Page 1

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 hospital’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.

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Citizen emergency team readies for response Lower Valley disaster preparedness exercises happen, rain or shine

Courtesy photo

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, 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 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 You will also find links to CERT, CDMRC and SnoVARC. Prepare yourself and your home. Go to 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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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.


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:// 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, 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.


Phase CFS



6000 c.f.s.


12,000 c.f.s.

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20,000 c.f.s.

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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 for more information.

We believe every child should be treated the way we would like our own children to be treated. It is our goal to implement the highest standard of care at every patient encounter whether it is a child’s first visit to the dental office, a teenager who is headed off to college or a special-needs adult patient we’ve been seeing for decades.



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.

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INSURANCE FROM 16 Prepare for flooding: What you can do now

• 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.

Prepare your car to conquer the cold Make sure your vehicle is ready for colder temperatures. The following are tips to ensure safe, trouble-free travel in the winter months: Replace your everyday tires with winter tires – If you can see your breath, it’s time to switch. Even though there isn’t snow on the ground yet, temperatures lower than 45 degrees cause your everyday tires to stiffen and lose traction, but the latest generations of winter tires remain flexible in freezing temperatures, improving traction and available grip. Don’t forget the filters – oil, fuel, transmission and air filters are important to keep your engine running well. Check your owner’s manual to see how often they should be changed. Check your tire pressure monthly – for every 10 degrees the temperature drops, your tires can lose about 1 pound per square inch (PSI) of pressure. Monitor your tire pressure more closely during the winter time.

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