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The original item was published from 11/1/2021 9:16:38 AM to 11/6/2021 12:00:02 AM.

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Sheriff - Emergency Management Daily Briefing

Posted on: November 1, 2021

[ARCHIVED] November 01, 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" is in effect from  9:00am this morning until 10:00pm this evening for the northern inland waters including the San Juan Islands for southeast winds 20-30 knots.

See 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

Today's weather will shift from sun in the early part of the day to a chance for rain later.  Temperatures will be near 60 degrees except for Point Roberts and Newhalem where they will be 5-10 degrees cooler.  There is a chance of rain again tonight becoming mostly cloudy tomorrow before another chance for rain develops.  Temperatures overnight will drop to the 40s or a little below for Newhalem.  There will a breezed around the area today with Bellingham seeing a southerly direction but from a west or northerly direction in Pt Robert, Blaine, and Sumas.  Tomorrow, Point Roberts will see east winds with gusts near 20 mph daytime and near 32 mph in the evening.

Rivers and Streams

The Nooksack will not quite drop back to previous levels before the next shot of rain causes it to rise again.  We can expect the forks of the Nooksack to begin a short-lived rise beginning Friday into Saturday.  The levels are expected to top well below the tops of the bank so no river flooding is predicted at this time.  However, there is always the chance small streams could exceed their bank due to a locally heavy downpour.  And, we can't rule out water backing up in low areas yet as a large shedding of the leaves by trees occurred in the last week or so which resulted in some plugged drain and culverts.  The best advice is to have an alternate route identified if you had to detour around an area.  And, slow down during rain as hydroplaning is a real possibility accompanied by loss of vehicle control. Turn you lights on, use your car's direction signals to inform other drivers of your intentions and increase the distance between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you.

Whatcom County Coastal Weather

A front today will increase winds across the area.  An active pattern then sets up for the remainder of the week, with breezy conditions likely and swells increasing. Winds.  Today:  E wind 10-20 knots becoming SE 20-30 knots in the afternoon.  Wind waves 1-3' building to 3-5' in the afternoon.  Rain likely in the afternoon.     Tonight:  SE wind 15-25 knots easing to 10-20 knots after midnight.  Wind waves 2-4'.  Rain likely in the evening.  Tomorrow:  SE wind 5-15 knots.  Wind waves 2' or less.  A chance of rain in the afternoon. Tomorrow Night:  SE wind 20-30 knots.  Wind waves 3-5'.  Note.  While the current "Small Craft Advisory" runs into this evening, over the coming days there are several periods where winds fall in the 15-25 mph range.  Experience has shown that the National Weather Service is likely to issue Small Craft Advisories for those periods in the future.  Tune to marine weather to ensure you get the latest weather updates including advisories, watches, or warnings.

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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.

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