Posts Tagged ‘Washington’

Keeping up with kits and knowledge for earthquakes

February 27, 2014
web_0429_RedCrossKit

An example of an American Red Cross emergency kit

Tomorrow, Feb 28, is the 13th anniversary of the Nisqually earthquake that shook a large part of Washington State. This earthquake in 2001 was a reminder that natural disasters can happen at any time and sometimes without any warning at all. There is no season for earthquakes so it is helpful to always be ready. The time to prepare for an earthquake is before it happens. There are many ways you can prepare for an earthquake, from learning about safety precautions and procedures, to having the essentials available when you really need them.

Have an emergency kit

The American Red Cross has a basic emergency kit that can be prepared and then placed in a safe, accessible place so it can be grabbed quickly in an emergency.

Know before you go

Here is a great refresher on basic knowledge to store in the back of your mind. You cannot tell from the initial shaking if an earthquake will suddenly become intense… so always Drop, Cover, and Hold On immediately!

» DROP to the ground (before the earthquake drops you!),

» Take COVER by getting under a sturdy desk or table, and

» HOLD ON to your shelter and be prepared to move with it until the shaking stops.

Find more resources on the state Emergency Management Division website about preparing for — and surviving — an earthquake.

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Professional Divers: Online registration, agenda now available for DNR’s dive safety conference

February 25, 2014
Photo of diver about to jump in water.

Photo courtesy of Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife

Are you a professional diver who makes a living working underwater? Are you interested in learning about the latest in dive safety? Would you like to spend some time networking with fellow professional divers?

DNR is hosting the 2014 Professional Dive Safety Conference April 7-8 at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle. The conference will bring together local, state and national dive experts to present the latest scientific research, technology and best management practices.

Registration for the conference is free but required.

Some of the topics at the conference include:

  • DNR’s Dive Program: Overview, history and sustaining a safe diving culture.
  • Panel discussion with dive safety review experts.
  • Standards governing professional diving.
  • History and regulation of scientific diving.
  • Decompression sickness.
  • Using advances in equipment technology to improve dive safety.
  • EPA task hazard analysis for diving in contaminated waters.
  • Diving risk management course.
  • Developing a dive safety network using technology and social media.

Registration will be open until filled.

A full agenda and online registration are available on DNR’s conference web page.

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Celebrate Boy Scouts’ Day the Boy Scout way

February 21, 2014
boy scout volunteers

These little scouts spent the day picking up trash at Tarbell Campground for DNR.
Photo by Josh Riepe/DNR 2013

Just a few weeks past, was the celebration of Boy Scouts’ Day. Boy Scouts’ Day marks the day when Boy Scouts of America was officially incorporated.

There are many ways this day is observed all over the country. This day is also used by Cub Scouts to hold their banquets and award ceremonies where they can become Boy Scouts. This day has been celebrated since 1910 when the BSA was founded in America.

Boy Scouts help out DNR
Boy Scout troops often do community service and service projects with DNR, such as the campfire safety PSA (shown below) a troop created with DNR for Wildfire Awareness Week 2012.

They also build bridges, fix trails, and clean up recreation sites.

There are many troops who take the Boy Scouts’ Day as another day to help with cleaning up trails and keeping parks in tip top shape. These projects don’t just happen one day a year, but this day is a great reminder of what can still be done to help out.

Get involved
You can get involved just like the Boy Scouts by hopping over onto the DNR volunteer calendar. We look forward to seeing you out and about.

Special thanks to all the troops to lend a hand on DNR-managed recreation lands!

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National Bird Feeding Month

February 20, 2014

bird bro!Even though February is a winter month, not all birds fly south to find warmer weather. In fact, February is National Bird Feeding Month. Time to dust off those bird houses and crack the ice on the bird bath because our feathered friends are here and they are hungry. Whether you are a seasoned feeder or just wanting some natural music in the back yard, this is the month to do it.

Several different types of birdhouses and feeders cater to a wide variety of birds. Knowing what birds you might be catering to is a great place to start. There are several sites that can help you find what you are looking for. Here is a quick rundown of a few of the basics types of feeders you can use.

