Multiple Earthquakes Shake Japan, Cause Widespread Death and Destruction


Three large earthquakes have rocked Japan causing widespread damage and major infrastructure ruin in the Kumamoto area and E of the city Uto.  Here are the facts:

Thursday, April 14, 2016.

  • 6.2M. 2126 Hours.  Located 4.3 miles of Ueki, near city of Kumamoto, Japan.

Friday, April 15, 2016.

  • 6.0M.  0003 Hours.  Located 37 miles E of the City Uto, Japan.

Saturday, April 16, 2016.

  • 7.0M.  0125 Hours.  Located 0.6 miles from Kumamoto-Shi.


  • 74 miles NE of nuclear plant in Kagoshima Prefecture.
  • Southern Japan.
  • Mostly in Kumamoto, Japan.

Historical Facts:

  •  Largest since 2011 [9.0M].
  • Japan has been shaking as far back as 2 yrs ago with quakes in the 4.2M – 5.8M range.
  • Larger Quakes in the 5.9M – 7.1M occurred on 11/13/2015 – 4/15/2016. Could this have been a sign of the upcoming BIG one?

Donation History

  • US poll shows giving almost to $750M for Japan’s 2011 Earthquake recovery.


Incident Cooperators

  • Japanese Law Enforcement
  • Japanese Fire Personnel
  • Self-Defense Force troops
  •  Military Personnel:  350
  • The Japanese Red Cross
  • USFJ to assist with Airlift Operations
  • Japanese Coast Guard
  • medical Units
  • The government states to provide 20,000 staffing levels

Mutual Aid Pending Deployment

  • U.S. Forces


  • Meals.  The Japanese Government is working to acquire 900,000 meals. 3 days worth of food supplies x the number of people evacuated.

Search & Rescue

  • Village of Minamiaso.  The focus has shifted to this village due to many may be entrapped under collapsed structures.
  • Rescue Operations.  Will continue 24/7 including during the evening/night as they are racing against time when they are expecting high winds and torrential rain.


  • Kumamoto airport.  Closed.  All Flights cancelled until April 17, 2016.
  • Hong Kong Flights. Also cancelled.
  • JR Kyushu Railway trains shut down, including Kyushu Shinkansen bullet trains.
  • Nuclear Reactor.  No abnormalities reported by Kyushu Electric Power Co’s Sendai Nuclear Plant in Kagoshima Prefecture. Only 1 operating in Country. All others in Fukushima shut down in 2011 due to tsunami that knocked off the plant’s cooling equipment.
  • Toyota Plant:  work suspended after earthquake.
  • Outages:  100,000 are without power.  105,000 are without gas.  420,000 are without water.  The Japanese chief Cabinet Secretary states water is their highest priority in getting restored.  They are distributing water and other supplies.


  • Nishihara.  Temporary Evacuations due to fear of dam collapse.
  • Japanese Government:  90,000 people evacuated in 681 evacuation centers inside Kumamoto Prefecture area.


  • Kumamoto Hospital.  45 admitted or treated with 5 serious injuries.
  • Social Media:  reporting from 968 – 1500-plus.
  • Japanese Government:  190 severely injured. 807 with minor injuries.


  • Thursday:  9.
  • Saturday:  32.
  • Sunday:  Updated to 35 confirmed by the Japanese government.


  • Uto:  Municipal Building partially destroyed.
  • Assohashi bridge collapsed.
  • ASO Shrine collapsed.
  • Mashiki:  Calls for Help and damage reports given.  Town approximately 800 miles SW of Tokyo.
  • Kumamoto:  90 homes destroyed.
  • Kumamoto: 775 homes destroyed.
  • Major Landslide:  has taken out a highway and communities as it has come down the mountain as images appear all over Social media.
  • Volcano Eruption:  Mount Aso has erupted after Saturday’s earthquake.  No word on if any evacuations are happening in this area or the status of the eruption.


  • Current:  18C degrees. Light rain.


  • No Tsunami alerts, warnings or occurrences have been broadcasted.


  • IFRC Asia Pacific. Red Cross Response Media inquiries.  Rena Igarash. Phone: 818096491577.


