GEt Ready for
WINTER Published as a supplement to the Snoqualmie Valley Record
Big, wet trouble, Page 12
What to expect when floods threaten
CERT Team training, Page 13
Lower Valley volunteers brace for disaster
Plan now, save worry later
Family readiness fun, Page 14 Cold and flu season arrives, Page 16
Emergency prep in four easy weekly steps
Flood warning levels, Page 15
Where to watch for high water
Tips to stay healthy from hospitalâ€™s doctor
Insurance essentials, Page 16 Understand risks to avoid devastating loss
12 • October 30, 2013 • Snoqualmie Valley Record
Big, wet trouble What to expect when floods threaten the Snoqualmie Valley By Seth Truscott Editor
Years of enduring flooding, and rebuilding, are etched in Snoqualmie’s downtown neighborhood. Residents who’ve been here more than a few years can point to the lines on the wall that mark high water. Locals anticipate the areas that flood first. And the city firefighters have the warning system down to a science. “We know floods,” says Snoqualmie Fire Chief Bob Rowe. “That’s one thing Snoqualmie is known for.” So when the river monitoring stations uphill say that the river is rising enough for flooding, firefighters go into action. The city sends out reverse-911 calls, messaging residents in areas that will get wet. Later, firefighters will go door to door, asking people to flee. If they don’t go, they can get trapped. In Snoqualmie, typically the worst-hit Valley city, it starts with Pickering Court, downtown. Then, neighborhoods by the river, at Meadowbrook, and near Kimball Creek start to flood. A big one can swamp most of the downtown area. Emergency officials’ major concern, every time, is safety. So when the word to evacuate comes, Rowe asks that locals take heed. Many lowland residents have already raised their homes. “That’ll protect the house,” said Rowe. “If they decide to stay in their house, they might be dry, and no problems. But what if they have a medical emergency? Or the power goes out and they start getting cold? I have to put my rescuers in harm’s way,” sending the city’s swiftwater team through cold, treacherous hazards to save someone who should have heeded the warning. The winter of 2013-14 is expected to be another neutral year in the El Niño/La Niña weather cycle. Neutral years can sometimes bring major weather events and floods. In the Valley, the 2006 neutral winter brought a windstorm that knocked out power in the Valley for a week or more, followed by the second worst flood on record. The 1990 flood, considered the worst ever, was also a neutral year. “We can get a good snowpack and have a ‘Pineapple Express,’” a burst of warm weather that melts all that snow, said Rowe. “That’s what caused the severe flooding in 1990.” Snoqualmie isn’t the only Valley city that floods. Low-lying areas of North Bend can and do get inundated. In the 2009 flood, inches of water covered the grounds of the Mount Si Senior Center, downtown. Medium floods can wash over the lowland golf courses at Fall City, and a big one can cover Highway 202 between Snoqualmie Falls and the Fall City roundabout. Residential flooding is rare in the vicinity of Carnation. But when a major flood hits, it can isolate the city. The roads that cross the Valley, including Highway 203 south and north
Seth Truscott/File Photo
A Snoqualmie firefighter checks in with a downtown family a few hours prior to the arrival of floodwaters in January 2009. Snoqualmie emergency responders give locals notice and urge residents to evacuate when necessary. of the city, go under. But the town itself rarely floods. Putting the Valley back together, responders usually start by restoring power. “The communities usually try to get schools back in session as quickly as possible,” said Rowe. That brings a sense of normalcy. “Then, (we) get the business back up and running so people can get their supplies and then clean up.” Rowe is hosting a meeting with partner agencies, including EFR, the Snoqualmie Valley School District, Snoqualmie Valley Hospital and local public works staff, on October 30 The idea is to put a community-wide plan in place, and establish contacts. “We may be isolated,” Rowe said. “We need to work together to make sure our communities’ needs are being met. One particular concern this year is how residents outside the cities can get around safely in snowstorms, due to cuts by the county roads division.
Thinking ahead Josie Williams, a former Fall City resident and spokeswoman for Eastside Fire and Rescue, went nine days without power in the 2006 storm. See BIG WET TROUBLE, 14
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Citizen emergency team readies for response Lower Valley disaster preparedness exercises happen, rain or shine
Medical Reserve Corps team members Duvall FD45 firefighter Jackson Beard III, Dr. Hans Dankers and nurse Deb Schilens confer about a simulated patient, injured during an earthquake, as part of an exercise held by the Carnation-Duvall Citizen Corps in Tolt MacDonald Park near Carnation.