Feeder types:

  • Tube Feeder: Good for fending off squirrels and feeding chickadee-like birds
  • Hopper Feeders: Good for multiple birds at once, it will accommodate all types, even larger birds.
  • Suet Feeder: Good for attracting insects to organically feed woodpeckers and the like.
  • Thistle Feeder: Good for small-beaked birds and keeping bigger animals out.
  • Ground Feeder: Good for all types of birds, even those who would not fit on a hung feeder.
  • Nectar Feeder: Good for long-beaked birds like hummingbirds

When setting up a feeding station, keep in mind the location and what you are putting into the feeders. If you are looking to excite the local aviary population, add some variety to the diet. Mix in a few berries or bits of fruit here and there or give them a reason to stick around with some peanut butter. Just having a different seed mix every once in a while can make all the difference.

Due to the cold in the winter, most of the natural food supply is exhausted during the winter. So have a good time making a birdhouse and then fill it up for all to enjoy.

Here is a quick FAQ with some of the dos and don’ts of winter bird feeding if you would like to get more involved.

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Flood watches in wet & wild Washington

February 19, 2014
sandbags

Correct method of stacking sandbags to prevent flooding. Image: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-Walla Walla.

Forecasts call for a wet week in the Northwest. The National Weather Service expects several more inches of rain across Western Washington in the next few days. Flood watches and warning are a strong possibility.

One of the best all-around websites on all things weather in Western Washington is the Take Winter by Storm website — a public-private sector sponsored information source.

Get the latest weather-related watches, warnings and forecasts for your part of the state from the National Weather Service. Keep a close eye on landslides with DNR’s Shallow Landslide Hazard Map for Washington State.

Warning signs of an impending landslide

If you live on or near a steep slope, here are some warning signs of potential slope instability:

  • Cracks forming in your yard, driveway, sidewalk, foundation or in other structures.
  • Trees on slopes, especially evergreens, start tilting.
  • Doors and windows suddenly become more difficult to open or close.
  • Water begins seeping from hillsides, even during dry weather.

If you see any of these early signs of a potential landslide, immediately contact your city or county.

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Plan your V-Day getaway on DNR recreation lands

February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine’s Day!! Wait, did you forget…?

Plan a fun trip to DNR-managed recreation lands this Valentine's Day!

Plan a fun trip to DNR-managed recreation lands this Valentine’s Day!

Still scrambling to plan a romantic getaway? Or perhaps searching for a single’s adventure to escape all the hearts and flowers?

Plan your trip today at www.dnr.wa.gov/recreation.

Just because you forgot to plan Valentine’s Day, doesn’t mean you should go unprepared. 

Remember:

Have fun!

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Wish you were here?

February 13, 2014
High Hut at Mount Tahoma

Book your adventure to the Mount Tahoma Snow Huts on DNR-managed state trust lands today at http://www.skimtta.com/huts.htm

Winter recreation season is finally in full swing. The mountains are covered in snow and Eastern Washington’s trails are groomed and ready for snowmobiling, skiing, and snowshoeing.

Planning a trip to see the snow? We at DNR want you to have the opportunity to enjoy some winter outdoor adventures, but we want you to be safe.

mountain bikers riding a snowy trail

Winter outdoor recreation takes many shapes on DNR-managed lands.
Photo: Randy Warnock/DNR

Safety first for winter recreation
Whether you snowshoe, cross country ski, hike, or snowmobile, you should be prepared.

Here are some tips to follow for a safe and enjoyable trip:

Snow mobile

Don’t get out on the trails without proper permits! Make it a fun day and know before you go.
Photo: Chuck Lamica, DNR

Snowmobilers
Snowmobilers should follow all of the aforementioned as well as know their ability to ride on or off groomed trails.

Wear protective equipment with Washington Department of Transportation approved helmets. Never carry a passenger unless the snowmobile is designed for it. Always avoid alcohol while operating a snowmobile and ride responsibly.

Sno-Park Permit, Discover Pass, or both?
Don’t forget to grab your Sno-Park Permit or Discover Pass before you head out.

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Wet weather can trigger shallow landslides – Do you know the warning signs?

February 13, 2014

The heavy rains forecasted this weekend may cause more than just localized flooding and higher river levels. Prolonged or intense rainfall increases the chances of shallow landslides on hillsides and other steep slopes. During these rain events, some of the rainwater flows across the surface to nearby streams and rivers, some is captured by plants and other vegetation, and some of the water infiltrates the ground. With enough rainwater infiltrating the ground, soils can weaken and slide.