  • Safe & Well. American Red Cross. Register at this site to let Friends and Family know you are safe and well, or if you are searching for a Loved One.  Website:
  •  Five Zero Japan.  Free Wi-Fi access point regardless of carrier.  Code:  “00000JAPAN”
  • Airbnb.  Offering accommodations to those affected by the Japan earthquake. All fees have been waived.  Website:


  • IFRC Asia Pacific.  Red Cross.
  • AAR Japan.  Association for Aid & Relief Japan. Works with countries around the globe in disaster relief.  If you wish the funds to be donated specifically to this 2016 quake, indicate “Kumamoto Earthquake”.  Website:
  • Peace Winds America, a disaster preparation and response organization.  focuses on the Asia Pacific.  If donating on this site, make sure to indicate “2016 Kumamoto Earthquake” as the Japan Recovery fund on this site is for the 2011 Quake recovery.  Website:


  • #JAPANEarthquake
  • #Kumamoto


Japan is an island Country in East Asia that is located in the Pacific Ocean that lies East of the Sea of Japan, the East China Sea, China, North Korea,  South Korea and Russia.  It stretches from the Sea of Okhotsk in the North of the East China Sea and Taiwan in the South.

Japan is a stratovolcano group of 6,852 islands.   The four largest are Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyunshu and Shikoku, which make up about 97% of Japan’s land mass.   The Country is divided into 47 prefectures in 8 regions with a total population of 126 million people.  It is considered as the 10th largest world group.  They are considered to make up 95.8% of the population.  Tokyo is home to over 9M people.

Kumamoto is listed as Japan’s 18th largest City with a population of 734,294 people per the 2010 Census stats.

Disclaimer:  All information has been verified to the best of our ability.  Organizations mentioned in this post are not being endorsed by us nor have they been verified as to those we would donated too.  They are simply part of the equation and assisting with recovery and aid to the earthquake victims.  Please verify you are giving to a legitimate organization prior to making a donation.

Sources:  USGS, PM Office of Japan, Earthquakes Japan, Red Cross Japan, Wikipedia Japan, Census and other multitudes of Social Media sources.

(c) 2016 The #NWFireBlog

National Preparedness Month | Day 3 | Create a First Aid Kit


Creating a First Aid Kit in general, is a great tool to have for non-emergencies, such as a sunburn, bug bite, a cut or scrape.  Treating yourself or a family member not needing a higher level of emergency care.

We recommend that you put together a First Aid Kit for your home, car and place of business.


There are several types of First Aid Kits that we will be discussing here are for your home, car and place of business.

We prefer a more lighter case like a duffel bag that has been lined with plastic to protect your contents but other sources recommend something like a metal case


  • First Aid reference booklet

Bleeding and Wound Care

  • Large absorbent dressings/AB pads (5”x9” or larger)
  • Sterile gauze pads, various sizes
  • Roll bandages, various sizes
  • Steri-strips (butterfly bandages)
  • Adhesive tape
  • Syringe or squeeze bottle
  • Antiseptic solution or wipes
  • Antibacterial soap
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Blood stopper powder

Sprains & Strains

  • Ace™-type roll compression bandage
  • Splinting material
  • Triangular bandages


  • Burn gels and ointments
  • Burn pads

Bloodbourne Pathogens Protection

  • CPR barrier
  • Gloves (latex or nitrile) – at least 2 pairs
  • Hand sanitizer (with high % of alcohol]

This First Aid Kit recommendations are for those emergencies that may or may not require 9-1-1 to respond or if you are in an area where 9-1-1 may be delayed due to being in an remote area or if during a Disaster event.

Knowing when to call 9-1-1 if one of the following occurs:

  • Persistent chest pain, especially if it radiates to your arm or jaw or is accompanied by sweating, vomiting or shortness of breath
  • Persistent shortness of breath or wheezing
  • Severe pain, particularly in the abdomen or starting halfway down the back
  • Loss of balance or fainting
  • Difficulty speaking, altered mental status or confusion
  • Weakness or paralysis
  • Severe heart palpitations
  • Sudden, severe headache
  • Sudden testicular pain and swelling
  • Newborn baby with a fever
  • Intestinal bleeding
  • Falls with injury or while taking blood thinning medications
  • Loss of vision
  • Broken bones or dislocated joints
  • Deep cuts that require stitches – especially on the face
  • Head or eye injuries
  • Severe flu or cold symptoms
  • High fevers or fevers with rash
  • Bleeding that won’t stop or a large open wound
  • Vaginal bleeding with pregnancy
  • Repeated vomiting
  • Serious burns
  • Seizures without a previous diagnosis of epilepsy
  • An elderly person falls and needs assistance


We Love the American Red Cross and everything they do for others during times of emergencies, disasters and teaching people about Disaster/Emergency Preparedness. Though we do not represent or speak on their behalf, we can tell you what a great non-profit organization they are whom have helped hundreds, if not thousands of people along the way.

