The weather in the Pacific Northwest was truly wild this past weekend. The I-5 corridor from Centralia to points south experienced four days of snow, ice and hazardous traffic issues, while we in Grays Harbor County escaped the nasty weather until Saturday afternoon.
The National Weather Service had to scamper as Mother Nature included the county in her snowstorm. In just a few hours, 2 to 6 inches of snow fell.
It is a reminder we cannot predict what Mother Nature will impose upon us or when. Even with the new Doppler Radar in Grays Harbor County, it was impossible to predict our snowstorm until it happened. Imagine if it occurred on an early weekday afternoon while school was in session. The weather impact upon traffic, schools trying to dismiss, businesses shutting down, workers trying to make their way home and emergency response would had been enormous upon every one.
Grays Harbor Emergency Management strongly recommends:
1) Create a family plan for all weather-related situations, earthquake, flooding and for those in coastal areas and inundation zones, tsunami. The plan should have a way to communicate during the events and what each member will do at home, school, work or other places such as the food store or gym.
2) Please obtain an All Hazards (ALERT) Weather Radio for immediate notification of emergency and disaster events. They are available at numerous hardware stores throughout the county.
3) Carry water, a blanket, shovel, flashlight and flares in your vehicle in the event you become stranded.
4) All family members (including pets) should have a GO Kit prepared if you must evacuate your home quickly.
For more information on Family Plans, Go Kits or any other Emergency Management issue, please contact Grays Harbor County Emergency Management at (360) 249-3911 ext. 1575 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Grays Harbor County also has a software application that can automatically call or email people who have registered with the Division of Emergency Management. The system will send you an email or call home, cell and work numbers. It will also leave a message on your answering machine in case you’ve missed the call.
Chuck Wallace is the deputy emergency management director of Grays Harbor County.