Think of building sand castles with buckets on the beach–with the right amount of water, the grains of sand bind together to form a near-perfect cast of the bucket, but if too much water is added, the sand cannot hold its form and collapses under its own weight. Soil saturation has a similar result on a steep slope. With enough rain, the soil becomes saturated and begins to lose strength, increasing the chances of a landslide.

The geology of western Washington — steep slopes and soils — make this landslide country but with the right conditions, steep slopes in eastern Washington are vulnerable, too. Lots of rain, combined with failing drainage systems and development that increases surfacewater runoff near steep slopes, can be landslide triggers on both sides of the Cascades.

Image of a shallow landslide that initiated during a prolonged and intense rain event in Thurston County. (Image Courtesy of Stephen Slaughter, DNR)

Image of a shallow landslide that initiated during a prolonged and intense rain event in Thurston County. (Image Courtesy of Stephen Slaughter, DNR)

 

Warning signs of an impending landslide

If you live on or near a steep slope, here are some warning signs of potential slope instability:

  • Cracks forming in your yard, driveway, sidewalk, foundation or in other structures.
  • Trees on slopes, especially evergreens, start tilting.
  • Doors and windows suddenly become more difficult to open or close.
  • Water begins seeping from hillsides, even during dry weather.

If you see any of these early signs of a potential landslide, immediately contact your city or county.

Useful links

This blog is reprinted from the Washington State Geology News, a free e-newsletter from DNR.

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Take the Reiter Foothills Forest ORV Trail Survey

February 7, 2014

Have you had a chance to ride the new 4×4, ATV, or single-track motorcycle trails at Reiter Foothills Forest?

Reiter 4x4

Tell us about your experience riding the new trails at Reiter Foothills Forest. Photo: DNR/Sue Jensen

DNR staff want to know what you think! In just five minutes, you can take the survey. Your input will help DNR staff to make informed decisions while shaping the future motorized trails.

Take the Survey
mouse graphicGo online and take the survey today at http://bit.ly/ReiterSurvey

Reiter dirt bike motorcycle

Trail construction at Reiter continues year-round.
Photo: DNR/Jessica Payne

Survey results will inform trail planners and land managers as they develop future recreation opportunities in the Reiter Foothills Forest.

Help us get the word out. Share the survey with your friends and family.

Reiter Foothills Forest Motorized Trail System
The motorized trail system at Reiter Foothills Forest is open to the public Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Want to learn about the history and planning process? Need directions to Reiter? Or just want to know the nitty-gritty on the new trail systems?

Visit the Reiter Foothills Forest Recreation Planning webpage and get maps, trail guides, and details on the area.

Volunteer at Reiter
February kicks off a new series of volunteer work parties at Reiter Foothills Forest.

Reiter

Join DNR staff and other volunteers to build and maintain motorized and non-motorized trails at Reiter. Photo: DNR/Toni Droscher

These parties will focus on trail maintenance for the motorized trail system and trail construction for both the motorized and future non-motorized trail systems.

To get started, join DNR staff at the Deer Flats Mainline gate at 9 a.m. on Saturday, February 22, to work trail maintenance on the ATV and single-track motorcycle trails.

Learn more and get directions on the DNR Volunteer Calendar.

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Quake shakes North Tacoma

February 3, 2014
Map of earthquakes in the last two weeks in western Washington.

Map of earthquakes in the last two weeks in western Washington.

A small earthquake shook an area north of Tacoma on Monday afternoon, the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network reported. The magnitude 3.0 quake occurred 5.6 miles north-northwest of Tacoma and 20 miles south of Seattle at 12:29 p.m.

More than 1,000 earthquakes occur in Washington State annually. Washington has a record of at least 20 damaging earthquakes during the past 125 years. Most of these earthquakes were in western Washington, but several, including the largest historic earthquake in Washington (1872) since European settlement, occurred east of the Cascade crest.

WHAT TO DO IF YOU’RE IN AN EARTHQUAKE If you find yourself in a large magnitude earthquake, follow these tips from FEMA’s Ready.gov

   (more…)


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