When it comes to First Aid Kits and you may find putting one together may be too difficult or time-consuming, try looking online to purchase one from the American Red Cross.  While you’re online,  sign up for a CPR/First Aid/AED class while you are it. You’ll be glad that you did.


While we may have left out many items in what should go in a First Aid Kit, we are hoping to inspire you to start thinking about having available a First Aid Kit for your home, business and vehicle.  Now, is the time to start putting them together. There are many resources out there that can help you or you can simply go online and purchase one or more yourself.


The following sites were used to glean portions of information for this post.  To find more information on this top, we recommend visiting these sites below.

[Sources:  The Preparedness Blog [], Scripps [, American Red Cross []

[c] 2015 The NW Fire Blog


Kirkland Fire & Emergency Operations Management’s A.R.E.S. Seek Volunteers

Kirkland, WA | The Kirkland Fire and EOM’s Amateur Radio Emergency Services [ARES] Program is calling out to all HAM Radio operators to join their great team of volunteers.  This non-profit organization servces as communications back-up in the event of an emergency or major disaster.


  • Must be 21 years of age.
  • Pass Background Check.
  • Attend Training/Meetings 3rd Tuesday of each month.
  • Must attend Training or Orientation.

LOCATION | 123 – 5th Ave, Kirkland, Washington


Visit the Volunteer Match website and start your profile today.  It’s easy as 1-2-3!

[c] 2015 The NW Fire Blog



TROPICAL CYCLONE PAM: March 13 and 14, 2015

DAYS 5, 6

#TCPAM is starting to tear up the once beautiful tropical areas and making those fear her greatest punch ever.


  • A red alert is issued for provinces of Torba, Sanma, Penama, Malampa, Shefa and Tefea.  Evacuation orders were given to those living in low-lying areas near the Shore and in unstable buildings to seek refuge in evac shelters or concrete-lined buildings.
  • Fiji receives a high amount of heavy rain


“The Southern Pacific Ocean’s Tropical Cyclone Pam was a Category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Wind Scale when NASA’s Aqua satellite passed overhead. Aqua saw the eye of the major hurricane just to the east of Vanuatu.

Aqua image of Pam

 The MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite captured a visible image of Pam on Friday, March 13, 2015 at 02:20 UTC. The image showed Pam’s 15 nautical mile (17.2 mile/27.7 km) wide eye just east of Vanuatu’s islands. Thunderstorms wrapped tightly around Pam’s center.

Another instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite captured infrared data on the storm. Infrared data measured cloud top temperatures, and temperatures of the powerful thunderstorms surrounding Pam’s eye were as cold as -81F (-61C/210K). NASA research has shown that thunderstorms with cloud tops that cold, and that high into the atmosphere have the ability to drop heavy rainfall. The AIRS data was made into an image at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California. The image was false-colored to show temperature differences.

AIRS image of PamThis false-colored infrared image of Category 5 Cyclone Pam shows the small eye just east of Vanuatu, surrounded by very cold cloudtop temperatures indicating powerful thunderstorms (purple).

According to the Vanuatu Meteorological Services on March 13 (March 14 at 1:02 a.m. VUT Vanuatu local time) hurricane force winds of 255 kph (158.4 mph) were affecting the Shefa, Malampa and Penama provinces and slowly extending to the Tafea province. Storm-force winds up to 120 kph (74.5 mph) are expected to continue affecting Sanma and Torba provinces today, but those winds will be decreasing as Pam moves southward.

