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The original item was published from 11/3/2021 10:17:05 AM to 11/10/2021 12:00:02 AM.

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Sheriff - Emergency Management Daily Briefing

Posted on: November 3, 2021

[ARCHIVED] November 03, 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 now and will continue in effect until 6:00am Friday morning for southeast winds 20-30 knots.  This includes the east entrance of US waters  for the Strait of Juan De Fuca and Northern Inland Waters including the San Juan Islands.

Environment Canada has issued a "Strong Wind Warning: for the Strait of Georgia-South Nanaimo.  Winds southeast 15-25 knots backing to easterly 15-20 knots early this morning then diminishing to easterly 5-15 knots near noon.  Wind increasing to easterly 15-25 knots this evening and to southeast 20-30 knots near midnight.  Winds southeast 20-30 knots Thursday.  

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

The Cliff Note version of the weather is:  expect wet conditions through Sunday with some wind overnight tonight and into tomorrow and tomorrow night. Temperatures will be around 60 degrees for highs the next couple of days with lows around 50 tonight and then 5-10 degrees colder both day and night beginning Friday.  So, we will have several fronts pushing through the area over the next 4-5 days.  Due to the way the winds wrap around the Cascades, we'll see some southerly winds in the Bellingham area but east/northeast winds up in the Point Roberts area and farther east.  As the system passes, they will switch around to the southeast and then repeat the process although tomorrow and tomorrow night will see the stronger of the winds with gusts in the  30-40 mph range. Newhalem can expect to see some rain/snow mixtures by Saturday night into Sunday as the lows there will drop to 33 degrees.  While there are no travel advisories, if there is rain/snow mixtures in Newalem and you travel plans are to use the north Cascades highway to go to Winthrop, or beyond, the possibility of all snow should be on your mind along with accumulations of snow.  You'll definitely want to check road conditions before traveling through the Cascades on Sunday.

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 frontal system will move through Western Washington tonight and Thursday.  Additional weather systems will arrive Friday and Saturday  Winds.  Today:  SE wind 15-25 knots.  Wind waves 2-4'.  A chance of rain. Tonight:  E wind 10-20 knots rising to 15-25 knots after midnight.  Wind waves 2-4'  Rain.  Tomorrow:  SE wind 15-25 nots becominb S 20-30 knots in the afternoon.  Wind waves 3-5'.  Rain.  Tomorrow Night:  E SW wind 20-30 knots becoming SE 15-25 knots after midnight.  Wind waves 3-5'.  Note.  Friday night looks like some "Small Craft Advisory" range winds will develop so watch for an advisory to be issued for that period some time in the future.

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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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