:00am Thursday morning for southeast winds 20-30 knots.

Environment Canada has issued a "Strong  Wind Warning" for the Strait of Georgia-South of Nanaimo.  Winds light increasing to southeast 15-25 knots this morning.  Wind southeast 15-25 knots tonight and Thursday.

Inland Weather

Today begins a stretch of precipitation that will take us into early next week.  Temperatures will remain fairly steady in a range from the mid 50s to low 60s with the exception of Newhalem which will drop into the mid-40s for highs (tomorrow will reach 53 degrees).  Lowes for the most part will be in the mid-40s.  We will have breezy conditions over the next several days as well with the coastal areas seeing the strongest gusts (Point Roberts may see gusts to 40mph or a little stronger today).  The winds along the coast will come from the south/southeast while the interior parts of the county will have a southerly wind switching to the northeast and east later tonight and tomorrow (the interaction of the Cascade range and the frontal systems leads to some very interesting wind directions from time to time and this appears to be one of them).  We can expect some wind again tomorrow but not quite as pronounced as today.  Temperatures will feel cooler due to the precipitation and rain so make sure you are dressed appropriately for whatever activity you're engaged in if outdoors.  If you're headed into the higher elevations,  For example, the Mount Baker Ski Resort area will be seeing a mixture of rain/snow this weekend; it stand to reason elevations above that will be all snow.

Rivers and Streams

Our first little bump in the Nooksack River level will begin on Friday; it may not even be noticeable.  However, with the additional weather systems dropping precipitation, the level will continue to rise into next week.  No flooding is predicted at this time, but if you're on or around the river be prepared for faster moving water and deeper water levels.  Considerable more leaves are falling now and that will likely cause some drains and culverts to start plugging up.  The best thing you can do if you have something like that on your property is to clear the debris away so the water can flow uninhibited which will help prevent water pooling in lower areas and cause localized flooding.  Thank you.

Whatcom County Coastal Weather

The first in a series of frontal systems will move through the area waters today.  Additional weather systems are expected through the weekend with the active weather pattern over the area affecting winds and seas.  Winds.  Today:  SE wind 15-25 knots.  Wind waves 2-4'.  A chance of rain in the evening then a slight chance of rain after midnight. Tonight:  SE wind 15-25 knots.  Wind waves 2-4'.  A chance of rain in the evening then a slight chance of rain after midnight. Tomorrow:  E wind 15-25 knots.  Wind waves 2-4'.  A slight chance of rain in the morning then rain likely in the afternoon.  Tomorrow Night:  SE wind 15-25 knots rising to 20-30 knots after midnight.  Wind waves 3-5'.  As noted earlier in the Advisories, Watches, and Warnings section, the Small Craft Advisory was extended to tomorrow morning.  Looking at the winds for tomorrow and tomorrow night, there is a pretty good chance another "Small Craft Advisory" will be issued or the current one extended due to the level of winds predicted.  Continue to monitor Marine Weather for those notices as they may be issued rather abruptly.  


High Tide
Low Tide
October 20, 202106247.87
October 20, 20211149
October 20, 202117398.43
October 21, 20210021
October 21, 202107128.24
October 21, 20211230
October 21, 202117558.18
October 22, 20210048
October 22, 2021
October 22, 2021
October 22, 2021
October 23, 2021

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.

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