In additional to hurricane-force winds, very rough to extremely high seas with heavy swells were affecting the Torba, Penama, Sanma, Malampa, Shefa and Tafea provinces. For updated warnings in Vanuatu.” -says NASA

“On the same day, another major tropical cyclone—Category 3 Olwyn—made landfall in Western Australia near the city of Carnarvon. The lower image was acquired at 10:55 am local time (2:55 UTC) by the MODIS on NASA’s Terra satellite. Thousands of people in Carnarvon lost power as a result of the storm, which weakened as it pushed inland.

It has been an unusually busy week for tropical cyclones in the vicinity of Australia. The mosaic above shows three storms—Pam, Nathan, and Olwyn—swirling near the continent on March 11, 2015. The mosaic is based on data collected during three orbital passes of the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on Suomi NPP. Other satellite instruments that can observe more of Earth’s surface at once captured views with a fourth tropical cyclone.The fourth storm, Bavi, is in the Pacific Ocean well north of Pam.” – stated by Rob Gutro, NASA’s Goodard Space Flight Center.


[via Humanity Road]

  • Pentecost Island has 12,000 population
  • At 3pm VTU [18hrs ahead of West Coast time/PST/USA] phone service was out. This island is one of the 83 islands that make up the South Pacific nation of Vanuatu.
  • Ambrym Island is also another island in the Vanuatu nation. This has population of 7,787. They reported at 1800 VTU, that a communication tower had fallen down with unconfirmed fatalities.

 [via UNICEF Pacific]

  • Port Villa images captured by Unicef. See their Facebook page  at:
  • Airport is closed with all flights are cancelled. Expecting to possibly reopen tomorrow evening at the earliest.
  • 90% of the buildings in Port Vila are affected. All mobile towers except for one is destroyed. No communication between Efate, North and South provinces. Field office is operable.

[via Animal Protection]

  • Animal Protection @MoveTheWorld is ready to deploy teams into the field.

[via OxFam]

  • Serious damage to Port Vila airport
  • Runway is flooded.
  • Airport closed.
  • Public works clearing roads, debris and some bridges are out
  • Power outages
  • National broadcast system is down
  • NDMO emergency communications is working and getting messages out
  • Hospital is damaged
  • 26 evacuation centers setup/registered with a few more, will be open for next 2 weeks
  • 4 fatalities reported
  • Red Alert still in force
  •  Communications to outer islands are down

[via CARE Vanuatu]

  • Port Vila is completely devastated
  • Unsure of Vanuatu’s outer islands saying they could be in worse devastation
  • Reporting unconfirmed fatalites
  • Roads are blocked by debris
  • Evacuation centers were damaged and some were flooded

[via Digicel]

  • Major cell outages up North
  • Tanna sites down
  • Some sites down in Efate

[via Vanuatu RedCross]

  • Shelter, food and water are priorities
  • Permanent structures damaged
  • Cyclone-proof buildings badly damaged
  • Thousands in light shelter are affected
  • Sending 1000+ tarpaulins on NZC130 tomorrow
  • Communications are patchy
  • Australia to do a fly-over weather-permitted for an assessment

[via Vanuatu’s National Disaster Management Office]

  • Part of Country’s main hospital “Vila Central’ has been destroyed
  • At 1100 VTU most likely to issue a State of Emergency for the whole Country sometime today
  • All of Efate affected, worse on East Coast.
  • Many injuries but difficult to get to due to downed power lines, blocked roads

[via UNOCHA]

  • 44 unconfirmed deaths on Penama Province
  • Estimated hardest hit islands are Maewo (population 3,569), Ambae (population 10,407) and Pentecost (population 16,843). 

[via 350]

  • Experienced first-hand
  • Destructive winds, heavy rains
  • Flying debris
  • Staff witnessed ceiling tiles falling and water seeping from the outside of the Meterology office inside


  • Workers who used to drive their cars to work are now leaving them at home, hiring out transports.
  • Government transports are very full and overcrowded.
  • Public  transports such as buses are few as the transport company owners do not want to drive their vehicles on the damaged roadways.
  • Students are walking long distances to school, as well as workers who do not have transport.
  • Wait time for buses has been reported up to two hours and additional two hours on a bumpy ride from Betio to Bikenibeu.
  • Weather was reported as being good since the cyclone had ripped through their area leaving devastation behind.
  • Residents were beginning to repair the seawall, while workers worked on repairing the Causeway.  It was shut down in both directions on March 12, 2015.
  • A King tide wave is due to hit this area in the next two weeks.


