GET READY for
WINTER PLAN NOW, SAVE WORRY LATER
PUBLISHED AS A SUPPLEMENT TO THE SNOQUALMIE VALLEY RECORD
Meet the responders, Page 10 CERT team trains to help you
Family emergency plans, Page 11 Fun ways to ensure your family is ready
Winter checklist, Page 12 What to do at home to stay dry and cozy
Flood Insurance 101, Page 13 Smart ways to protect your wallet
All-Star heating tips, Page 14 Furnace on the fritz? Now what?
10 • October 29, 2014 • Snoqualmie Valley Record
Winter’s on its way; make sure you and your vehicle are prepared Winter will be here before you know it, so now’s the time to make sure you — and your vehicle — are ready for snow and ice. The keys to emerging from the winter-driving season unscathed are slowing down, and planning ahead. There are no major storms on the immediate horizon, but Washington State Department of Transportation officials say drivers still need to be ready. “Prepare your car and prepare yourself for winter conditions,” said Monty Mills, WSDOT’s snow-and-ice program manager. “When the temperature drops, drivers all over the state need to be ready. We’ll be working to keep the highways open, but we’ll need drivers’ help.” WSDOT asks drivers to always “know before you go” and get the most up-to-date roadway information and winter-driving tips on the agency’s winter driving Web page, www.wsdot.wa.gov/winter. Here’s what drivers can do to prepare for icy and snowy roads: • Download the WSDOT mobile app for smartphones. • Sign up for e-mail updates or follow WSDOT’s regional accounts on Twitter. • Download, print and carry the WSDOT Winter Driving Guide, www. wsdot.wa.gov/NR/rdonlyres/BE02BA7B-1756-4F60-8870-CF99F828E11D/0/ WinterDrivingBrochure.pdf. • Get your car ready and plan extra time to cross all mountain passes, including heavily traveled routes such as Snoqualmie Pass, Stevens Pass and White Pass. • Carry chains and know current traction and chain requirements for mountain passes, which are also available on highway-advisory signs and highway-advisory radio. • Preset 530 AM and 1610 AM, WSDOT’s traffic-information stations, on your vehicle’s radio. • Some vehicle manufacturers recommend against the use of tire chains. The Washington State Patrol provides a list of approved, alternative-traction devices that are acceptable when chains or traction tires are required. • Studded tires are legal for use only between Nov. 1 and March 31 in Washington. Motorists are encouraged to visit a tire dealer to learn more about traction tires that are legal for year-round use. More information about studded-tired restrictions and requirements can be found in the FAQ on the Washington State Patrol website.
Ready or not CERT training helps people prepare themselves, their communities, for disaster BY CAROL LADWIG Staff Reporter
People who lost power over the weekend are likely restocking their emergency supplies this week, or taking stock of their emergency plans. For the rest of us who didn’t plan ahead, there’s good news: You can always start planning now; and there are local experts who can train you in emergency planning, for a refundable $25 fee. Community Emergency Response Team, or CERT, training is a multiday course on disaster preparedness, first aid, fire suppression, and other skills that you’ll be glad to have in an emergency. “We need to focus on what the most probable situations are going to be for us here in the Valley,” says Mary Norton, CERT instructor for Snoqualmie and North Bend. In order, they are flooding, followed by a significant snow event, and earthquakes. “And who knows? Maybe a tornado!” Norton laughed. It was a joke, referring to the tornado that touched down in southern Washington late last
Carol Ladwig/Staff Photo
Liz Luizzo and Mark Correira at the Snoqualmie Fire Department, break down the contents of a CERT emergency pack, whch every graduate of the training receives. week, but Norton also notes that tornadoes have been occurring much more frequently in the Pacific Northwest. Norton has been a Valley resident since 2004 when she moved to the area from Southern California’s “earthquake country,” as both she and Snoqualmie Fire Chief Mark Correira call it. She had no experience with
CERT before then (the organization was only created after the terrorist attacks of 2011, as part of the Federal Emergency Management Administration), but took the class here with her daughter, because, she said, she wanted to be ready. SEE CERT TEAM, 12
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Expect the big one What to anticipate when floods threaten the Snoqualmie Valley By Valley Record Staff
Years of enduring flooding, and rebuilding, are etched in Snoqualmie’s downtown. 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. When the river monitoring stations uphill say that the river is rising for a flood, 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 evacuate. If residents don’t go, they can get trapped, and that puts both themselves and the people who are called to rescue them in harm’s way. The best way to stay safe is to get out of the flood zone before flooding happens. In Snoqualmie, typically the worst-hit Valley city, flooding 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. 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 of the city, go under. But the town itself rarely floods. Lower Valley farms are usually the worst-hit. Putting the Valley back together, responders usually start by restoring power. But it can take days for the power company to get things back online. Residents have to be ready to wait it out. When a disaster happens, it’s often too late to stock up. 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. Planning, getting a kit ready and gathering supplies are vital to being ready for the possible. A warm coat, a good set of shoes and a list of medication is a good starting point. After 2012’s multiple-day power outage, Eastside Fire and Rescue 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. 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/CityDepartments/Fire/EducationPreparedness.aspx.
