In case of emergency: Training to ‘prepare, survive, thrive’

Story and photos by Clay McGlaughlin/The Times-Standard
05/13/2012 02:36:23 AM PDT

When the Oct. 17, 1989, Loma Prieta earthquake struck, Judith Warren was “half in and half out of a dress” in one of the changing rooms at the Emporium-Capwell in San Jose. The magnitude 6.9 quake lasted for 10-15 seconds, knocking out electricity and toppling the walls of the changing room. When it was over, Warren found herself alone and trapped in the dark as she called for help and struggled to get out.

”It made me realize that what I thought was ‘being prepared’ really wasn’t being prepared,” said Warren, who has been involved with various aspects of disaster preparedness since 1980. “My flashlight rolled out of my purse when the changing room fell over, and none of the emergency lights came on. I tried for the better part of three hours to get somebody to pay attention to me and help get me out, but there was no one near by. My voice was being drowned out by wailing from people trapped on the floors above. It took me three hours to fight my way outside, and when I finally got to my car the first responders were just starting to arrive.”

It took her another four hours on the road to drive the 12 miles back to her house.

”At that point I realized that the kit I had in my car was simply not adequate if I hadn’t been able to make it home,” she said.

The experience convinced her that she couldn’t rely on outside help in an emergency. She began compiling information independently and adding supplies
to disaster kits for her home, office and car. She now carries an emergency flashlight on a large keyring that can’t roll away, as well as a piercing whistle loud enough to attract attention even in the chaos of a disaster’s aftermath.

Warren moved to Humboldt County with her elderly mother in 2002 for the “benign climate, with no smog, in a beautiful setting of forests, mountains, rivers and the ocean.” She said she feels safer here on several levels due to lower crime rates, less traffic and pollution, and a stronger sense of community, but she is still concerned about the earthquake and tsunami hazards of the region.

That’s why, in March 2011, she formed the Regional Training Institute for Disaster Preparedness with Linda Nellist and Judy Sears, both of whom have worked in emergency management and community disaster preparedness for many years as well. The institute is a collaboration with the Office of Extended Education at Humboldt State University, and it offers Community Emergency Response Team training; classes in disaster kit preparation, food safety and managing water supplies; and courses for businesses and whole neighborhoods that want to take pre-emptive steps to mitigate the effects of natural disasters. Warren said the classes teach not only about the region’s earthquake and tsunami hazards, but also detail a seven-step plan that suggests ways for people to mitigate those hazards, save lives, reduce injuries and recover more quickly after disasters.

”I think we have a responsibility to not just expect the government to come in and bail us out,” said Warren. “We’ve got to all do our part, and that starts with training. Knowledge is power, and knowledge in advance allows for preparation. … We have a wonderful opportunity to get ready and make our communities more resilient to get through the disasters that we know inevitably will be coming our way. We at the institute are trying to provide tools for people to get that kind of knowledge.”

Continue Reading the article on the Times Standard website

How to Prepare
Regional Training Institute / Community Disaster Preparedness

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Extreme Weather Hits North Coast


Kym Kemp / April 12, 2012 @ 10 p.m. / Weather

The Traffic Cam photo was taken at 8 P.M.

UPDATE 12:39 A.M.: CHP now reporting that the slide on 101 by Leggett is now covering half of the roadway and there is snow on the mountain on Hwy 1 about 5 miles west of Leggett. There is a request in for a snowplow.

UPDATE 12:19 A.M.: CHP reporting tree down blocking east bound lane on 299 just west of intersection with 96.

UPDATE 12:12 A.M.: CHP site indicates a tree across Hwy 101 by the Klamath bridge. At this point it is unclear whether it is completely blocking 101 or just blocking the southbound lane.

UPDATE 11:29 P.M.: CHP reporting slide coming down at intersection of Hwy 101 and Leggett in the northbound lane also snow starting to stick.

UPDATE: 10:48 P.M.: NBC News is reporting that Oakland airport has resumed operations and the SF airport has seen major delays but is still operating.

UPDATE 10:35: Mud and rock covering the eastbound lane just west of Ferndale on Centerville Rd.

UPDATE 10:24: CHP is now reporting that 299 is chains only. R1: Chains are required – snow tread tires allowed.

Thunder, Lightning, hail and snow have been pummeling the North Coast. The CHP is reporting that snow is piling up on 299 on Berry Summit about 10 miles west of Willow Creek. (The Traffic Cam photo was taken at 8 P.M. and it is reportedly worse now.)

And to the south of us:

The weather is so severe in San Francisco that both SF airport and Oakland airport suspended flights. Over 60 have been canceled.

Lightning Striking Bay Bridge 12 Paril 2012

Bay Bridge Lightning photo from here

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A California Superstorm – some food for thought

I recently read a post by Ernie Branscomb talking about a California superstorm …some food for thought.

“Imagine a rainstorm so large that it would be like hurricane Katrina hitting every day for a month.”

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Briceland Road—How’s It Holding Up

From Kym Kemp’s blog:

Kym Kemp / Today @ 3:13 p.m. / Weather

Whittemore Grove creek at Briceland Road - Photo Kim Sallaway

A year ago this month, Briceland Rd. near Whittemore Grove slipped out. Trees fell and the road was undercut. Eventually, a quick fix was instituted. How is the fix holding up under the latest storm? According to Kim Sallaway who took the photos above today , “The water is rising, undercutting some, but the road is stable and doesn’t seem threatened. Those guys who did the work [last year] in the pouring rain, round the clock, did a very good repair. If the tree on the other side of the creek remains vertical, the road will continue to be very good. However, it is being undercut as the water rises.” Only time will tell, he says, if the fix will survive this latest storm.

