These Daily Briefings on Incidents, Advisories, Watches and Warnings, current weather and Emergency Management tips are published Monday through Friday, as well as during times of increased awareness or actual events.
The “Proclamation of Emergency” signed by the Whatcom County Executive concerning COVID-19 remains in effect. Information about Whatcom County’s response to COVID-19 is available at the Joint Information Center’s COVID-19 website.
Whatcom County is in Phase 2 of the Washington Safe Start Plan. Simplistically, social distancing, the mask directive and groups of 5 or less are the guidelines of Phase 2. More info about Phase 2 in Whatcom County can be found here.
The U.S. and Canada have for a second time extended an order closing their shared border to nonessential traffic. The move delays the border’s reopening by another 30 days, until at least July 21. This includes both vehicular traffic as well as recreational boating between the countries.
Advisories, Watches and Warnings:
There is a small craft advisory in effect from 1700 this afternoon until 2300 this morning.
Whatcom County Weather
Clouds will begin to increase today as a weather system approaches the region. Rain showers will develop tonight and continue off and on through the day Saturday.
Coastal Weather for Whatcom County
For the Coastal and Inland waters of Whatcom County, we can expect southeasterly wind to 10 knots, becoming southwesterly in the afternoon. Wind waves should be 2 feet or less. Tonight, the winds should shift southwesterly again 10 to 20 knots, becoming northwesterly 5 to 15 knots after midnight, with wind waves 1 to 3 feet, subsiding to 1 foot or less after midnight.
Tides at Cherry Point for the next two days:
Here are a few emergency management reminders:
COVID-19: Everyone in Whatcom County is directed to wear a face covering while at any indoor or outdoor public space where you may be within 6 feet of someone who does not live with you. You can find more info about face coverings and other protective actions here.
Search and Rescue tips – As we have our trails opening up, and while no one ever plans to get lost or injured in the forest, you are in the best position to help yourself and Search and Rescue personnel. The best tool needed for survival in the event you get lost outdoors is your skill of advanced planning. You must expect the unexpected and plan accordingly. Even if you are going out for just a few hours, pack enough essentials that you can stay hydrated, fueled and prepared for any type of weather. Your essentials should include at least:
• More than enough food and water for the activity you plan.• A compass that you know how to use. You may want a GPS device, but those sometimes do not receive a signal or the battery fails. Cell phones also likely will not work because of a lack of signal.• Appropriate maps. Study the terrain and your planned route. Know where you are going and how you will return.• Sturdy hiking boots, clothes that you can layer depending on the weather conditions, and additional socks in case the ones you are wearing get wet.• A blanket, flashlight, matches kept in a water-resistant container, and other items that will help you survive overnight if necessary.• Check with the local ranger district or forest office for special warnings, such as fires in the area, bear sightings, flooding, trail or road closures, etc.
It’s also important that once you have planned your outing, tell someone. Give them exact details of where you are going, the trail you plan to follow, when you will return, the vehicle you are driving (and where you plan to park) and how many people will go with you – do not go alone. BUT – if you do become lost your most important tool is keeping a positive mental attitude, and:
Stop: As soon as you realize you may be lost: stop, stay calm, stay put. Panic is your greatest enemy.
Think: Go over in your mind how you got to where you are. What landmarks should you be able to see? Do not move at all until you have a specific reason to take a step.
Observe: • Get our your compass and determine the directions based on where you are standing. Do not walk aimlessly.• If you are on a trail, stay on it. All trails are marked with signs (where intersections meet) and diamond blazers or maker. However, signs are sometimes vandalized or stolen.• As a very last resort, follow a drainage or stream downhill. This is often difficult path but could lead to a trail or road. Again, this could be very dangerous.
Plan:• Based on your thinking and observations, come up with some possible plans, think them through, then act on one of them.• If you are not very, very confident in the route, then it’s always better to stay put.• If it’s nightfall, you are injured or you are near exhaustion, stay in place.
Stay informed by signing up for emergency text and alert messages from the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office Emergency Alert link on the county website. Finally, don’t forget to create an emergency kit.
"Procrastination is the foundation of all disasters." - Pandora Poikilo
This briefing line is not updated on weekends unless an incident occurs.