  • Evacs from the outer islands is conducted by local aircraft with paramedic and advanced life support equipment.
  • Overseas medevac for non-critical patients (seated or on stretchers) is onboard Air Vanuatu’s Boeing 737-300 to Brisbane, Sydney, or Auckland.
  • Seriously ill patients are evacuated by Queensland-based air ambulance with a medical team


The following are agencies working together in unison:

  • WorldVision
  • Vanuatu Red Cross
  • United Nations Disaster Assessment & Coordination
  • Unicef Pacific Islands @UNICEFPacific
  • Unicef Australia @UNICEFAustralia
  • Save The Children Australia @savechildren
  • Samaritans Purse @SamaritansPurse
  • Red Cross New Zealand @NZRedCross
  • Red Cross Australia
  • Pacific Humaritan Team [UNOCHA] @UNOCHA.ROP
  • Oxfam Australia @OxfamAustralia
  • Convoy of Hope @ConvoyofHope
  • CARE Vanuatu
  • CARE Canada @CareCanada
  • CARE Australia
  • 350 Pacific @350


  • Vets Beyond Borders
  • World Animal Protection


By making a Donation to one or all of these sites will go directly to the #TCPam disaster fund helping #MakeADifference in lives of so many affected by this devastating event.Save the Children –  International Phone #1 800 76 0011.

CARE Australia

  • @CareAustralia has launched a donation campaign with current needs: Water purification kits, Family hygiene kits, Emergency food packages

Please Follow Us on Our Social Media Sites!

@nwfireblog [Twitter] – The NW Fire Blog [Facebook] [Flickr] [Tumblr]

OR Drop Us a Line…

[c] 2015 The NW Fire Blog



Pam is becoming more angrier by the minute and day as she lashes out on the people and destroying property that once stood in her way.  We send our heartfelt and compassion upon the people in the South Pacifc.  You all are in our thoughts and prayers.


#TCPam intensified late last night into a Category 4, still remains but is due to increase to a level 5.


They say a picture can tell a thousand words, but this one is quite blunt and doesn’t really need words to explain what is happening.  The people here are bracing for one of the most dangerous and damaging Tropical Storms of all-time.

Photo Courtesy of Kiribati Abau Ni Koaua



  • Animal Protection @MoveTheWorld has distributed “Animal Preparedness” messaging to all animal owners in affected Countries.


  • The National Disaster Management Council meets at NDMO HQ.
  • The National Disaster Emergency Operations Center in Fiji is activated and goes into 24-hour operational period.
  • Humanity Road sends out updates on Fiji’s government.  “Fiji’s military is deployed throughout the Country.
  • Alert to the People:  “There’s still time to PREPARE your home now.”
  • Vanuatu activates emergency plans as Category 5 approaches.
  • Al schools in Northern, Eastern and Western Divisions are shut down on March 12, 2015.


MODIS image of Pam

Image Credit: NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team [Photo Captured March 11, 2015]

When NASA’s Terra satellite passed over Pam on March 11 at 22:50 UTC (6:50 p.m. EDT), the MODIS instrument captured visible data on the storm. The data was made into an image at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. The image showed a thick band of powerful thunderstorms wrapped around the eye of the storm. Banding of thunderstorms from the east and north wrapped into the center of circulation. At the time of the image, Pam was moving through the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu was southwest of the storm.




Please “Follow” Us on our Social Media Sites

@nwfireblog [Twitter] – The NW Fire Blog [Facebook] [Flickr] [Tumblr]

OR Drop Us a Line…

Sources:  NASA, Humanity Road, Kiribati Abau Ni Koaua, Fiji Government.

[c] 2015 The NW Fire Blog

Earthquake Rattles Offshore Causes Tsunami Advisory in Japan

Honshu, Japan | An earthquake occured around 1506 Hours PST  off shore in the Honshu area in Japan shortly this afternoon. Media sources reported the quake from a 6.7 to 6.9.  The 6.9 quake caused a temporary Tsunami advisory but was quickly cancelled.

The Northwest Weather Service and Northwest Tsunami Warning Center based in Alaska says that Coastal States of AK, WA, CA, OR or neighboring Canada will likley see a wave coming their way.