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Snoqualmie Valley Record • October 29, 2014 • 11
Emergency prep in four weekly steps Get your family involved in preparing for emergencies BY PATRICIA LARA 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 easily tackle over a month or so. Here are easy ways to get your family ready for a disaster, in four steps. Week one assignment: Establish ICE contacts in cell phone ICE means (I)n (C)ase of (E)mergency, and 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. It’s best to have two ICE contacts. 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 your 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 or status. This means you can update all your family with one phone call. Week two assignment: Emergency routes Choose 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 in which you need to leave your car, just leave a message that states you are taking route A or B or C for responders, and when notifying your out-of-state contact, just give the label. Your family will know what route you’re taking since you plan ahead of time. Week three assignment: Role play We live at a time when we no longer prepare for just 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. Talk about what you and your family will do if dad is 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 that will pick up all the kids from elementary, and another neighbor 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 to do and have practiced already. Week four assignment: Establish guidelines Set rules. For example, the gas tank should never be less than half full, kids must always text or call any time the schedule changes, parents must keep an emergency fund at home of small bills and change, or always keep at least two weeks worth of food at home. Set some guidelines that you can keep that will make things easier on you and your family when things happen.
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12 • October 29, 2014 • Snoqualmie Valley Record
Storm reminds us: Winter prep questions
Fall back on Sunday, change your battery
BY WENDY THOMAS Carmichael’s True Value Owner
The weekend storm of October 25 and 26, reminded us that winter weather is back. Many lost power, some for multiple days. It certainly was a winter and general preparedness wake up call! Were you prepared? • Did you have flashlights, extra batteries and bulbs ready? • Was your generator tuned up, transfer switch installed or adequate cords with the correct connections on hand. • Were your gas cans full of stabilized gas? • Oil lamps, fuel, candles on hand? • Are you ready for cold weather? Be sure you have adequate weather stripping and insulation. • Winterize your RV, outdoor plumbing and irrigation. • Install and plug in heat tape on high risk pipes. • Find your snow shovel and lay in a supply of ice melt. • Make sure the gasket on your woodstove is in good shape, and your chimney is clean.
Install faucet covers, available at your local hardware store, to protect your home. Above, the Carmichael’s team shows other uses. • Install fresh batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. • Top off your wiper washer fluid, check your battery, break out the ice scraper, and find those tire chains. • Be ready for school closures with sleds, hand warmers, gloves, hats, cocoa, board games and puzzles. We’ll save the extreme rain events (roof leaks, sump pumps, flooding) for another day.
CERT TEAM FROM 10
how to do triage and to give first aid. There are sessions on light search and rescue operations, disaster psychology, Completing the class, she said, “creterrorism, and what graduates can do ated a sense of self-confidence that I with their training, to benefit their would be OK, and my family would be communities. OK, in an emergency,” she said. The final disaster drill presents stuShe sees that same confidence emerge dents with various challenges — all pracin each class of students she trains. So do ticed with hands-on exercises in earlier Correira, and Fire Department adminclass sessions — in rescuing disaster vicistrator Liz Luizzo, who coordinate the tims. Students are nervous beforehand, training schedules. The final day of Norton says, but excited, and exhausted Carol Ladwig/Staff Photo training is a drill, in which students go by the end. over many of the skills they’ve learned Emergency procedures for CERT “It is somewhat physically demandthroughout the training, and after which, volunteers are kept on file at the ing,” Correira cautions, both in terms Correira presents their certificates of Snoqualmie Fire Department. of the training and, depending on how completion. far people want to pursue their trainEach graduate is then considered a Level 3 CERT mem- ing, in the expectation to respond. ber, said Luizzo. Level 3, where about 10 percent of all Another warning, for delicate stomachs: The medical CERT members stop their training, “is just for your own scenarios use “moulage” or special effects makeup to create knowledge,” Luizzo explained. About 40 percent of gradu- realistic-looking accident victims. ates pursue training to Level 2, and 50 percent continue to “But, as they teach you in class, cover it up if it doesn’t Level 1, taking classes that prepare (and authorize) them for look good,” Correira said. turning out to help in emergency situations. The fall CERT class is underway and will end in early Luizzo noted that several Level 1 CERT graduates volun- November. The next class scheduled is in the spring. teered to help with the mudslide disaster in Oso last March. For information about the classes, and notification of “I would assume most people go (to training) with the when registration opens in the spring, visit the city of intention of wanting to help,” Luizzo said. Snoqualmie’s website, www.ci.snoqualmie.wa.us, and under CERT training is a 36-hour commitment, with specific City Departments, click Emergency Management. Citizens units covering disaster preparedness, fire suppression, and can also call Luizzo at (425) 888-1551.