The rain and wind didn’t stop disaster preparations in Tolt-MacDonald Park in Carnation. During the morning of Sept. 28, the radio call came in—“Injuries at the park”—setting in motion the Carnation-Duvall Citizen Corps response exercise. The exercise integrated Community Emergency Response Teams, Carnation-Duvall Medical Reserve Corps, and Snoqualmie Valley Amateur Radio Club, with King County Duvall Fire District 45, Eastside Fire & Rescue, Snoqualmie Valley Hospital and Valley General Hospital. Evaluators from the King County Office of Emergency Management said, “Good job.” Yes, there were some procedures with rough edges, but they will be smoother next time. Exercises help identify needed improvements. Carnation-Duvall Community Emergency Response Team—CERT, volunteers exercised their skills in light search and rescue, triage, disaster medical response and disaster psychology in as close to the real thing as could be simulated. Volunteers were moulaged—made up to look like they had suffered injuries. Eastside Fire & Rescue helped CERT practice cribbing, a technique of building a fulcrum and then lifting and stabilizing a heavy object, to free a trapped person. Carnation-Duvall Medical Reserve Corps— CDMRC volunteers accepted patients, performed a second triage, and provided treatment in a simulated Field Treatment Center. There are five Citizen Corps Field Treatment Centers in the community. Snoqualmie Valley Amateur Radio Club— SnoVARC volunteers coordinated radio communi-
Snoqualmie Valley Record • October 30, 2013 • 13
cations between CERT and CDMRC at the disaster site with the Emergency Operations Center in Duvall FD45 headquarters. Other hams at the operations center radioed local hospitals to expect the injured. In response, Snoqualmie Valley Hospital exercised its patient surge plan. A video of the exercise is available on YouTube at http://youtu.be/pHGs6hf3RZY, courtesy of Ric Eittreim, Far North Productions. An exercise is being planned for next summer. If you are a CERT, a member of CDMRC or a SnoVARC ham, or want to become one, answer the call. Sign up with Citizen Corps. Make contact by sending e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or calling (425) 844-9470. Carnation-Duvall Citizen Corps Council brings all these programs together for community safety. Check out Citizen Corps on the Web at www.carnationduvallcitizencorps.org. You will also find links to CERT, CDMRC and SnoVARC. Prepare yourself and your home. Go to www.ready.gov for tips on what to set aside for that ‘dark and stormy morning’; it might last a few days or more. Start now. Make a plan; make a kit; be informed. Be prepared. And join Citizen Corps.
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ince 1913, the Snoqualmie Valley Record has been covering the history of the Valley. Through challenging times and good ones, each week The Record has given our readers hard news and feature stories, and local sports and club news. For one hundred years, we’ve educated, informed and told the continuing story of the people, places and events, births, deaths, celebrations and growth of the Valley.
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Emergency prep in four weekly steps By Patricia Hase and Seth Truscott Valley Record Staff
Pondering how to prepare for a disaster can often be overwhelming. So, a good way to tackle emergency preparedness is to break down the various steps into weekly assignments that families can easy tackle over a month or so. Here are easy ways to get your family ready for a disaster, in four steps, based on information from FEMA and the American Red Cross.
Week one assignment: Establish ICE contacts in cell phone ICE means “in case of emergency.” Most cell phones have a feature that allows for ICE numbers to show up without the lock code. Go to “emergency call,” and an icon will show up that lead to your ICE contacts. We recommend two ICE contacts. The first one would be in-state for anything that is not a disaster situation (i.e., a medical emergency) and an out-of-state contact for disasters or when communications are down in-state. In most cases, you can still make calls out of state. The out-of-state contact should be someone who knows all your family members, and where your family members can call to get updates on your situation; this means you can update all your family members with one phone call.
Week two assignment: Emergency routes Know three different routes that lead from work to home. Each emergency route needs to be labeled A, B or C, with maps in your car and at home. If there is an emergency and you need to leave your car, just leave a message that states you are taking route A, B or C for responders, and when notifying your out-of-state contact you just give the label. Your family will know what route you’re taking, since you planed ahead.
Week three assignment: Role play We live at a time when we no longer prepare for the big one, but the triple threat. The best way to know what to do is to make an activity that is fun and allows for discussion. What do you and your family do if you’re at work, the kids are at school and mom is at home, if there is a snow storm, no power and the river is flooding? Do the kids walk home? Do you and your neighbors have an assigned person to pick up all the kids from elementary, and another neighbor to pick up from the high school? Make this a block party, and have games. Emergencies are easier on kids and adults when they know what do and have already practiced.