No reports of injuries or damage is being reported at this time.

[c] 2015 The NW Fire Blog | @nwfireblog [Twitter]

2015 HOT! Career Opportunities

Here are some great career opportunities in the Public Safety realm.  Good Luck!

Photo Credit | LR Swenson

Photo Credit | LR Swenson


Photo Credit | LR Swenson

Photo Credit | LR Swenson


January 13, 2015

  • Grants Management Specialist – FEMA, Bothell WA.  $61,867-$80,427/yr.

January 14, 2015

  • Communications Specialist – City of Bothell PD, WA.  $4273-$5432/mo.

January 16, 2015

  • Park Ranger – National Park Service, Longmire WA.  $16.17-$20.03/hour.
  • Communications Officer 2 – WA State Patrol, Bellevue WA.  $3121-$4064/mo.
  • Radio & Communications Systems Specialist – King County DOT, Seattle WA.   $26.29-$37.55/hour.
  • Forensic Scientist 5 / Firearms/Toolmarks, Questioned Documents, and Latent Prints Supervisor –  WA State Patrol, Cheney [Spokane Co] WA.  $4888-$6575/mo.

January 20, 2015

  • 9-1-1 Police Communications Dispatcher, City of Seattle, WA.  $23.92-$27.77/hour.

January 24, 2015

January 28, 2015

  • Forest Crew Supervisor I – WA DNR, Colville WA.  $2289-$3024/mo.

January 29, 2015

  • Fire Inspector I – City of Renton FD, Renton WA.  $4806-$5857/mo.

February 1, 2015

  • Fire Chief – Lake Stevens FD, Lk Stevens WA.  $130-$160,000/annually.

February 3, 2015

  • Wildland Fire Crew Supervisor, WA DNR, Spokane Co WA.  $2482-$3213/mo.

February 6, 2015

  • Entry-Level Firefighter – Bates Technical College, Tacoma, WA.  Multiple Fire Departments in Olympia, South Kitsap, South King and Bremerton looking to hire qualified candidates.

February 13, 2015

February 15, 2015

  • Police Officer Recruit – City of Tacoma [WA].  $25.52-$30.57/hour.
Photo Credit | LR Swenson

Photo Credit | LR Swenson

March 31, 2015

  • Fire Logistics Dispatcher – National Park Service.  Marblemount WA.  $16.17/hour. Temporary, seasonal position.

April 1, 2015

  • 2015 Helitack Firefighter – WA Department of Natural Resources [DNR]. Ellensburg, WA. $1940-$2161/mo. Seasonal position.
  • 2015 Helitack Fuel Support Truck Driver – WA DNR. Ellensburg WA. $2920-$3292/mo.
  • 2015 Helitack Squad Leader – WA DNR.  Ellensburg WA. $2161-2789/mo.

April 6, 2015

  • Lateral Firefighter/EMT & Lateral Firefighter/Paramedic – Snohomish County Fire District #1.  Everett WA.  Applications must be received no later than 1600 on 4/6. After this time or date will NOT be considered.  See link for more information.

June 30, 2015

  • 2015 Wildland Firefighter SE Region – WA DNR.  Multiple Locations. $1940-$2789/mo. Seasonal position.
  • 2015 Wildland Firefighter NW Region – WA DNR.  Multiple Locations. $1940-$2789/mo. Seasonal position.
  • 2015 Wildland Firefighter Pacific Cascade Region – WA DNR.  Multiple Locations. $1940-$2789/mo. Seasonal position.
  • 2015 Wildland Firefighter Olympic Region – WA DNR.  Multiple Locations. $1940-$2789/mo.  Seasonal position.
  • 2015 Wildland Firefighter NE Region – WA DNR.  Multiple locations. $1940-$2789/mo.  Seasonal.
  • 2015 Wildland Firefighter South Puget Sound – WA DNR.  Multiple locations. $1940-$2789/mo.  Seasonal.

Good Luck in your search, application and testing process!

[c] 2015 LR Swenson

Become “WinterWise” Event Hosted by Puyallup’s McLendon Hardware and Pierce County Utilities, DEM

Pierce County is gearing up to respond to winter weather, and community members are encouraged to do the same.