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When you change your clock this Sunday, Nov. 2, as Daylight Saving Time ends, Eastside Fire and Rescue urges you to change the batteries in your smoke detector. It’s a way of preventing fires. Smoke alarms have become such a common feature in our homes that it is easy to take them for granted. Almost two-thirds of home fire deaths resulted from fires in properties without properly working smoke alarms. During the period of 2005 to 2009, smoke alarms were present in almost three-quarters of reported home fires and sounded in half of the home fires reported to U.S. fire departments. More than one-third of home fire deaths resulted from fires in which no smoke alarms were present at all. Twenty-five percent of deaths were caused by fires in properties in which smoke alarms were present, but failed to operate. Smoke alarm failures usually result from missing, disconnected, or dead batteries.
Protect yourself against meningitis: Get the facts The most important step for preventing infection is to get up to date on vaccines Contributed by Snoqualmie Valley Hospital
Meningitis is a potentially life-threatening illness caused by an inflammation of the lining that covers the brain and spinal cord called the meninges. It is most commonly caused by a viral infection somewhere else in the body, but can also be caused by a bacterial or fungal infection. Depending on the type of meningitis, it can be easily curable or can cause serious complications. It is important to know the symptoms of meningitis in order to seek immediate and proper medical treatment. The most common symptoms are fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, stiff neck, confusion, lethargy, rash, seizures and light sensitivity. Babies can have additional symptoms including not feeding well, a bulging soft spot, extreme fatigue TRICIA NIELSEN and increased fussiness. Family practice Although anyone can get meningitis, young children, college students physician, Ridge and military personnel who live in Medical Clinic close proximity are most at risk. “The most important step in preventing meningitis is to be up to date on vaccines, especially those that protect from different types of meningitis, including Meningococcal, Pneumococcal, and Haemophilus influenza type B (Hib),” Dr. Tricia Nielsen, family practice physician with Snoqualmie Ridge Medical Clinic, said. “Frequent hand washing also helps prevent spreading the disease, especially after changing diapers or being exposed to someone who has been recently diagnosed with meningitis.” Viral meningitis is the most common type and is rarely serious. It typically goes away within a week without treatment. A person can become infected with viral meningitis in a variety of ways, but most commonly through direct contact with contaminated food, water, surfaces or feces containing a specific group of viruses. Other virus types can be spread by coughing and sneezing, insects or animal bites. Bacterial meningitis is usually a serious infection requiring immediate medical attention. It can be contracted from a recent ear or sinus infection, exposure to a person with bacterial meningitis, complications from a surgery such as hearing implants, or following a serious head injury. “Early treatment is crucial in preventing serious complications such as death, hearing problems, learning disabilities, seizures, migraines and other conditions,” said Nielsen. “It is very important to seek immediate medical attention if you or someone else exhibits symptoms of meningitis or has been in close contact to someone diagnosed with meningitis. Even if it is a viral infection, it is best not to take a chance until you are evaluated and diagnosed.” Most people make a complete recovery if meningitis is diagnosed and treated early. Snoqualmie Ridge Medical Clinic is located at 35020 S.E. Kinsey Street in Snoqualmie Ridge. To make an appointment or for more information about the clinic and Dr. Nielsen, call (425) 396-7682 or go to www.snoqualmiehospital.org and click on “Clinics.”
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Flood insurance 101
Understand your flood risk, reduce your flood cost and increase your home’s value
hile homeowners should consider flood insurance coverage in the event of a river or urban flooding, insurance alone isn’t enough. Proper planning is also vital to avoid major headaches, extra expense or tragic losses during a 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, must 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 wind up being replaced by just another new table. Homeowners should ensure that valued antiques are safely high and dry
File Photo/Valley Record
Workers dump debris from flooded homes during cleanup of the 2009 flood in Snoqualmie. Flood insurance can help homeowners recover from devastating floods. 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-and-after realities. “Photos are the easiest 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 to an adjustor.” All that stress can be saved by having photos on hand.
