Crude by rail in Washington State

Public invited to comment on oil transportation study

The public is invited to provide feedback on a preliminary study assessing risks associated with increased transportation of oil through Washington state. Public meetings are scheduled next week in Spokane and Olympia to accept comments regarding the study and recommendations.   The Marine & Rail Oil Transport Study: Preliminary Findings & Recommendations, released Oct. 1, […]

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  • October is Disaster Preparedness and NOAA Weather Radio Month

    CAMP MURRAY, Wash. – Gov. Jay Inslee has proclaimed October as Washington State Disaster Preparedness Month and NOAA Weather Radio Awareness Month. In keeping with the proclamation, local jurisdictions, individuals, schools and businesses across the state will promote all-hazard preparedness throughout the month.
    Highlight of the month is the Great Washington Shakeout “drop, cover and hold on” earthquake drill on Oct. 17 at 10:17 a.m. The drill will emphasize the urgent need for people, organizations, schools, communities and businesses to practice what to do to be safe during an earthquake, and how to be ready before an earthquake strikes. In addition, coastal communities will test their tsunami alert sirens at the same time.
    “Earthquakes are one of the greatest hazards in our state,” said Robert Ezelle, director of the Emergency Management Division of the Washington Military Department. “The good thing about the Great Washington Shakeout is that so many members of the public will come out of it better prepared not only for quakes, but for other significant hazards such as tsunamis, floods, winter storms and acts of terror.”

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  • April is Disaster Preparedness Month

    OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington State Emergency Management Division (EMD) will join with city and county emergency management agencies in the annual observance of April as the month that Washington residents highlight and practice disaster planning and preparedness.
    “Citizens, companies and government agencies will be encouraged to review their individual preparedness plans, contact information and emergency kits, and to prepare themselves to be self-sufficient for a minimum of three days following an act of terrorism, or natural or man-made disasters,” said Gov. Chris Gregoire, who has proclaimed April as Disaster Preparedness Month.

    Preparedness events in April will include:

    Partners in Emergency Preparedness Conference, April 9-12 at the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center.

    A statewide Drop, Cover & Hold – Earthquake Drill at 9:45 a.m. on April 25.
    The drill will be initiated through the Emergency Alert System using the required monthly
    test for broadcasters.

    Preparedness information for schools, businesses and homes will be available at EMD’s
    “In Focus” website section:

    For events and activities in your area, please check your local emergency management office’s website. A listing of those sites is available at

    For more information about preparedness month, please contact Rosanne Garrand, EMD public education program coordinator, (253) 512-7419.

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  • No “Shake Ups” during Weekend Communications Drill

    MONTESANO, Wash. – On Saturday Dec 12, 2009 Grays Harbor County Emergency Management with the assistance from the Grays Harbor Amateur Radio Club, Washington State Emergency Management Division, Lewis County, Mason County, Pacific County, Bay Center, Wa Fire Station, the American Red Cross, Centralia EOC and the District 3 Net Control held a disaster communications drill.

       The drill was a severe earthquake that impacted the entire County. Westport Fire Chief Dennis Benn and the Deputy Director of Emergency Management for Grays Harbor County worked in the Emergency Operations Center (EOC). Members of Grays Harbor Amateur Radio Club manned the Ham Radio during the event and had to operate with only one person. In a true disaster event, on a weekend, having 3 people to run the entire event is acutely possible. Participation from the other Ham Radio operators gave the EOC a communicated status of the County with a collapse of the WalMart Store, a Collapse of a Fire Hall in Pacific Beach, bridge failures, landslides and a tsunami wave in the Westport/Grayland area.
       The drill was very insightful and actually brought about interest in conducting another drill based on this same scenario but begin it at hour 12 into the event.
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  • September is National Preparedness Month

    Camp Murray, Wash. – Washington State will observe National Preparedness Month and NOAA Weather Radio Awareness Month in September. Special events and promotions are scheduled across the state to focus individuals and businesses on the importance of preparing for disasters and emergencies.

    A National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio is an important preparedness tool for homes, businesses, government offices and schools.

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  • Washington Fire Marshall Tips on Evacuation During a Wildfire

    The need to evacuate during a wildfire is a real possibility for anyone that lives in a wildfire prone area.  During the 2008 fire season the threat was real and the danger was very close to home for residents of East Wenatchee during the Badger Mountain Fire.  With above normal significant fire potential predicted for areas of Eastern Washington this summer, the State Fire Marshal's Office is asking homeowners:  Have you and your family talked about what you would do in the event you are asked to evacuate due to the danger of an approaching wildfire?