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BIG WET TROUBLE FROM 12 “Every day, we had to get gas for the generator,” she recalls. When a disaster happens, it’s often too late to stock up. When Williams went to the supermarket during the 2006 outage, she noticed that essentials like candles were often sold out. “You’re competing with everybody else during these times,” she says. You can save yourself a lot of trouble by planning and shopping early. It’s important to store extra water, food, flashlights and other essentials well ahead of time. It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the scale of a disaster, and the need to react. Some thinking ahead of time is well worth it. “Think about what you’re going to need on a camping trip,” Williams advises. “These are the kinds of things you have to fall back on.” “The biggest issue is the attitude that ‘it won’t happen to me,’” Rowe said. “People say it only happens in faraway places. It doesn’t happen to
EFR is concerned that people who keep extra gasoline may end up inadvertently creating fire dangers. The same warning goes for families who rely on candles during outages. If you need to leave the room, put out the candle; don’t leave it burning unattended, as that could lead to a fire. Both the cities of North Bend and Snoqualmie broadcast travel restrictions on the local emergency radio channel, AM 1650. • You can find education and preparedness information and classes at http:// www.ci.snoqualmie.wa.us/ Cit y D e p ar t m e nt s / Fire / EducationPreparedness.aspx.
my family.” But the reality is that disasters do happen here. Planning, getting a kit ready, gathering supplies are vital to being ready for the possible. “Plan to let each other know you’re safe and where you’re at,” Rowe said. A warm coat, a good set of shoes and a list of medication is a good starting point. After 2012’s multiple-day poweroutage, EFR stresses the need to be careful about carbon monoxide. If people are using kerosene heaters or stoves, they need to ensure they are used in well-ventilated areas.
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Snoqualmie Valley Record • October 30, 2013 • 15
Understand, monitor flood levels to be ready
The King County Flood Warning System tracks impending high water, allowing residents to take action. Recorded river gauge readings for the Snoqualmie River can be viewed on the King County website, kingcounty.gov/ environment under “Flooding.” You may also call the King County Flood Warning center at 1 (800) 768-7932 or (206) 296-8200. The Snoqualmie River Basin Flood Warning System consists of four phases in increasing order of severity, and are calculated based on the total volume of water, measured in cubic feet per second, passing out of the three forks of the Snoqualmie into the main stem, also referred to as the sum of the forks. The flood warning system tracks conditions through four phases:
William Shaw/File Photo
Water covers fields and Snoqualmie River Road in this panorama, shot in a February 2012 flood of medium intensity.
Moderate lowland flooding. Roads that can flood include Neal Road, Reinig Road, West Snoqualmie River Road and Meadowbrook Way.
Major flooding. Varying depths of high water. Flooded roads may include Fall City-Carnation Road, Tolt Hill Road and Novelty Flats Road.
County personnel are put on alert. The Flood Warning Center is opened. Staff monitor conditions around the clock; updates are recorded hourly at 1 (800) 768-7932 or (206) 296-8200. Flood investigation crews are sent to monitor flood control facilities, such as levees.
Extreme flooding. Snoqualmie-Fall City Road is overtopped. Residential neighborhoods may flood.
Phase warnings are issued to police and fire agencies, schools and the news media.
Minor lowland flooding
Subscribe to Floodzilla
To better prepare, residents can also subscribe to automated flood warning messages at www. floodzilla.com. To sign up, visitors leave their e-mail addresses at the website. They can get a variety of updates, from emergency reminders to hourly messages.
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Cold and flu season arrives Tips to stay healthy this winter from Snoqualmie doc There are two things we can count on in the winter – cold weather and stuffy or runny noses. Winter is prime time for spreading diseases since more people are staying indoors and spreading germs to others. The common cold and influenza are prevalent in the winter months. Fortunately, there are things you can do to avoid getting sick. How can you tell if you have a cold or the flu? Both the common cold and the flu are caused by viruses that
infect your airways. Most people Unlike a regular cold, the flu have experienced the common comes on suddenly over a few cold in their lifetime. Symptoms hours. Symptoms include fever, include runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, dry cough, headitchy or sore throat, cough, ache, dizziness and general body congestion, slight body aches aches. or mild headache, “If you develop sneezing, watery flu-like symptoms, eyes, mild fatigue and there are prescriplow-grade fever. tion antiviral drugs, “Most cases of such as Tamiflu, the cold don’t need that can make your medical attention,” illness milder and Dr. Alan Johnson, shorten the time you Family Practice are sick,” Johnson Physician for Alan Johnson said. “See your docSnoqualmie Ridge tor right away if you Medical Clinic, said. “However, think you may have the flu if symptoms won’t go away or because it is treatable for the worsen, it may be time to see first few days only. If you wait, your doctor for further treat- it can take up to three weeks to ment.” recover.”