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omething is wrong with your furnace. Perhaps it’s running louder than usual, making an odd noise or cycling on and off repeatedly — if it’s working at all. Maybe your whole house is too cold, or some rooms are significantly warmer than others. These tips will help you determine whether you should replace your furnace or simply repair it, and whether your furnace is actually the reason your home is so cold. Before you call any company, check your furnace filters first! The majority of service calls could be solved with changing the furnace filter. If you don’t know where it is, call; we will tell you.
When you should repair instead Whether you should repair or replace a dysfunctional furnace depends on which part is causing the problem, how much the repair would cost and how old your furnace is. Problems with the following parts can almost always be fixed, but if a part is no longer available because your furnace is too old, repair may be impossible: • Hot surface ignitor • High/low limit switch • Anything involving a thermostat • Gas valve • Flame sensor • Thermocouple • Filters
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When your furnace isn’t to blame If your home is too cold, the furnace isn’t necessarily the culprit. The following fixes are easier and less expensive than furnace repair or replacement. As a bonus, many of these will also make your air conditioner more effective. Is your furnace getting power? Check for tripped circuit breakers or blown fuses. Leaky ducts (the metal tubes that distribute heat throughout your home) can be sealed so that more hot air actually gets blown into rooms instead of seeping into the attic. The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy says sealing leaky ducts can improve efficiency by 15 to 20 percent; it will set you back a few hundred dollars, but that’s much cheaper than a new furnace. Better insulation in your attic and walls will help your home retain heat. New weather stripping around doors and windows will keep cold out and heat in. Upgrading a manual thermostat to an electronic one can regulate your home’s heat more effectively and lower your energy bills. And, replacing a furnace’s filter can improve airflow.
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and actually, itt can have an equal or greater burden on local resources and FEMA than the east coast’s catastrophic floods. In fact, says Donaldson, 25 percent of claims are in the low to moderate risk zones where flood insurance is not required. The National Flood Insurance Program or NFIP, offers preferred risk flood insurance to aid families with damage not covered by homeowner’s insurance. 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. Separate outbuildings need separate flood coverage. If a homeowner has built a freestanding office, garage or guest house on their property, disconnected from the main roofline, that building may need its own policy. Dealing with floods and preparing is a reactive attitude—as
Donaldson sees it, residents should shift their way of thinking to be proactive. “As we continue to experience the consequences of ongoing flood insurance reform, many members impacted within the Valley equate these changes to death and taxes—we know it’s coming and we can’t stop it,” she stated. That said, property owners and families can do many things to reduce the risk of flood damage to their homes that can have additional benefits such as reducing their insurance cost as well as improving property value. Over the last year, the real estate market in the Snoqualmie Valley has been impacted by the volatility of flood insurance rates. For families, this kind of premium change has meant up to a $600 increase in their monthly mortgage payment. That is money they no longer have to spend at local grocery stores, retailers, school activities, recreation and home improvement. “What if they can’t afford it?” Donaldson stated. “Do they sell their home? Can they sell their home if that type of ‘living
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5-QUART OIL CHANGE
Excludes full synthetic oil and diesel engines
• Includes up to five quarts of the quality of ACDelco Motor Oil and Oil Filter • Check tire inflation pressure and adjust as necessary FULL SYNTHETIC OIL • Inspect tires for damage or excess wear Excludes diesel engines • Rotate tires and torque wheel nuts as recommended • 27-Point Vehicle Inspection including: Check fluid levels, check steering, suspension, wiper blades, exhaust, brakes, belts and hoses. Balancing tires, tax and more than 5 quarts of oil extra. Most V6 engines and other select vehicles may require more than 5 quarts of oil. For eligible vehicles, includes oil specified by the vehicle Owner’s Manual. See dealer for eligible vehicles and details. Not valid with other offers. Offer ends 11/12/14. 78322
We do alignments and perform full suspension work too! 106 Main Ave. N, North Bend • 425-888-0781 • wwwchevyoutlet.com
LOCAL SOURCE FOR ALL YOUR WINTER PREPARATION NEEDS & MUCH MORE! Pres-to-Logs®/Firewood Wood Pellets Weather Stripping Faucet Covers Snow Shovels Portable Heaters
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Propane Fuel Ice Melt Windshield De-Icer Ice Scrapers Flashlights/Batteries Hand, Feet, Body Warmers
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Hardware North Bend Ace Hardware
Check out our
330 Main Ave. S. in Mt. Si Village
Mon-Sat 7am-9pm • Sun 8am-8pm