Residents can learn about Pierce County’s response efforts and how they can prepare for winter weather at the WinterWise Kickoff Event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 25 at McLendon Hardware at 11307 Canyon Road E. in Puyallup.

County staff from Public Works and Utilities and the Department of Emergency Management will provide information about county services during winter weather, as well as tips on how to make a family plan for emergencies and build an emergency kit. Children will be able to paint a snow plow that will be used on local roads during snow and ice events. Adults can pick up a list of recommended emergency kit items, and McLendon’s will offer a discount for shoppers that stop by the WinterWise and other vendor booths.

“Public Works and Utilities plays an important role in responding to winter weather, and we encourage people to become familiar with our programs so they know what to expect and who to contact if they need assistance,” said Brian Ziegler, Public Works and Utilities director. “Our WinterWise website also has resources on ways to be sustainable during winter celebrations, such as treecycling, and information on ways to keep sewer pipes functioning properly, such as not flushing wipes and keeping grease from holiday meals out of drains.”

The WinterWise Kickoff Event is part of Public Works and Utilities’ WinterWise outreach program to educate the community about the services the department provides during winter. Those services include response to urban and river flooding, windstorms, and snow and ice events, as well as information on storm cleanup and sustainable winter celebrations. Public Works and Utilities partnered with the Department of Emergency Management this year to help promote emergency preparedness.

“Creating an emergency kit and a family plan are crucial steps we all should take to be ready for winter weather,” said Lowell Porter, Department of Emergency Management director. “At the event, we’ll have the key information you need to get started.”

For more information on Pierce County’s winter services,

Sheryl Rhinehart, Public Works and Utilities outreach coordinator
(253) 798-4655

Sheri Badger, Department of Emergency Management
(253) 798-2204


2014 The NW Fire Blog

September is National Preparedness Month – Creating an Emergency Pre-Plan for your Pet]


Some of you reminded us that Pets should be included in the Emergency Pre-Plan and we couldn’t agree more! We briefly touched base on this subject in our last post but felt we needed to “dig” a little deeper into the subject.

They are just like our “kids” and we want to do everything to include them should we have to evacuate from our homes or Shelter in Place if we are unable to go outside.

Being Pro-Active and Ready for Everyday Emergencies.

First and foremost, start practicing for “Everyday Emergencies” by becoming pro-active regarding your Pet’s Health and Wellness.  We highly recommending microchipping your beloved pets.  This is similar like having a Driver’s License which includes: their pet mircochip number in a database telling the rescuer, their name, address, who is their owner and a contact phone number.

Secondly, make sure your pet has a collar with a pet license and ID tag.  Even though your pet may be microchipped, this is one way rescuers or how a shelter can quickly reunite you with your beloved animal.

Including Your Pet in the Emergency Plan

It is natural to evacuate you and your family, but what do you do with the Family dog, cat, rabbit or ?  You do the next best thing and bring them with you when the WHOLE family evacuates from your home.  Including your pet in the Emergency Plan is something that should be done automatically, as you would any child or family member in your home.

No one ever wants to have to worry if their pet will be OK if left behind.  We know, we would be more than just heartbroken if we were facing that same situation.  This is why it is important to NEVER LEAVE YOUR PET BEHIND.  Your pet is just like family and you would never leave your child behind – so take your pet[s] with you.

Leaving pets behind is a stark reminder of terrible disasters like Hurricane Katrina did to those who were left to fend for themselves, be chained to the front porch or stranded to be rescued.  Unfortunately, not all of them were rescued.  We really don’t want that image to go through our minds once again, therefore means we all need to be pro-active together as a community.

  • Evacuate Early | Don’t wait until the mandatory order has been given and then it becomes a stressful time for you, your family and your furry friends.  Evacuating Early also gives you time to pack up more precious items [valuables, photos, your Survival Kit, First Aid Kit, etc.]  Some whom have waited until the last minute, have been told by Officials to leave their pets behind.  We don’t want this be your case and therefore, recommended you leave early.
  • Remember Your Evacuation Plan | Remember, the Evacuation plan you and your family including your Pet[s] practiced over and over again? This is now time to put it into good use.  Some shelters will allow your family to bring in small pets. Check the local Police Department or Office of Emergency Management’s websites to see what resources you can connect with.
  • Pet Evacuations | Large animals also may need to be evacuated and for this, there should be a pre-plan included indicating how you will transport the animals, location and when the evacuation should begin. This will be determined during your Evacuation Plan drills.  Don’t wait until it’s too late.
  • A Pet “GO” Bag |   What is a “Go” Bag you may ask?  Every househould should have one of these.  It is a water-proof bag that contains extra Pet Food, Water and Supplies for your Pet[s].  Depending on your pet[s]’ needs, you may to pack a minimum of three days away from home supplies and food.  We recommend: extra leashes, collars, booties [in case you are walking in and around shattered glass or broken pieces of wood], extra water, pet food and treats [for helping calm stressed pets].

