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The original item was published from 11/2/2021 9:53:01 AM to 11/9/2021 12:00:03 AM.

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Sheriff - Emergency Management Daily Briefing

Posted on: November 2, 2021

[ARCHIVED] November 02, 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. 


The United States has announced that fully vaccinated, non-citizen travelers with appropriate documentation will be permitted to enter the United States for non-essential travel via land Ports Of Entry and ferry terminals starting on November 8, 2021 and has released this fact sheet to assist those entering the United States.

Canada allows fully vaccinated Americans to visit Canada with these Canadian requirements:

Advisories, Watches and Warning

A  "Small Craft Advisory" is in effect from  12:00pm noon to 6:00pm this evening for the Northern Inland Waters including the San Juan Islands due to southeast winds 15-25 knots.

A "Gale Warning" is in effect from 6:00pm this evening until 2:00am tomorrow morning for the Northern Inland Waters including the San Juan Islands due to southeast winds 25-35 knots.

Environment Canada has issued a "Strong Wind Warning: for the Strait of Georgia-South Nanaimo.  Winds easterly 10-15 knots increasing to southeast 20-30 knots early this evening then diminishing to southeast 15-20 knots Wednesday morning.  Wind diminishing to easterly 5-15 knots near noon Wednesday.

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

Temperatures around the county today will approach 60 degrees with lows tonight dropping to near 50 degrees.  There is a chance of rain developing after 11:00am this morning and that chance will continue through the rest of the work week.  The wind today will be on the lighter side except for Point Roberts which will experience some wind to 20 mph from the east.  The coastal areas will also see some wind as we have an advisory and gale watch for the open waters and we should always expect a little bit of that wind to overlap our coastal communities,  We can expect some additinal breeze tomorrow working its way into the middle part of the county; again, nothing strong, but east/northeast wind can be expected in the north and center parts of the county with southern areas still  seeing a slight southerly breeze.  The rain is not expected to be heavy, but you should always plan for some of that water to collect in the tracks worn into our roads which can cause hydroplaning if you're traveling too fast.  Higher elevations including the ski resort area will go back and forth between a rain/snow mixture today, then rain through Thursday night with snow likely on Friday and into Saturday.  There will be a southerly breeze that could see 30 mph gusts tonight and a little less tomorrow.  And, as a little side note, Mount Baker is starting to see some nice snowfalls as well which will be very welcome to our rivers and streams in the spring.

Rivers and Streams

The Nooksack River level has retreated nicely from its highs last week. We can expect that rain over the next few days will push the river levels up again but not as high as last time leaving no flood concerns as we move into Friday and Saturday.  

Whatcom County Coastal Weather

A warm front will move through the area this afternoon and evening.  A second frontal system will move through the area Wednesday night and Thursday.,  Additional weather systems will  arrive Friday and Saturday.   Winds.  Today:  E wind 5-15 knots becoming SE 10-20 knots in the afternoon.  Wind waves 1-3' .  A chance of rain in the afternoon.  Tonight:  SE wind 25-35 knots easing to 20-30 knots after midnight.  Wind waves 3-6'.  Rain.  Tomorrow:  SE 15-25 knots.  Wind waves 2-4'.  A chance of rain.  Tomorrow Night:  E wind 5-15 knots.  Wind waves 2' or less..  Note.  Following the expiration of the "Gale Warning" early tomorrow morning, winds remain in the "Small Craft Advisory" range.  As of now the weather service has not posted any advisories for that period, but experience shows that will likely occur at some point prior to expiration of the Gale Warning..

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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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