What can you do to prevent a cold and the flu? Using good health habits can help prevent the cold and flu. It’s important to wash your hands frequently and cover your cough and sneezes. The best way to prevent the flu is to be vaccinated each year. If you suspect you have the flu, stay home when you’re sick to prevent spreading it to others. Flu vaccines are provided at Snoqualmie Ridge Medical Clinic at 35020 SE Kinsey St., Snoqualmie. No appointment is needed. Office hours are from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays. Call 425-396-7682 to make an appointment with Dr. Johnson or one of our other five providers, including a pediatrician. Visit www.SVHD4.org for more information.
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Flood essentials Understand risks, plan ahead to avoid a devastating flood loss With forecasters predicting a hard winter, homeowners should consider flood insurance coverage in the event of a disaster. But insurance alone isn’t enough. Proper planning is also vital to avoid major headaches, extra eaxpense or tragic losses during flood. Agents with Valley-based Hauglie Insurance advise residents to make a flood plan, which includes making sure family members know how to get out of the house and neighborhood, where to meet up and how to contact each other. Flood planning also includes readying the home for a disaster. A good exit plan will ensure that contents are protected and valuables removed or stored out of harm’s way. Vital medications, for example, needs to be accounted for early on. If medicine needs to stay refrigerated, have a cooler handy, because floods often mean power loss. Antiques are covered, but only at functional value. That means that your grandmother’s antique table may winds up being replaced by just another new table. Homeowners should ensure that valued antiques are safely high and dry or on the truck out of a flood zone in a disaster. Homeowners also need to ensure that invoices, receipts and flood claim documentation are kept in a waterproof bag and, if possible, in a fireproof safe. Documentation is needed to prove to FEMA that repairs were completed. Time-stamped photos are also a good way to document before-andafter realities. “Photos are the least expensive and most valuable thing you can do in protecting your home and contents before a fire or flood,” says Farmer’s Insurance agent Angela Donaldson. After a disaster, “not only are you emotionally stressed, but now you have to remember where everything was and what it looked like—and you have to articulate that an adjustor.” All that stress can be saved by having photos on hand.
Homeowners who live outside a flood zone can still face floods from accidents and human error as well as natural events. Insurance companies offer preferred risk flood insurance to provide an extra level Now preferred provider for Premera. of protection. Early fall is the time to buy a flood policy. Flood insurance has a 30 day waiting period, and Valley storms and floods have been known to hit before Thanksgiving. While the annual premium must be paid up front, agencies typically offers several payment options, including a credit card choice, to fit buyers’ budgets. Homeowners should also have their residence properly surveyed, as they need to know their elevation for proper flood coverage. Separate outbuildings need separate flood coverage. If a homeowner has built a freestanding office, garage or guest house on their property, discon*Restrictions, terms, and limitations apply. Contact us for details. *Restrictions, terms, and limitations apply. Contact us for details. nected from the main roofline, • The Right Equipment At The Lowest Cost® that building may need its own • The Right Equipment At The Lowest Cost® • One-Way & In-Town® policy. • One-Way & In-Town® • New Models, Automatics, AC • New Models, Automatics, AC Wind and water can take their • Only U-HAUL Moving Vans Have • Only U-HAUL Moving Vans Have toll on fences, which are covered the Lowest Decks and Gentle-Ride the Lowest Decks and Gentle-Ride by flood insurance. Fence repair Suspensions™ Suspensions™ or replacement is handled on a cash value basis.
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• Keep all flood claim-related receipts in a waterproof bag and away from risky areas • Take photos of your home and business as it is now • Look into alternative storage options, such as raising or moving important items • Develop an evacuation plan with your family, employees and for your pets
• Have a list of important phone numbers and sandbag locations • Teach everyone how and when to shut off gas, electricity and water lines • Keep household chemicals above flood levels to avoid contamination • Review your flood insurance declaration page.
After the flood: Surviving your claim
• Make sure your home is safe to enter • Take photos, inside and out • File your flood claim with your agent. Ask if
Snoqualmie Valley Record • October 30, 2013 • 17
you can begin clean-up immediately. •Separate undamaged from damaged items • Keep an inventory of all damaged items, age and value, regardless of whether they are covered • Keep samples of carpets and flooring removed from each room • Keep estimates from contractors to show your adjustor, and provide receipts from prior claims • Keep receipts for everything • Sign the proof of loss within 60 days of the date of loss. Supplemental claims can address discrepancies.
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