If It’s Not Safe For Humans to Evacuate, It It’s Not Safe For Your Pets

Sometimes when a disaster strikes, like an Earthquake for example leaving your home may not be an option.  As you know, Earthquakes can strike at any moment’s notice with very little warnings or none at all.  Not only do they cause serious damage to infrastructures, buildings, vehicles, homes, public utilities and scare pets into escaping from  their own “safe” haven, it is something that you should be prepared for.

  • Make sure all nooks and crannies are closed off to pets, to ensure they won’t try to escape or become lodged inside.
  • Remove any toxic chemicals that may have spilled from the shaking of the Earthquake or whatever has caused the chemical to spill.
  • If a warning of impending danger is coming your way, practice your Emergency Plan and bring all those animals you can inside with you.  Larger animals may need to be moved to another “safe” location. This should be in your Pre-Emergency Plan.
  • If doing a “property inspection”, make sure to keep your dogs on leashes and cats in carriers inside your home or they could possibly escape.
  • If you are told to “Shelter in Place” by your Local Office of Emergency Management Office, find a “safe” room for your animals to stay until all danger has cleared.
  • Should you find your home seriously damaged, it is time to evacuate your home and put your training of evacuating into play.
  • If your home is flood, it is vital that you act in a cautious way because wildlife can take refuge in your home or yard becoming a danger to you and your pet.

As stated before, September is National Preparedness Month but this should be something we should be prepare for every day.  Being prepared helps Save Lives and those who we greatly care about.  First Responders will find it easier knowing the homeowners and their pets are in a safe pre-determined location and they won’t need to be searching or rescuing them unnecessarily putting their Safety in jeopardy.

Thank you for joining us and hope you enjoyed our “Human Touch” on “Pets and Emergency Pre-Plans” Tip #3.

(c) 2014 The NW Fire Blog | [Twitter] @nwfireblog | Blog [] | [Email] | [Facebook] The NW Fire Blog


September is National Preparedness Month – Creating an Emergency / Disaster Preparedness Plan

Now that you have your Survival Kit put together, the next step is to Create an “Emergency / Disaster Preparedness Plan.”

  • If you have more members in your Family, get them involved.
  • Hold a Familiy Meeting and talk about the types of Disasters your area may have.
  • Discuss ways to escape your home and agree to two safe ways to evacuate from your home.
  • Agree to two places to meet in case you get separated from one another: 1) meeting place outside of your home & 2) outside of your neighborhood in case you are unable to enter your home.
  • Engage your Family members in what responsibilities each person will assume during the Disaster or Emergency. Practice these often as cohesive team.
  • Plan the routes and meeting places to evacuate to [i.e. friend’s house, hotel, etc.] Practice this at a minimum of twice per year.
  • Have an emergency contact list with you at all times.
  • Have a Preparedness Plan for your pets [friends homes, pet-friendly hotels, Vet’s Office, etc.]
  • Having an out-of-state emergency contact to let Family members know you are safe is a great idea instill in your plan.
  • If you don’t have any out-of-state emergency friends or relatives, the American Red Cross has the Safe and Well website, where you can log on to their website entering your name, date of birth [optional] and email address or you can call 800-RED-CROSS to report you are safe.
  • Those who are searching for their Loved ones in a Disaster can search the Red Cross website by the person’s name and see that you are Safe and Well. This has worked great for many large Disasters and Emergencies.


The American Red Cross website:

“Family preparedness has been a long-established welfare principle.” – Ezra Taft Benson

(c) 2014 The NW Fire Blog | [Blog] | @nwfireblog [Twitter] | [Email] | The NW Fire Blog [Facebook]