    It is the responsibility of local law enforcement and fire officials to order and execute an orderly evacuation.  This includes going door to door and making face-to-face contact whenever possible.

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  • Pacific County resident honored with top Ecology award

    OLYMPIA – Pacific County resident Russ Lewis is being honored with an Environmental Excellence Award for his exemplary efforts to keep Washington beaches clean and his tremendous support of Washington State Marine Debris Task Force efforts.


    The Task Force formed to monitor and respond to marine debris from the tragic March 11, 2011,  Japan tsunami along Washington coastal beaches. Before that time, Lewis already had been removing marine debris from beaches almost daily for years. In 2012 Lewis also assisted the

    Task Force by:

    • Stepping up his efforts and collaborating with others to remove marine debris and ensure it was put into a secured commercial trash bin for proper disposal.
    • Supplying nearly daily reports on conditions along the coast, including information on both long- and short-range debris washing ashore, post-storm reports and weather patterns.
    • Providing early reporting to Ecology about potentially hazardous materials such as oil drums or fuel canisters washing up on beaches, and taking steps to secure any area with hazardous debris until responders could arrive.
    • Providing considerable assistance to the state Department of Fish and Wildlife in its surveillance efforts to monitor and respond to potential aquatic invasive species attached to incoming debris.
    • Working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service office near Leadbetter Point to help prevent debris from entering Snowy Plover nesting areas when these areas are closed to the public. Lewis also was the first one in to clean debris when the seasonal closure ended.
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  • Statewide Workshop Focuses on Tsunami Debris Response

    OCEAN SHORES, Wash. – Today some 50 people representing local and tribal governments, state and federal agencies, and community organizations gathered in Ocean Shores to continue forging coordinated strategies for responding to tsunami debris.

    We want to thank everybody who participated in today’s planning workshop to address potential debris from the Japanese tsunami. Today we crafted a draft plan for tsunami debris coordination and response in Washington State. These plans will be refined in coming weeks and months, At this time we are utilizing a joint approach, with NOAA and other federal, state, tribal, local government, community and business partners working together to address this issue. Each agency and group will do what it does best. – Terry Egan, Planning, Exercise & Training Unit Manager for the Washington Military Department Emergency Management Division (EMD)


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  • State Emergency Management begins flood damage assessment process

    Camp Murray, WA — The State Emergency Management Division (EMD) today began working with local emergency management officials to assess the damages to homeowners, renters and businesses from the December 11 to 13 floods. Individuals and families impacted by storm damage should immediately take the following steps:

    • Call your insurance agent to check on your coverage;
    • Keep detailed records of all clean-up and repair costs, including photographs.


    Individuals and businesses with damages should submit their information to their local county emergency management office. Each county will then forward the captured information to the state emergency management division. For information on how to contact your local emergency management office, refer to –

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  • NOAA Weather Radio Promotion in Pacific County

    South Bend, Washington – The Pacific County Emergency Management Agency is participating in a NOAA Weather Radio Promotion on Saturday, September 26, 2009, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Customers will be able to purchase a NOAA weather radio and have it programmed on site by amateur radio operators, other volunteers, or staff.  Participating locations in Pacific County are:
    ·         North Pacific County
    o   Bud’s Lumber, 220 W Robert Bush Drive, South Bend
    o   Dennis Company TV & Appliance, 124 4th Street, Raymond
    o   Radio Shack, 704 Willapa Place, Raymond
    ·         South Pacific County
    o   Dennis Company, 201 N Pacific, Long Beach
    o   Jack’s Country Store, 26006 Highway 103, Ocean Park
    o   Wirkkala Radio Shack, 4912 Pacific Avenue, Long Beach
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  • September Is Weather Radio Awareness Month in Washington

    An “all-hazards” warning system, used not only for flood and weather events, but also immediate life-threatening hazards like tsunamis, volcanic activity, AMBER child abduction alerts, and secondary hazards from terrorism and earthquakes.

    • Has a warning alarm feature, instantly alerting you to fast-breaking, potentially life-saving warning messages around the clock.
    • Is a key element of the Emergency Alert System (EAS), providing broadcasters and you with initial and immediate emergency warning information.
    • Programmable radios available permitting site and event specific selected warnings.
    • Weather radios have a battery backup in case of power outages.
    • Broadcasts the latest area weather forecasts and conditions 24-hours a day. Operates on special frequencies not found on regular AM/FM bands.
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