Briceland Road  fix - photo by Kim Sallaway

Creek in Whittemore Grove along Briceland Road - photo by Kim Sallaway

Creek in Whittemore Grove along Briceland Road - photo by Kim Sallaway

The County road crew have been struggling to keep emergencies at bay on hundreds of small back roads as well as the larger routes and Briceland Road is showing some rough spots. “Pot holes,” Sallaway says, “are starting to be a real fact of life on Briceland Road.”


If you haven’t seen Sallaway’s amazing photo galleries, treat yourself on this rainy day to a bit of fun. ~Kym

You can also check out this post from last March which was the start of SoHumAwareness on Facebook. ~bobbi

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SoHumAwareness Facebook Page is One Year Old

One year ago today, the Facebook Page, SoHumAwareness was created, spurned on by similar weather related problems as we have seen today.

This incident is what started it all:
Briceland Road is Gone.

Let’s hope we don’t have as serious of issues this year as we did last year.

But lets keep the community input happening, this is a wonderful service for this community.

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Large Rocks Slide off the Bluffs

Large Rock part of Bluffs Slide. County Roads working to clear. Marty Messenger says removing rock is a serious challenge -Estelle

Rock Slide on the Bluffs - 27 March 2012

Pickup sized rock part of slide on Bluffs

Rock Slide Closes Redwood Drive Between Garberville and Redway ~ Kym Kemp

Rock Slide on the Bluffs - 27 March 2012

Water pooling up behind slide. Smaller rocks and debris continued to slide as of 3:00 PM.

Rock slide closes Redwood Drive - 27 March 2012

Marty Messenger from County Roads says it will probably take two hours to clear road for safe passage. Traffic between Redway and Garberville diverted to Highway 101.

Rock slide at the Bluffs -27 March 2012

Another view of the slide

Update: 5:20 pm County Roads Supervisor Marty Messenger says Redwood Drive is open! Rock cleared, vehicles can now drive from Redway to Garberville and back free of obstruction, thanks County Roads!!! ~Terri Klemetson posted to KMUD NEWS

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Emergency & Preparedness Links

This is an ever growing list of emergency and preparedness websites and phone numbers.

How to Prepare

Regional Training Institute/ Community Disaster Preparedness
Prepare Disaster Supply Kits
How to Prepare

Humboldt County OES

Humboldt County Office of Emergency Services
Emergency Plan Operations

Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office
Office of Emergency Services
826 Fourth Street
Eureka, CA 95501
Business Hours: 707-268-2500
After Hours: 707-445-7251

Garberville Station
Business Hours: (707) 923-2761
Emergencies: Call 911
Address: 648 Locust Street
Garberville Calif. 95542


USGS – Recent Earthquakes
Are You Prepared? – Links


Tsunami Maps
Prep for the Big One – Hank Sims


Cal Fire
Cal Fire Incident page: Current Incidents
Contacts Region 10
Contacts Unit 23

Region Name: Northern Region
Unit Name: Humboldt-Del Norte Unit
Unit Chief: Mike Howe
Address1: 118 S. Fortuna Boulevard
City: Fortuna
County: Humboldt County
State: CA
Postal Code: 95540-0425
Phone1: (707) 725-4413

Region Name :Northern Region
Unit Name: Mendocino Unit
Unit Chief: Chris Rowney
Address1: 17501 North Hwy. 101
City: Willits
County: Mendocino County
State: CA
Postal Code: 95490
Phone1: (707) 459-7414

Briceland Volunteer Fire Department
Briceland Fire Department
Call: 911
Tim Olsen Fire Chief

Southern Humboldt Technical Rescue
Call: 911


State Highway Information – Caltrans
Phone: (800) 427-7623

Caltrans QuickMap, an
online service that provides California motorists with real-time traffic and travel information

Road Conditions of County Maintained Roads

Road Maintenance Division
Phone: (707) 445-7421
Office Hours: Monday – Thursday, 6:30am – noon, 12:30pm – 5:00pm

CHP Traffic Incident page

Web Cams – (Shelter Cove and Airport web cams)
CalTrans District 1 – 101 north of Willits – Mendocino
CalTrans Humboldt County – Mendocino County

Live Fire, Law, EMS Feeds

Humboldt County Fire, Law, EMS – Eureka and North Live Audio Feed
Eureka and North Live Audio Feed

Humboldt County Fire, Law, EMS – Eureka and South Live Audio Feed
Eureka and South Live Audio Feed

Radio Reference
Radio Reference – Humboldt County

Humboldt County
Sunny Fortuna Scanner

HAM Radio

If You Are Concerned About Disasters, consider becomming an amature HAM radio operator – Southern Humboldt Amature Radio Club

PG&E Outages
Customer Service 1-800-743-5000
Report an Outage 1-800-743-5002


1-800-222-1222 (call from anywhere at anytime)

Media – Where to get the latest news in emergency situations – website
Facebook – SoHumAwareness
Twitter – SoHumAwareness
Email :

Kym Kemp – RedHeaded Blackbelt
Email : Kym Kemp

Lost Coast Outpost
Lost Coast Outpost – Emergencies
Facebook – Lost Coast Outpost
Twitter – LCOutpost


KMUD – 91.1
Twitter – KMUD News
KHUM – 104.7

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