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The original item was published from 10/21/2021 9:32:07 AM to 10/27/2021 12:00:03 AM.


Sheriff - Emergency Management Daily Briefing

Posted on: October 21, 2021

[ARCHIVED] October 21, 2021 Emergency Management Daily Briefing

Great WA Shakeout Earthquake Exercise at 10:21 am this morning; tsunami sirens will produce actual wailing sound with voice message. Rain beginning around 1:00pm today with some wind from the south/southeast. Highs upper 50s to mid-60s; lows 50 to mid-50s

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 8:00am Friday morning for southeast winds 20-30 knots affecting the east entrance to US waters Strait of Juan De Fuca-Northern Inland Waters including the San Juan Islands Admiralty Inlet.

Environment Canada has issued a "Strong  Wind Warning" for the Strait of Georgia-South of Nanaimo.  Winds southeast 15-2o knots increasing to southeast 20-30 knots this morning then diminishing to southeast 15-20 knots this evening.  Wind diminishing to southeast 10-15 knots overnight.  Winds southeast 10-15 knots Friday.

Check the Washington State Department of Transportation website for intermittent lane closures on i-5 and SR-11 along Interstate 5 at milepost 250 near Old Fairhaven Parkway and along State Route 11 just west of I-5.  This will go from October 20 through November 30.

Inland Weather

Broken clouds will gradually thicken through this afternoon with rain spreading from north and west to the east parts of the county beginning around 1:00pm.  Rain is not expected to be heavy and accumulations will generally be in the one-quarter to one-half inch amounts in half-day increments; but, that will continue through Monday.  Fortunately, slow rains like this will mostly soak into the ground.  Temperatures will reach the mid-60s in places today before dropping back overnight. Winds will also start to pickup with the higher gusts tonight and into early tomorrow.  The highest winds will generally be along the coast but there will be some occasional gusts from the south/southeast spilling into the lowlands. Point Roberts could see gusts tonight near 40mph. Low temperatures  will be in the 50s for most areas, but Newhalem will be in the low 40s.  Tomorrow, more rain; highs in the mid to upper 50s with lows again in the lower 50s mid-40s in Newhalem.

Rivers and Streams

The outlook for rivers and streams over the next several days remains the same-slowly receding yet today before gradually rising again.  The most noticeable rise in rivers and streams will come early next week (beginning Monday).  If you're on or around the river be prepared for faster moving water and deeper water levels  but no flooding will occur as things appear now.  On the other side, considerably more leaves are falling now and will likely lead to some some drains and culverts becoming plugged which could result in water backing up and pooling.  If you encounter areas wherethe water can flow uninhibited which will help prevent water pooling in lower areas and cause localized flooding.  Thank you.

Whatcom County Coastal Weather

A series of vigorous frontal systems will cross the waters in the coming week.  A strong frontal system associated with a rapidly deepening sub-960 millibar surface low well offshore will move across the area tonight.  The next frontal system arrives Saturday, followed by a potentially significant storm on Sunday.  Active weather will then persist through much of next week.  Winds.  Today:  E wind 15-25 knots becoming SE 20-30 knots in the afternoon.  Wind waves 2-4' building to 3-5' in the afternoon.  A chance of rain in the afternoon.  Tonight:  SE wind 20-30 knots easing to 15-25 knots after midnight.  Wind waves 3-5' subsiding to 2-4' after midnight.  Rain in the evening then a chance of rain after midnight. Tomorrow:  SE wind 15-25 knots becoming S 5-15 knots in the afternoon.  Wind waves 2-4' subsiding to 2' or less in the afternoon. With several weather systems to transit the area over the next week, expect small craft advisories to continue to be issued with little lead time. Both Saturday and Sunday appear to have period when winds will push into the Small Craft Advisory levels.


High Tide
Low Tide
October 21, 20210021
October 21, 202107128.24
October 21, 20211230
October 21, 202117558.18
October 22, 20210048
October 22, 202107598.56
October 22, 20211313
October 22, 202118117.93
October 23, 2021

October 23, 2021

October 23, 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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